Pursuing an authentic career in the fine arts is possibly the most challenging thing a person can do. You must battle self-doubt, back-biting from other artists, and an entire art establishment that is more interested in maintaining the same themes and ideas over cultivating new talent and out of the box mediums. Then you have a public that may or may not know or even care about art. Art is Monet and Van Gogh, not John R. Doe or Jane Q. Then you have the mass marketing of cookie cutter art work via your Targets and Walmarts and such. What chance does the artist of the 20th and 21st century have. How do you get seen in an ocean of many?
Too many would be artist give up because the struggle is so immense. You don’t make money, people don’t understand what the hell you are doing or even why you are doing it, and they often wonder why you don’t get “meaningful” employment. Most people don’t see art as the reflection of life or culture, the pictorial journal of a journey, the dance of brushstrokes, the message in the movement. It is just some paint on a canvas and it doesn’t mean anything. That is quite the wall the get over.
However, that is why so many continue on. We have something to express, to say. We are working through our issues on the canvas, behind the lens, in the clay. The call to the arts is a calling like no other. You can’t just turn “it” off and be “normal.” You base your value on how many people see your work, how many people buy your work. You base your value on whether or not you get the museum show or a write in an art magazine or journal. If you don’t get any of the outside validation you need, then how do you know what your value is? Even if you determine your own value, how do you get others to see your value?