Years ago, I realized that being an artist was very much like becoming a professional skydiver. You need to be a little crazy in the head. To be an artist is to truly throw caution to the wind and throw yourself, body and soul, into the unknown hoping your parachute will open just in time before you hit the ground. While others are surrounded by stable income and children and predictable lives, artists live in unstable and often highly stressful environments, never knowing what is around the corner.
What does being an artist mean? It means that every day your art is your main focus. This often creates problems because art does not always pay the bills, especially in the beginning of a career. At the beginning, artists often want to give up because it is very difficult to pay bills and make art the center of focus. What happens in most cases is that the need for stable income eventually overrides peoples’ dreams, and art dies under tough modern realities and that is a sad moment.
An artist, like a sky diver, must not be afraid of heights. The career of an artist can be a rollar coaster ride not suitable for those with sensitive stomachs. There are high moments and low moments, and an artist must be able to stay calm and confident throughout the emotional ups and downs. If you want to make art your life, make sure you have a strong stomach and that you are immune to criticism. Without a hard stomach and thick skin, your journey will not last long.
The artists that make it big are those who make many sacrifices throughout their lives. When you are willing to make big sacrifices for something that you love, like art, the universe conspires to help you realize your dreams. If you think success will fall from the sky, then you are in for a surprise because as Aesop said, “The gods help them who help themselves”.
Skydivers and artists share the same thirst for adventure and adrenaline but not everyone is made for such an exhilerating life…