This feature is about achieving a fundamental sense of fulfillment and purpose, of finding your place in a community of your peers. It's about sharing the truth of what it is to be an artist in the 21st century, in all of its forms. We all walk different paths in the expression of our art, yet we came together through Etsy.
As an artist, I’ve never understood the whole premise of “quit your day job”. The implication is that whatever you are doing, if it’s not art, it must be something you don’t like. The other underlying concept is that your success as an artist, and life’s destiny, will never be fulfilled as long as you do anything other than “your art”. Intellectually we can accept the idea that human beings are multidimensional creatures with multifaceted personalities. But emotionally we want to define the individual by what they do for money. Thus, by the popular yardstick, a truck driver could never be a good musician, and a doctor could never be a good jeweler. Of course there are plenty of artists in all disciplines that are living testimony to the fact that this idea is not true.
I define myself as an artist. I create. I solve problems. I make my living from my creative instincts and efforts in whatever direction I choose to apply them. This is who I am regardless of how others wish to define me. Just to be clear, I engage in multiple occupations and I enjoy them all – immensely. They pay well, are very fulfilling of spirit, and afford me great creative freedom. For me it is all interconnected – one life – one work. Thank you, I live a rich life.
I see things you can’t. I imagine and make it reality. I am a map to places you don’t know exist. I am an agent of change. This is my art. It is not the materials or media I happen to use at any given moment. Nor is it the particular discipline or field in which I choose to express myself. Why would I give all this up to live someone else’s definition of my life, my art?
There are many people who don’t particularly like their “day job”, and see the artistic life as an escape. Some who make the leap of faith that they can make a living through their art are confronted at some point with the realization that “art” has become a job like any other. Creative freedom gives way to the necessity of making a living. Artistic vision becomes blurred by the need to produce a never-ending stream of things that people will buy. This is a rude awakening for those who are chasing a dream of the artistic life that never existed. I am completely at ease with the idea that art is a business and embrace it. At any given time on any given day I slide freely from “business” to “art” and back to business. It is all interconnected – one life – one work. So, I’ll keep my day job, whatever you choose to call it.
Thanks for sharing your story, Corliss (of 2Roses). Make sure to check out their Etsy shop, 2Roses.