I am assuming you are asking the question, pros and cons of being an artist. Pros, creativity, individuality, self expression. Cons, it's a struggle, finding work, and getting paid. The roll of the artist is highly romanticized one, so before you start you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Am I willing to sacrifice everything? You may find the struggling artist is only all too real. When I started my art career, struggle was all I knew. Food was a luxury, even riding the bus to get to galleries and potential clients was a treat. Trying to break into the art world was like banging my head against a brick wall. It took time, slowly I met people, found a gallery where I could work part time and show my work. It took several years, so be prepared. You can do it. Can you handle constant criticism and rejection, when you start, that is at best, all you will get. If you can handle these things, then, yes, be an artist! You will manage your own time, be able to do what you love, express yourself creatively, meet people, go places and see things in a way others do not. Artists have a unique view of the world, you will need to be passionate, even emotional about what you do. One means I found to make use of emotional response while working on very spiritual paintings was to use my tears in my paintings. When working on depictions of water, I would wet small areas of the page as I cried, (painting water always makes me cry, don't know why) the way the paint them combined and bled into the liquid created the most beautiful feather like patters. The point here is, creativity can be draining, exhilarating, emotional, you will need to find ways to harness and use that energy in a positive way and avoid things that are self destructive. Discipline, hard work, commitment and a willingness to expose your soul to the world will be required. Years ago I saw a Play called "Stieglitz loves O'Keefe" I do not remember who wrote the play or the performers, even the theatre, it was in Seattle somewhere. In the play there is a line O'Keefe says, the gist of which has stuck with me for life. "Being an artist is like reaching deep inside myself, pulling out my guts, and screaming, for all the world to see, this is who I am". All that said, Being an artist is an amazing thing, for those of us who are, the pros far out weigh the cons, we have a message, a purpose and a passion few others can understand, and the luxury to be who we really are. I do not want you to be discouraged, but to realize, it is a life long commitment to being honest with yourself and standing up to the world and proclaiming without fear, "This is who I am"! That is the greatest pro of them all. If you choose to follow art, the worst thing that might happen is you will find it is not for you. If you don't give it a try, however, you will always ask yourself, "What if I had been an artist"? Life should have no regrets so always have a back up plan.
Nathan recommends the following next steps:
- Think long and hard, am I willing to sacrifice, struggle and be true to myself? It's not an option. Write down your thoughts so you can go back to them and see what you have been thinking.
- What are my long term goals, happiness, fame, wealth, something else? You need to have a goal, not for next week, next year, but for life. What do you want to accomplish, who do you want to be, what do you want to leave behind as your artistic legacy? Be honest, write your thoughts down, they will evolve and change as you gain experience, but at some point they will solidify and you will have the record to review and guide you until that point.
- Meet other artists, talk with them, what has been their experience, learn how they got started and take advice and counsel from them. The information they can provide will guide you to understanding if being an artist is for you.