Starfire week 7 The role of an artist as Entertainer
Lately I have been asking myself this question. Partially because I am questioning the direction my career seems to naturally be going in. I have been trying for years to force things to happen in the manner I desire, but finding that life just doesn’t seem to work that way.
I decided that maybe I should stop fighting the way things are and just go with what is happening right now. It really places a person in the present when they focus on there needs at the moment and not there desires for the future. The way I see it, with time I will get everything I desire if I just take care of the present and don’t dwell on the haves and the have nots.
To tell the truth, it has brought a great deal of clarity and release. You can only work toward a goal one day at a time after all. Changing your approach to that goal can release a lot of unnecessary pressure that could be not just effecting your enjoyment of life but also affecting the quality of your art. This takes away from being able to enjoy just doing what you love.
Being a freelancer at the moment, I am learning the hard way, just making something you love and adore isn’t what gets you jobs to pay the bills. If you are not willing to bend yourself to create something that is appealing that can be loved by others it I can be very hard to get ahead. Let’s face it, you don’t become a successful artist because you draw pretty pictures in your sketchbook that only you like. You really have to start seeing yourself as an entertainer.
To make this a career you have satisfy a demand that your viewer is seeking. They say artists create things that people don’t need. I think that doesn’t include all artists, but just those of us putting pencil to paper to create an image that someone might want to hang in there home. And it is not an easy task. I think even in animation that people loose interest pretty fast if the story isn’t giving them a reason to watch. Example. Dora the Expora satisfies a need for 5 year olds but for a 30 year old it is just something to baby sit your kids while you make dinner.
Just the same, when a person goes to a movie and pays 10 dollars to see a film they won’t even be able to take back home with them. The creator better make it work the viewers time or you may find yourself no longer having a job.
One thing I learned is that it doesn’t matter how many hours you spent on your masterpiece. The viewer is paying for the experience you are giving them. It is what motivates someone to spend $10,000 on that master painting for there living room or $10 for that pin up drawing over the bed. I can spend 10 hours on that masterpiece I love so much and if no one else cares about it like I do, I might as well hang it in my own living room.
The other thing to remember as an artist is that you can never predict what people will or won’t like. To you it may be crap but to the untrained eye it is a Picasso. You might have done it 10 years ago and someone else will prefer that over the new stuff you did yesterday. I once had a friend tell me to stop beating myself up cause he didn’t see the flaws I saw. He said I was just being so hard on myself.
Today, I can see why he said that. As long as you keep creating no matter what, you will improve so why hide your face in shame when something doesn’t live up to the standard in your head. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One mans trash is another ones treasure. It has been a hard lesson to learn I can’t be the judge of what is good or bad in anything. You just never know what others will like.
Anyway, this is just something to encourage all those artists out there frustrated with the way things are. Just be yourself and create without harsh judgment of yourself because once it gets put out there into the world it is no longer up to you whether it is good or bad. It is what it is no more and no less than that.