Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Truth About My Art...

"I think it's amazing that you make your living as an artist."

I cringe a little when I hear those words.  I am an artist - that much is true.  But...the rest of the  truth is that I don't "make a living" making art.  I am not a successful artist, at least not in the way you think I am.

The truth is that I have two part-time day jobs - one as a paralegal, and the other as a research assistant. Neither pays me a glamorous amount of money but they are in subject areas that matter to me and to which I am happy to give my time.

The truth is that because of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues I manage to work about 25 hours a week total. And that most months I make just enough to cover my bills. And this year most months I've actually ended up in the hole.

The truth is that my art barely pays for itself. I don't generally make any money after studio fees, gas, teaching insurance, and all the other things that go along with creating and teaching.  I hope to change that, but the truth is (again) that when faced with marketing a class/show, or doing what I need to stay out of The Wallow – wallow prevention wins.  It has to...

The truth is that the small amount a few faithful Patreon subscribers send me each month has been my grocery and cat food money more than once.  I can’t express how grateful I am for all three of them (yup, there are only three). 

The truth is that I write about my art, talk about my art, share pictures of my art, A LOT because it is my art that keeps me from falling completely into a pit of depression and despair. And maybe because I write a lot about it so much and share it so much people assume I must be making a living at it...

The truth is my art is like air to me.  Without it I'm not sure what I'd do...

The truth is that art has saved my life more than once - just as being able to write is giving me this outlet right now – it has given me a place to put my feelings.  To express things I can’t express anywhere else or by any other means.  

It is in this way that I am a successful artist.

And I am successful at a few other things. 

I am successful at is sharing myself honestly. 

I am successful at providing spaces for those who want to explore.

I am successful at making art the moves people.  That speaks to them in some way. 

I am successful at connecting people. 

I am successful at keeping my head above water though I don’t always understand how. 

I must be successful at being alive because I’m still here.

I am becoming more and more successful at doing the work to heal myself.  And  I do believe that one day, I will be together enough that I will be a more conventionally successful artist.  

Right now my most important creation is myself.  


If you'd like to support my work and my healing journey, please considering joining my Patreon Page:  Joie Grandbois-Creatrix  --  Thank you. 


1 comment:

  1. thank you for expressing this. I try to live by my art but most of the time i just fix stuff.