A state of mind
The ability to hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time.
Sharon commented after my last post about art as a “proper” job. I was going to answer her with another comment, but actually feel it is worth more space…
I know I have discussed this before, on this and other people’s blogs… but I do think it worth revisiting when circumstances change, or you see things from a different perspective.
Is being an artist a vocation?
A state of mind?
I have an art teaching job, but it doesn’t feel like a vocation, just a job where I can wear what I like and keep my hands dirty.
I know that other people feel very strongly that art teaching is a vocation
I know other people who feel that earning a living as an artist is a vocation
For me… it is a state of mind… I am perhaps very fortunate to have the job I have, where I can teach art, yet in doesn’t impinge too much on my own creativity, as I only do it part time, and as I teach in primary, not secondary school, I don’t have the whole exam scenario to deal with.
A state of mind then.
If I was stacking shelves, driving a van, sweeping streets, cleaning toilets, crunching numbers (god forbid!) or shuffling paper around an office, I would STILL be an artist.
So is this where the cognitive dissonance sets in… should I be paid for having a state of mind?
I believe artists should be paid
I believe artists can’t be paid.
I am who I am, my ideas exist whether someone pays me for them or not, I make them, whether somebody pays me or not.
But I work hard at this, so I deserve a decent wage. But where from? Who from?
If someone wants my services as an artist, they should definitely pay me a decent rate of pay, everyone deserves that don’t they? Absolutely.
But they are not paying me to be an artist really, they are paying me, usually, for something slightly different… they pay me to present my work in a particular way… they pay me to engage the public with my work… they are paying me to lend them my work to display… or they are paying me to teach or share my skills and ideas with others.
If they were paying me to be an artist I would pick the cheque up, and stay here playing with bits of fabric and scissors and scribbling in my sketch book and thinking hard into the wee small hours till I fall asleep in the chair and wake up at 4:37 with a crick in my neck.