Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Rich Artist

Last month, I reprinted a bunch of my early Self Employment for Bohemians stuff. Those pieces contain piles of valuable nuts & bolts information about getting started in self employment, a subject near and dear to my insubordinate, anti-hierarchy, anti-authority heart.

Right now, however, it's time to return to the lyrical, poetic side of Self Employment for Bohemians. Why did I want to work for myself in the first place? What is my motivation to be self employed? It's all about control of your time, baby. I'm an artist. What does an artist need? TIME! Time to make art. So, here I reprint a piece wherein I define success for the self employed artist:

What defines success as an artist? Money? Groupies? Perhaps fancy cars, vacations, houses, etc.? Nope, not even close, none of the above.

From the start, I’ve always paid myself generously in the commodity that an artist values above all others: Time. Plain and simple, success as an artist is defined as ample time to make art.

Yes, we are assuming that you have a roof over your head, and food to eat. Whatever scrambling you have to do to make that happen, do it as efficiently as possible with no waste—no wasted time that is!

What does an artist do? Make art. An artist, I believe, should be less concerned with their end product, and more concerned with process. Engage in the process, and you improve technically, you get real darn good at your craft. Engage in the process, and your muse finds a way to sneak boatloads of good ideas in the back door in the dead of the night. And what does a body need in plentiful supply to engage in the process of making art? Time!

The art life is not about ending up with pretty pictures. Or sculptures, films, songs, drawings, comics, whatever. It’s about the process of creating all that stuff; the journey itself, the illumination, the epiphanies encountered along the way are the true rewards.

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