May
12
2010

Art Careers by Chris Cudworth


Career and art do not seem to go in the same sentence for most people. I get asked what I do for a living and I answer"“I am a professional artist." If you are an artist, chances are you will hear "I can't draw" or "I cannot draw a stickfigure." If I were a mechanic instead, the first response would be "Where do you work." Why is this? Are artists some mysterious unemployed lot? Do we have stigma as being untouchable? Art has had to fend off the media splash of being "Controversial" in the 80s and has had backlash since. I find there are many who seem to really love art but have not stepped into a gallery in years ….. or ever.

This is such a big question for me, why do people who do not consider themselves artists feel this way?
It brings me back to running themes within the art community: where does one go with a degree in the arts? How do you market your art when you get out of school? What is the definitive of an art community? I think community is the biggest key to why the general public is removed. Unavailable and often frustrated, artists need a community like everyone else.
Lets face it, we live in a very commercial and product driven society. Unless you live on an isolated island, this world revolves on research driven pre-selected demographics and spoon-fed advertising. Artists who are involved in advertising usually promote whichever client they are catering to, not art in general. Why is this important?
Despite art generating billions for advertising, usually promoting the very thing that drives the product is not what ads are driven by. There may be demographics for "Arts lost," "Art programs needed," but loosely generated ideas that cater only to flashy headlines. Visual art is part of an entertainment genre and has held fast to traditions of a society that had free time to spend. Time constraints and skewed thoughts about art from the media has poisoned the well that so many artists took for granted and drank deeply from.
We need to use the sources that communicate for us. Mainstream media, internet and finally, relationships with people makes art a forefront. Letting people know that a great day out can mean they can relax and love and hate different art with the freedom to do so.
That even if they cannot make "Perfect art" what really is perfect art?
Who are they competing with? Do they need to compete and have a constantly flowing wellspring of creativity to make art? No. They just need to know that art, is truly for everyone. Relaxation or pursuit, artists, in general, must accept all levels and be patient with those who wish to be a part of a vibrant movement.
Get a group, have some coffee, and dispel some myths about art. Grassroots can become a healthy lawn if those who for wish change just tend it!

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