This is not a hobby: Who is your art for?

One thing that used to drive me crazy as an early artist was “You are so artistic, I bet that’s a fun hobby”. Well outsider, this is not a hobby, this is my life!

HOBBY: A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. Hobbies include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements. Thanks for the definition Wikipedia.

Artist: a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.a person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor. A person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design,

drawing, painting, etc.:a commercial artist. A person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer:a mime artist; an artist of the dance.a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill. Thank you

Artists are very temperamental when approached about what they do. Ask Erykah Badu who has famously quoted “…now keep in mind that I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”.

Warning: Entering my mind.

Do you plan your art for people?

Folks see your art and either like it or don’t. Either way is fine. They are taking the piece of your world that you create and trying to fit it into their own personal perceptions. Very often it’s going to be like the square block in the round hole. You can’t reach the mind of everyone with your art. Don’t try.
When your work is complete you can stand back and be proud of doing something that only you could do. Some people do art and give it away.

Some sell it to support themselves as well as share what they felt with the world. Your manager/agent if you have one, and I truly hope you do, will refer to your work as “product”. Don’t get mad. Their job is to make you money so you can afford to make more art.

Art vs. Product

You made something. A book? , A painting, A song. Congrats! You would like to sell it so you can share it with someone who will love it like you do. This is your baby. Wrong! If you want to sell your art, it’s time to switch gears and think of it like product. You are a seller now. It’s time to get your stuff out there to the world right? It might sell, it might not. A’s not going to sell on the wall in your dining room. Artists have problems switching the gears. Remember that manager/agent person I mentioned?

I was told once by a celebrity, “Artists are the worst business people, and business people are the worst artists”. I find in general through my experiences for that statement to have validity.

Do you love your art even if others don’t?

Someone doesn’t like your art. Awww. Sucks. Pick up your pen and keep writing. Grab that paintbrush and paint some more. Sit at the keyboard and compose another song. You don’t do this because you hope that they will like the next thing. You do this because that’s what artists do. They continue. Once more, not everyone is going to fall in love with what you do. The question you really should be asking yourself is do you love it.

Constructive vs. Destructive

(Take One:)

Walter: Hey Sally. What do you think about my new book draft. I’d really like your opinion.

Sally: I didn’t really like it.

Walter: What did you not like?

Sally: I don’t know, I just didn’t. There were too many pages.

Well how about that? I bet Walter won’t ask Sally’s opinion again. Do you have people around you like this? I do.

But I also have people like this around me as well and they are gold.

(Take Two:)

Walter: Hey Monica, What do you think of my new book draft? I’d really like your opinion.

Monica: Well I loved the character development. They seem like people I know. The names are unusual but it compliments the unusual personalities of each of them. I will say that a couple chapters might be better broken up to help them flow better, and provide anticipation for what happens next. Let me know when you do the next rewrite, I’d like to see what you do with it.

First of all, let’s be real. It is really hard to open yourself up to people sometimes, especially when asking about something close to your heart. I admire artists who can do this. It took me awhile to get to this point. I no longer go home and cuss about what they said.

Constructive or Destructive? Who did what? Which comment would you like to get as a creator that opens him/herself up to critiquing? A critique can be a valuable thing to many artists. It doesn’t have to be a nail in the coffin for a project. In many cases, it may help you see something you missed. At the end of the day, the creative decisions are still yours.

I’ve got to be me. Who else can i be?

Oh Sammy Davis Jr.!

This is such a true statement for any artistic creative person. What is your personal quote?

Who do you do your art for? Is this a question that you have pondered? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions like these. You will be amazed how it can open your mind and help you create and possibly sell your work to your fans. Yes I said your fans. Those people who appreciate and enjoy what you made on their own personal level. Now that is a fan!

I hope you were prompted to ask yourself some interesting questions after reading this. I would love to read your thoughts regarding this blog.

Please leave comments below. Here’s to your artistic mind and your creative success.

That Creative Dude

4 thoughts on “This is not a hobby: Who is your art for?

  1. Thank you for reaffirming that to be creative is not only a thing to do. It’s also who you are. I have always known I was creative but never understood how. I didn’t fit the mould of what I always saw around me that told me what being creative meant. Nothing ever truly fit me, until I realized that my type of creativity comes from within me and it’s who I am. I have found that things that do not flow with how I am, have a tendency to have an effect on my well being. I really like reading this and it definitely gave me a peaceful feeling that I am going to keep doing what I’m doing 🙂

  2. Hey!
    As a musician myself, i totally understand why we should have these thoughts. The “Do you love your art even if others don’t?” section just explains exactly what art is for me. Music is what wants to come out of me, it’s a way that i can express myself when i can’t with words!

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