Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have been a professional artist for around 20 years. It sounds romantic doesn't it? But I think every month I have a near mental crisis over what it means to be an artist.

I have two young boys who I adore, I am madly in love with my husband, (who is incredibly supportive of my artistic desires). However, this life with a family as at odds sometimes with my art. You see most of the artists who achieve the success I long for, sacrifice relationships, and much more to achieve that success.

Some days I don't know how to get started. I want to work on so many projects, many are speculative and don't pay. Or at least haven't born fruit yet. Then there is the marketing and the business stuff I NEED to do, but don't. There is the bread and butter work that pays the bills, but isn't always the creative work I want. As a mom I have obligations too. I am the Art Literacy coordinator at my son's school. I value that job. I have grocery shopping to do. Phone calls to make. Some days it is a struggle to prioritize. I work late at night a lot. The kids are sleeping. My husband is reading or watching sports. I get conflicted because I want to spend time with my husband at night too. Yet often I draw, draw and draw.

As much as I love my art and my goals as an artist, art breaks my heart all the time. Disappointment from the letters of acceptance that haven't arrived yet, to the art that is well loved but still hasn't sold. Being an artist is both liberating and soul wrenching. I know I can never do anything else, because being an artist isn't really a choice. Being an artist is WHO I am. I love working from home, researching what I want to create then spending hours creating. The business aspect is not fun. Balancing my artistic life with the people I love is the biggest challenge. Yet having both my art and my family is the biggest reward.

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