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How to feel miserable as an artist


  • Thanks for posting that, @Richard. All great points. And, @Forgiveness, I very much agree - this site has been a godsend for many of us.
  • I think I'm guilty of 4 but what I knew was all wrong and it's too easy for me to fall back on those things. I get frustrated a lot. I lose patience easily. I'm stuck on 8 too but that's not a problem as that's what I like to paint. I believe anyone who's feeling miserable will be happier if they become a regular visitor to the forum.
  • it's good to express yourself, it's good to just get it off your chest, hopefully a lesser burden to be free again and remain strong. Thank you @EstherH.
  • @JeffAllen, that's a great point. Thinking every attempt should produce a masterpiece is a great way to feel unhappy as an artist.
  • I am guilty of quite a few of these points but aren't we human after all :) Negative thoughts will also creep in but I think about my family and it is the boost that I need to get along with things.
  • edited June 2017
    @Richard_P Not having a market and not being able to sell are the worsts than anything above. :s
  • That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as The Artist's Reward.
     Ernest Hemingway  Dark-haired man in light colored short-sleeved shirt working on a typewriter at a table on which sits an open book
  • There is a market for you somewhere@Kaustav, unfortuneately it just isn't close to where you are.
  • @Kaustav:  Unfortunately like acting, or music the chance of making a living at painting (even if you are awesome) is pretty unlikely unless you go get your MFA and get lucky enough to acquire a tenured teaching position at a university.  Not saying you shouldn't try but I think for most painting should be fulfilling for other reasons I think.
  • @JeffAllen, you're right that making a living as an artist is unlikely for most but I disagree about the MFA and tenured teaching. There are loads of people out there selling everywhere from sidewalks to the internet. I don't think they have anymore "talent" than anyone in the forum or lots of amateurs out there. The difference is they are working at selling themselves as much as selling there work. I'm in a big city with lots of "ART" events and places to show/sell. I think the difference is the ones making a living at it are willing to compromise and paint out of their preferred genre/subject matter and are willing to give instruction. People are paying ridiculous sums for pet portraits and car "portraits". I think very few working artists rely on galleries for their main income. If they do, they do they are either very good or probably fit into the category of "starving" artists.

  • @BOB73: My point about the MFA is not that it will necessarily make you a better artist than other methods of learning.  I was just saying if you want to be an artist for a living and get a regular paycheck that is probably the most stable bet (getting a gig as an art professor).  Endeavors outside of that you have to not only be really skilled as a painter but equally skilled at marketing yourself.  Most artists suck at the marketing part.  My wife is a photographer specializing in portraits.  She does pretty well, but she spends way more time on marketing and networking with other people than she does on the actual craft of photography.  One facet of her business is teaching people the business side.  We discuss this all the time.  There are a lot of good artists out there but for whatever reason they suck at business.  Now I'm not really saying this to discourage people from pursuing that path.  I just don't think the average person realizes how difficult it is.  If they understand that and willing to deal with all the business and networking side of things, more power to them.
  • edited June 2017
    I am in a major funk right now regarding my paintings! I hate everything about them, I put aside my unfinished portrait ( for now) I painted a few free hand pieces of crap thinking I would let go and just embrace whatever happened on the canvas, I am so irritated and miserable regarding my skills and mental block on all of it I can't decided if I like DMP method or not aghhhhh!!!
     I even just turned down work, a commission request by a repeat client just because I really didn't feel like doing it ( :o :# :/ )
    so yes hammer on the nail on this original post for me personally. I don't wven know where to begin to solve my issues

    Example A of misery - hated it so much just wiped it all off.
  • Hey @jswartzart, hang in there. We all go through peaks and troughs. I have had a really dry time, there is a half finished painting sitting on my easel, throwing accusations at me every time I walk past it. All the colour steps I labouriously mixed, stuck to the palette. If everyone posted their failures, or abandoned works we would have a huge gallery. A necessary part of success is being willing to embrace failure, that's where the learning is.  Maybe we should start a gallery of failures thread along with what we learned <3
  • I don't keep my failures and I gave away all my watercolors and acrylics works. Some people find strength or some other worthwhile virtue/emotion by hanging on to them. I have enough day to day so I don't need souvenirs. @Boudicca, your palette may be dried up but it goes well with your drapes... look on the bright side. Monday I was bitten by a dog and got five stitches. Lost a days work and it's my painting hand but it's all good I can't paint for another couple weeks anyway and I spent the day with my daughters. There's always a bright side. Also part of the bright side the doctor that sewed me up was in the same combat unit I was just not at the same time. The thirty yard dumpster that was in my driveway is now gone. Yippee.
  • @BOB73, sorry to hear that.  Is the dog okay?

    @jswartzart, I know this situation.  It will pass.  Keep going, I'm hoping to see your son's portrait in the challenge.
  • @BOB73 : Oh my! Take care... and get well soon!
  • @BOB73 take care and get well soon!
  • @BOB73, sorry to hear, keep it real clean. Hopefully this will heal well and soon enough.

  • @BOB73 take care of yourself! 
  • Get better soon, @BOB73. Look after that hand.
    Coincidentally, I've been reading a book about rabies lately. Dog bites, bat bites, hydrophobia... Fascinating. On the bright side,  there's a vaccine now and I don't think they have rabies in the US anymore do they?
  • tassieguy said:
    I don't think they have rabies in the US anymore do they?
    There is rabies here.
  • Rabies: Racoons, opossum, rats are the most worrisome in my region but these cases are a lot less frequent than outbreaks of head lice in schools and you rarely hear of a dog having Rabies. If you have a dog you are required to have it vaccinated. You can't buy one or adopt one without it. Thanks all for the kind thoughts. The dog is fine, @PaulB. I almost shot it but couldn't make up my mind which gun to use. By the time I decided I didn't want to get blood stains on any of them I wasn't angry anymore. Besides, the dog apologised. And no I wouldn't really shoot it.
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