What Is It Like To Be An Artist?

There’s always two sides to every story. Being an artist can be fun and exciting, but it can also be scary and intimidating. Let me take you through my experience of being an artist through the past year.

2021 has been a strange year, full of external factors that we weren’t looking for and personal factors that would change my next steps. In the past year I left my first full-time job out of university and started on the path of a career. This, for me, is a path separated from my artwork. I made this decision as I did not want the constant pressure to create artwork to sell, or to not know when the next payment will be so that I could do the things I enjoy. I like more structure to my day, so I opted for a different career path entirely.

Choosing a separate career path in the past year has left me more creative juice for when I do sit down and create. This has allowed me time to continue on Project 365, and catch up after almost quitting, and start on some canvases that I have been planning for a while. This planning has also given me the time and energy to look in the local area at the possibility of a gallery show, either as an individual or within a group.

But being able to create has only been part of what I have done as an artist this year as I made the decision to dive head first into craft fairs and markets. This has been an expensive experiment to say the least. I have spent a lot of time and money into the products that I take with me, and into the events that I have attended, and unfortunately I have not seen the return that I wanted out of these. It has given me some things to think about and I have made some decisions based on this for the new year. The most important one is that I am giving myself some time to breathe.

Craft fairs and markets take a lot of energy too, but despite this throughout each one I have had a wonderful time. I feel more engaged with the community, and have small events that I want to attend next year. I have been able to talk to people about what I am passionate in. I have been able to show people who have never heard of me what artwork I have created, as well as my plans for the future. It has been wonderful to speak to people with a variety of backgrounds and art experience, to help inspire them, or just bring something a little different to their day. Talking to everyone has also given me a different outlook on my artwork and creative process, thinking about how I might make things, or document things differently, so that it is more public-friendly as I continue to step out of the mindset of an art student. And all of this has grown my online statistics.

I can’t claim that being an artist is completely wonderful with no problems, but other artists might have this story to tell. I continue to look forward to having art in my life, but my goals have changed slightly as my journey has developed. I now understand that this evolving and developing nature comes with the territory, and that I should embrace it more, as sometimes this gives way to artwork that I would have not created before.

Every day that I wake up, I am grateful that I am able to create art, and that I have such instant access to the materials and machines around me. I enjoy each of these and look forward to creating more in the future.

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