Being an artist is glamorous….not.
I have met many people over the years that tell me that they are truly fascinated with my being an artist. It is outside of their wheelhouse to think about someone creating something beautiful and meaningful for clients every week. And then there are the openings for art exhibitions, right? Everyone gets dressed up and puts on a high-brow cap and slowly walks around discussing art while swigging a glass of wine. It must seem very glamorous.
“You are so talented!” “Oh, you are so lucky!” “Oh! It must be fun to paint and play all day..”
I can tell ya right now that there is a dirty side of being an artist. And it is anything but glitzy.
In the past few weeks I have destroyed my nails while embedding gold paint under them, gotten paint on my clothes, crawled around on my dusty floor repairing an image and recently have had a bunch of sawdust in my hair. (more explanations on that last one soon) Most days my hair is in a ponytail and my face has pastel on it. (ooo yes, I am dateable)
I swear. I drop paint on the floor or I forget to clean a brush. I make mistakes and then swear some more. And then there is the fact that there is never enough time in the week to get it all done.
I think artists walk between 2 worlds. The solitary, don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-working mode where we eat at weird times, sketch down inspirations late at night in the kitchen or in a car, wear the same clothes over and over and make a lovely mess. And then we have to shift to the scrub-down-and-find-some-half-descent-clothes in order to put on the slight act that we are like everyone else when we meet a client or go to a show. We are neither blue-collar nor white-collar- we are both and we are splattered with all of the colors too.
You know what I mean. Like a little kid happily playing in a mud puddle (where we are happiest) we sometimes have to take a bath and put on a fluffy dress and go to Sunday school. Both modes can be fun. Both modes are part of who I am. Both are work.
I love this illustration…
Yeah, add messy hair and a good dose of stress and that about sums it up.
So the next time you go to an exhibition or see an amazing work in a magazine, think for a minute of what it took to create it. There are so many articles and videos online that show the “perfect studio” and a cute, slim artist living their best life. (gag) They easily create pretty demos and don’t break a sweat. Ha! Don’t you believe it. That is theater. Real life has us fussing and fighting and doubting ourselves and making a mess and ripping off our nails. Embrace it- it is ok. It is necessary.
And know you are not alone.