The Enemy Within: the Struggle of an Artist
We all hope that there is a niche or place for our work
Are you an artist? I am and I know many of them. There are some things you may not know: like no matter how much you love what you do as an artist, it doesn’t mean that there is a niche or place for your work. It also doesn’t mean that there isn’t. I have had many struggles and joys as an artist and trying to get my art out “there.” There is still so much more that I can learn, but here are some helpful pointers/tips for those just starting out.
A large struggle with being an artist is that almost every other person is one, which is both awesome and not-so-awesome. Personally, I feel like I have met and know quite a few!
A thriving artist community means that there are many talented people and so much stuff being created; so many beautiful things, so many different styles. Anything from drawing, singing, writing, composing, mixing, painting, sewing, photography, and anything in between, it is absolutely amazing what people can put together. I am told that I am at times a part of this community, which is both humbling and wonderful.
These same reasons can also be used to argue that being an artist is a struggle. Everyone knows more than one artist, and more than one of each kind. If people like what you do they will tell you, some might even hang your work, but most of the time people won’t pay for it. And with our growing global communities sharing, imitating, and re-creating each other, this can be a huge challenge. It seems buying art is a selective and/or dying process.
What have I tried?
I have been doing art for a pretty long time, over 20 years. I have taken art classes and just “doodled” on my own. I have entered my work in contests and just given it away. I find that I always manage to talk to or communicate with people in the art community after an art “show” has happened and by the time the next one has come they have forgotten about me, as an artist. I try to also keep tabs on these people, but sometimes that thing called life just gets in the way and I loose track as well. In the last two years I have set myself up on various web pages and tried to get hits for making money. It is a slow process, but at least it’s out there.
What do I do as an artist?
Personally, I draw and my medium is pencil. I have been told I could and should sell my work but find that though people like it they are rarely able or willing to pay for it. So then, what do I do differently? I don’t. I draw because I love to draw and when inspiration hits I really enjoy the process. I’m not always certain of the outcome but the journey is worth it and if I’m the only one that enjoys my work, well then, that is all that really matters. Oh yes and writing can now be counted as one of my artistic pursuits, along with photography.
What style is my art?
Hmmm, well I’m really not sure. I’ve had people tell me that I have a style, but no one has yet found the name of it. I enjoy drawing animals mostly. I am pretty good at cartoons. I have some original work as well as recreations of work that have inspired my own touches. I’ve just recently been dabbling with portraits.
So what else can an artist do to at least get their stuff out there? Well from what I’ve found so far there are many options. Here’s a couple of ways that I have tried.
These are places that I have personally tried or know someone who has:
Facebook, Etsy, Deviant Art, Paintings I Love, Soundcloud, Flickr, blogging, making your own website.
The things I caution about putting your work out there online is that you will need patience and more patience. People will look at your work and they may “like” it but that doesn’t mean that they will pay for it and there is always the chance that they will plagiarize it. Just remember that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. No matter what, though, your work is out there and as long as you love it that is the most important thing. Love your own work and others will follow!
Honestly I haven’t had much luck in this regard either, but the more people you talk to the better your chances are.
Talk to your local farmer’s markets or festivals and see about renting a table, talk and show your work to all your friends and family, you never know who-knows-who unless you ask.
There are so many options which are both amazing and challenging, just like everything else about being an artist!
I like supporting artists when I can, I am just looking for the same thing. Here are some you should definitely check out!
Artists I know/support:
Katrina Hiebert (Me) – drawer & writer
Julieann St-Onge – painter, writer, poet, artist
Kerry Berndt (AKA Beatmedic) – DJ –
Jon Sinfonik – DJ
Len Keith Fisher – Photographer
Keith Medley – Musician
Flashpoint Custom Design Studio & Tattoo
Chris Charlesworth – Photographer
See More From Katrina Here
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