The end result of my own revelation gives me peace of mind and that is of great value to me in these unsettling times. Since the end of 2008, I've been undertaking art as a career. Studying how to make better art, how to manage the business of art, how to be a "professional" artist. Beyond the making of art and the related pursuits that come easily, the rest has been a struggle. I have pondered this considerably. Not that I believe everything ought to come easily but so many things do. If not with ease, with an enthusiastic determination that makes difficult work joyful and worth the effort.
As I may have mentioned before, I was reluctant (terrified) at first to call myself an artist. However, after getting to know a variety of artists in the early eighties, I finally accepted myself as one. My recent effort to view art as a way to make a living, has caused me a bit of distress.
For a while I judged myself a failure since so far I have not made a living from my personal artwork. One reason may be because I persistently have not done many of the things that I have learned and know "professional" artists are described as doing. I finally chalked it up to a lack of ambition, let it go, and got back to pursuing the things that seem worthwhile to me.
I was exceedingly bothered by the term "professional" artist. Perhaps because it implies to me that if one is not a professional, one is an amateur, or that art is merely a hobby. I don't feel that way at all. I have never felt that art was a hobby and I feel I've been at it far too long to be considered an amateur. So what then?
Then came the revelation, and it is right there in the side bar description under my name. I have accepted art as a way of life not just as a way to make a living. If making a living happens because of art, so much the better. However, I now remember that being an artist is my life's expression not a career choice. What a relief.