I am now going to make up some definitions to some annoyingly vague words for my own satisfaction.
Artist: Due to the immediate correlation to jaded dead people like Dali, Van Gogh, Pollock, Warhol, etc; this word automatically describes a nonsensical combination of a extremely successful, tragic, self sacrificing visionary. This idol trusts themselves completely and (if alive today) somehow has an agent to do all the annoying parts of selling art so that they can focus on their genius. Oh, and they have time to always be partying because art isn’t time consuming.
Maker: A curious and flawed human who loves experimenting and working with others.
Emerging Artist: Someone who wants to one day make a living doing art. In other words poor and trying to make ends meet with whatever job will let them create as much as they can in their free time.
Art: Someone rich points to something and says, “I will pay lots of money for that concept”, and other rich people validate their choice.
Handmade: Someone painstakingly made something flawed and yet beautiful and will never get paid enough money for it.
Craft: Magic that is under-appreciated for lack of the ability to efficiently make money.
Affordable Art: I have no damn clue.
If someone does know how to create satisfying affordable art please tell me the secret. I am just another talented creative in a sea of talented creatives trying to figure out how to support myself doing what I love. At this point I have begun to view that idea in the same light as a romantic relationship.
A lot of people (not all! thank god) want to find love aka their special someone. So many people want this to the point that a huge amount of movies, Tv shows, songs, and apps have been dedicated to this idea and making money off this idea. They even made a holiday about it, because why not. It is this bright and shiny concept we are all brought up to want.
I am not exempt from this. The idea of having a partner to help you through life, that you also like hanging out with, laugh with, and have sex with sounds awesome. I am 100% down. But after being in a wonderful loving relationship for about 5 years (which isn’t even that long in the scheme of things) anyone can tell you relationships are hard. Really hard. Without honesty, communication, and compromise they are physically impossible. There will always be days you want to kill the other person and there will be days you can’t believe how lucky you are to have them. It’s just the way it is.
I am trying to find a way to practically apply these principles to the bright and shiny dream of being able to support myself financially doing what I love. I am assuming there has to be a large amount of give and take, vulnerability, and uncertainty but I have no idea how to apply this to something as important as basically funding my survival. The only person who views my creativity as an indispensable resource is me. Mainly because I can’t get away from it and when I have tried I have been miserable.
There is this point I have gotten to where it can’t be about me and me creativity and how to make money solely off of my desire to create and experiment. The same way a relationship can’t just be about me and whatever the hell I want. What I want is definitely important and has to be part of it, or that relationship sucks, but it can’t be the sole driving force, because that relationship also sucks. Where do I practically apply that balance and how? The easiest answer is to see what is trending or needed and try to blend that with what I have/want to offer. But that is A LOT harder than it sounds. I don’t even know what I have to offer. I just know I like to make things and want to keep doing it as much as possible. I don’t even know what I am making half the time.
A part of me really loves the idea that a creative’s survival depends on how steeped they are in a creative community they can cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with. I just wish that if all this theory was true there was a very handy guide book telling me how to do this in a straight forward way. So I am not blundering around making a fool of myself or looking desperate or being stupid/annoying without knowing I am being stupid/annoying. After writing this I just realized I basically just described life.
ANYWHO, here is a list of art I would buy if I literally had any money:
Jennifer Lamontagne’s abstract hoops make my heart hurt.
Justyna Wikidjuewucz 3D Crystal embroidery hoops are a weird combination of both soothing and exciting which makes them mesmerizing.
AHHHH Vanessa Mundle’s illustrations! I want to be the people she draws. The combination of nonchalant elegance and “fuck it” demeanor is delicious.
Anne ten Donkelaar Flower Constructions make me feel like a child. Like a wholesome child who never has to wear shoes or gets cold or feels trapped by circumstance. You know the fictional ideal of a child that we all romanticize.
Julia Jowett. I have no clue what she is doing with her life now but her simple wire collage illustrations make me hear music.
Pippa Dyrlaga’s abstract work. She sees the parts of nature that science hasn’t figured out how to explain.
Stacey Jones’s abstract hoops make me feel like I am flying.
Becca Nicolaides’s stitched illustrations embody the few positive qualities of fashion illustration that I am drawn to. All her art’s facial expression put me on the beach in the sun on a perfect day.
MEGHAN WILLS!!!!!! Oh my Jesus, Lanta, and Mother Mary. MEGHAN WILLS. For me she is the mother of positive female sexuality. The way she uses texture to create movement is mother fucking mind blowing.
Kylie Jenkins has a crazy range but my favorite is her sketches with just blushes of color. They are so visceral they make me want to lick something.
Hilde Atalanta’s Vulva Gallery gives me something I didn’t even know I needed.
Pony Reinhardt. I would just let her draw all over my body. Whatever she wanted. That is how sharply beautiful her work is.
Sneha Shrestha’s graffiti. I don’t even know what to say. Look it up and be transported somewhere endless that you never want to end.
I have no clue how successful any of these creatives are but all I know is that if I had any money I would give it to them. There has to be something helpful in that idea. Creatives helping creatives. I have no clue what it is or how I could help anyone but moving forward as a group instead of just for individual success and glory is a pretty pretty idea.
Featured image Word Association 2019 by Alexis Maria Agbay (me durh).