Friday, September 16, 2011

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ARTIST?

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ARTIST?
What drives you? I keep coming back to this question because it's an important one. I've found that depending on what my answer is, it will sustain and encourage me through times of discouragement, doubt and disappointment.

BEING AN ARTIST CAN BE LONELY

no matter how gregarious some of our personalities are, art making is a solitary activity. We are confronted with blank paper, computer screens or canvas and forced to bring something into being that has never been seen by the world, or us before. No one can tell us how to do this, we alone must bring it into being, and that requires intense introspection, experimentation and isolation. During these times of loneliness the question of why I'm doing this keeps haunting me...here are a few of my answers and perhaps some of yours

FINANCE
I've grown accustomed to having food in my refrigerator, clothes on my back,and a roof over my head. On a very basic level, I make art to survive, literally. I continue to work because there is that fear that concern that if I stop I will cold,hungry and naked. Fear becomes my companion, motivator that I cannot stop doing what I am doing to maintain my lifestyle. And yet Finance and Fear can't drive me alone, because then I will come to resent my work.

EGO

I absolutely LOVE to be recognized for what I've done. It's a tremendous ego boost. I recall going to a NCN Caricature convention, and overhearing people I didn't know whisper, "that's HIM, that's SUBWAYSURFER!" I was flattered. It was an indication that my peers respected me, recognized me. Just this week I received a phone call from a FACEBOOK fan who thanked me for influencing him! He went on to tell me how he had been following me and read everything I'd written, viewed all my videos and downloaded my printed materials. I'm overjoyed by this. I work hard in not letting ego rule me, that would be arrogant, but I do admit that since I know people are viewing my work, I am motivated to always do my best.

As a professional caricature entertainer my work, by it's very nature is under immediate scrutiny since it's created right there in front of a crowd. Drawing live and being congratulated and applauded publicly has built up my ego and self esteem substantially.

LOVE

I decided to save the best for last.
LOVE. Before there was money coming in for doing my art, before there was anyone to congratulate me, or hang it kn their refrigerator door, there was the pure love of just doing it. There is an indescribable pleasure in drawing a line, creating composition, bringing to life something that I see in my head, being able to personify feelings. Like most artists, I started in childhood, and was a"good kid" mostly because I would entertain and quiet myself for hours on end just by doing art.
I would do it even if I wasn't paid a single dollar on recording a single handclap. It's who I am, my own personal pleasure. To steal a line from the character in the movie Chariots Of Fire, "God made me an ARTIST! And when I draw, I can feel his pleasure!"

For me, art is a form of worship, a form of appreciation to the God who made me.

These are the things that keep me going. How about you?

4 comments:

Keni said...

Great article SubwaySurfer. You expressed well why we who are artists do what we do. I'm really glad youre making money with your art. I'm not surprised though. You're really good.

Keni Arts

Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling said...

I'm nit doing anything special. You can make money too. In fact I've written books that show you how

http://subwaysurfer.blogspot.com/p/shop-att-subwaysurfer-store.html

Boomer Bill said...

Nice thoughts, Elgin. You are a good man.

RAA: Writers Group said...

I'd like to try this art thing you speak of, but I just don't know...

Money for art! Sounds highly speculative. I think I'll start by sketching things on the inside of match covers and work my way up from there.

Keep on posting Elgin!

--Tom