I've actually had harder personal economic conditions in the past, when I was a younger artist and needed my art sales to pay the monthly bills. We've weathered this recent crisis very well by paying off all our debt load well before the crisis occurred, and I've had enough sales to keep me motivated through it even though I don't have to rely on them to survive economically any more. I now paint because it's something I really want to do on a daily basis.
Honestly what keeps me going is the network of artists such as yourself that I have found in the online community. Being an artist is such a solitary profession, and the ability to read other artists thoughts, views, issues, bloopers, suggestions, hopes and dreams at the click of the mouse keeps me going....keep it up and thanks!
I have only fairly recently returned to painting so I never sold work when the economy was good and I know no different than the market as it is now. Perhaps it's also because I'm still learning so much at a frantic pace but the sheer joy of seeing each new work take life is what keeps me going. I evaluate my work in increments of about every quarter to every six months and continue to see enormous growth and I like the direction in which my work is headed. That's plenty to keep my fire fueled and I can tell you, the furnace is white hot!
It can be hard to maintain a focus when you are feeling a lack of success, whatever the cause. My spiritual faith helps me tremendously and I keep reminding myself that we artists are adding to the sum total beauty in the world. Mark Beale.
I struggle with taking the time for painting because of other responsibilities but I started teaching art a couple of years ago and now I have students from age 8 to near 80 and I find them to be an inspiration. It forces me to take the time to study, plan and at least draw or paint samples for the classes. And their enthusiasm rubs off on me. Also, I am so awed by creation. I have over 90,000 "reference" photos, thanks to the economy of digital, and when I need more inspiration, I know where to find them.
This is a great, and timely subject. Personally, I not only struggle with the rigors of working out of a home studio amid the mayhem of 3 children, and of trying to sell my work in these uncertain economic times, but I also find my choices of medium and style are constantly being questioned by galleries and other artists. Colored pencil is a harder sell for gallery owners, and my level of realism is always underfire! "Switch to oils!" and "Loosen up!" are opinions I frequently have to push against in an attempt to simply do "me". My inner voice has to be louder than the outer critics. Not always an easy feat. I keep fighting the brave fight because, really, I have no choice. I'll tighten my belt to let my soul soar!
It's a struggle to "get better" for me too. I just keep plugging along, trying to learn something from each painting I do. Thanks for sharing that you are struggling with it too...makes me feel like I am not alone. :)
Exactly so - great post.
I work full-time but stubbornly keep up the painting as I have time. My reason is the same as yours - love of painting, faith that there is a reason to create beauty in this world, faithh that God gives talent to be used, even though there may not be the financial payoff hoped for.
It's a pleasure to see everyone's feedback. Thanks for telling me how you've kept going, and for reading my post!