Starving artists

February 5, 2012

Day 35

“I think I should quit my job and pursue my art.”

This was what I told my mom around 10:45am yesterday morning. I haven’t thought too much about it lately it just popped into my mind. Well I take that back my family has been encouraging me to start making videos, but the quit my job part is all me. Nice thought isn’t it? Just do what you love. Well I just met someone who is living that dream.

After I finished the 9am yoga class, which is a little early for my eyelids, but worth the exercise, I usually do some extra poses that we may have skipped. During my extra stretching a 70ish year old woman walked in who had gotten the yoga times mixed up. The instructor encouraged her to just do what she knew on her own. When I came back from a quick break in the sauna to get loosened up a little more the older woman was talking to the instructor about ending a 20 year relationship with an alcoholic. As she started crying I wondered if I should just pick up my yoga mat and slink out. But my need for stretching overwhelmed my emotional discomfort. As I was trying not to eves drop I heard her talk about how the pain has transformed her art. Then she started talking about how when she worked a regular job she felt like she was wasting her time by not pursuing art. Well that statement caught my attention. So as I was leaving I felt like I should give some form of encouragement. I told her that I had just informed my family earlier that day that I wanted to quit my job and pursue my art. I was hoping to tell her how amazing she was for pursuing her passion. However, I never got a chance because I didn’t get much of a word in the next 30 minutes. She told me how much work it was trying to survive in the art business. She told me that I need to join an art group and the one she belonged to was not at all snobbish. She went on about her experiences as an artist and what she thought I should try. She wanted me to surround myself with artists in order to inspire creativity.

When Jane talked about art and the affects it had on her life she was no longer the weeping woman on the yoga mat worried about finding love again. She was full of life and energy. I want to be that excited about my work. Now as we all know that the term “starving artists” didn’t come from artist fasting out of choice. When you are in a field where the quality of you work is mostly subjective there is no security. Well until you become famous. Then everything is somehow amazing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually happen till you are a worm feast. I could invest all my time in being an engineer or lawyer and makes lots of money, but that’s not my passion. I wish it was.

Even though I may never be rich I’d rather be poor and do what I love. Money can’t buy happiness even though I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. I’m not making much money now so might as well be poor and happy than poor and unhappy.

Now I didn’t go into work today and put in my two weeks notice. How inspiring would that have been? Instead I talked to my family about renting a studio for us all to be inspired and work on our art. I do photography and cinematography, my sister is an amazing makeup artist, my mom is a fashion consultant and designer (I wish she’d make all my clothes), and my dad is a writer (author of “I’m hungry”). So put us all together and we should be able to make a good team. When we aren’t fighting. Why do some artists put everything they have into creating while some of us complain about our jobs, but won’t take the leap. Comfort? How comfortable is it to waste away your life at an unsatisfying job?

Before me and Judy parted she did tell me another important piece of advice. I said I didn’t want to be a wedding photographer just because the pay was more consistent and easy. She said when she was younger she thought the same thing. She never did it, but instead did some commercial photography. She told me just because you do things to help finance your art doesn’t mean you’ll become a wedding photographer. She said back then she should have worked for some happy couples for some extra cash and that I should give it a try as well. Also, that I should view myself as a documentarian not just a generic wedding photographer. I’m documenting a memorable day in history for two people. Ya ya. Whatever pays the bills I guess.

After our talk I think we were both encouraged. But encouragement means nothing without action. Therefore, I’m going to start pursuing my art. So if anyone has a studio I can use, gallery that needs some pictures, or extra food to feed a starving artist let me know…. or if you are getting married and want to document it. I’m not sure I’m ready for the art world, but I’m definitely not prepared for a cubicle life.

So who’s ready to starve?

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  • Ronda Laveen February 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

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