Life as an artist isn't necessarily a bohemian picturesque life. It's not all rainbows and glamorous showings and bursts of creative genius under rays of sunshine as you rake in the dollars that these moments of enlightenment have created.
Creating can truly be a painful process for the artist. We literally bare our souls and ideas simply to get it out of our heads and hearts. We agonize over the process, the stumbles, the creative blocks. We stare at our creations picking apart what we did wrong, which equates to what is wrong within ourselves. We lie awake at night wondering how to get the ideas in our heads OUT before they drive us to madness.
Have I mentioned that we do all this for free?
We create because of the intrinsic drive to do so. We go through sleepless nights, maddening thoughts, the frustration of creating, because we are driven to do it, and to NOT create is to deny a part of who we are. We HAVE TO CREATE. We give birth to our projects, our writings, our paintings, our sketches - and we cringe inwardly as we push out our creations to the public, all in hopes it will be understood. And in that understanding, we hope that we ourselves are also understood. However, this is usually the result:
We get this question a lot actually. (In the spirit of The Awakenings Project, I actually detest this question. So often, we are defined by what we DO, and not who we ARE.) There are an exceptional amount of artists that are working as baristas, recruiters, waitresses, and so on. Your artist friends are performing a careful balancing act of surviving life and creating their inner visions. Why?
Art doesn't pay the bills. Let's be honest - it's just doesn't. (It could pay off when you die though - so there is that)
We do, however, get exposure. Through the chaos that is living, breathing, paying bills, raising children, working, and creating, we do know that our little creations will be seen - and hopefully - UNDERSTOOD. And, as mentioned before - maybe we ourselves will be understood too. Exposure helps that in so many ways.
I consider myself to be one of the lucky few. Exposure is GREAT for my work because I do indeed have a day job. I have to. I like to eat and so do my children and I make a reasonably good living. In the chaos of creation, there is a delicate balance to ensuring the lives of my children are not impacted by the ebb and flow of my creative process. I will continue to have a day job until the day comes when I don't need it. Will that be achieved through my art? Maybe? Maybe not? My goal with The Awakenings Project has always been to break even financially to honest. I ran a Kickstarter over the summer, and happily broke even on Awakenings II (although the time to get everything finally completed almost killed me with working, parenting, and creating. I'm JUST NOW getting everything done).
As I work through Awakenings III, I'm at a deficit, and will probably continue to be. And that's okay! The result and exposure and the absolute movement of stepping into who we are is priceless and invaluable to me as an artist. We are literally inspiring people across the globe. The tribe that we are creating is a pure force that can change the world. For me, that is enough. We bring our sisters with us as we awaken. It's the most amazing thing I've ever been witness to, and as a woman and an artist, my inner creative visions are being brought to life and it's so fucking humbling. Maybe that makes me a different kind of artist. Who knows? And in the grand scheme of things - I am who I am. I accept my chaos, my sleepless nights, my intrinsic drive to Just. Keep. Going.
What can you do? Appreciate your artist friends and family. Give them support. Give them exposure. Buy their stuff (if you like it). More importantly, talk to us. I promise you, we would love it.