I recently received an email asking for advice on how one quits their day job and starts an independent career in art. It’s a question I get from time to time, and I thought I’d take a moment today and give some advice to people who are thinking about it.
I don’t know if I believe in Fate, but I do know when the universe is nudging me in a certain direction. While thinking about today’s blog post for EBSQ I stumbled upon two things: a wonderful calligraphy message from illustrator and designer Fathima Kathrada and a quote by Seth Godin.
Of course it’s difficult…
Students choose to attend expensive colleges but don’t major in engineering because the courses are killer.
Doing more than the customary amount of customer service is expensive, time-consuming and hard to sustain.
Raising money for short-term urgent projects is easier than finding support for the long, difficult work of changing the culture and the infrastructure.
Finding a new path up the mountain is far more difficult than hiring a sherpa and following the tried and true path. Of course it is. That’s precisely why it’s scarce and valuable.
The word economy comes from the Greek word for scarcity. The only things that are scarce in the world of connection and services and the net are the things that are difficult, and the only things that are valuable are the things that are scarce. When we intentionally seek out the difficult tasks, we’re much more likely to actually create value.
Both messages essentially say the same thing. Be you. Be unique. I think we all need to be reminded of this from time to time, but artists especially. We are surrounded by other amazing artists and all of us at one time or another have thought, I want to paint like that! But if you want to stand out–make a mark for yourself–you need to be unique. You need to be you.
2. Inspiration: EBSQ’s Sherry Key shared a link to Danish artist, Lise Meijer, blog post on how to get unstuck. Her #1 one way is the same as mine: ‘move the body.’ Going for a walk or anything that takes me out of the studio and gets the blood flowing is my best fix for any problem I’m having a with a painting.
3. Artist Guide: Muddy Colors has an excellent post by Greg Ruth titled, The Art and the Artist. The article is a guide for how we present ourselves as creators in this digital age–our online and offline presence and actions.
4. Exhibits: It won’t be long till the calendar turns over and we are November. Now is the time to start plannings for the November Exhibits at EBSQ. Coming up we have Airships (Zeppelins to Steampunk) and Naked Trees.
1. Harvest on Hold by CES is this week’s featured art from the EBSQ home page! Every Friday I browse the new art and choose one for this blog post. If you want to be featured here, keep creating, keep sharing!
1. This week’s featured Friday artist is Natasha Wescoat and her magical siren painting, A Little Birdy Told Me.
2. The Art of Copying – a history, a business, and a tool. This is an excellent blog post from Dinotopia creator James Gurney.
3. This week I want to invite my fellow artists to take a look at a Kickstarter campaign – Pictures at an Exhibition. Even $1 will help, but if you can’t donate to the campaign can you share it with a few friends? This is a fusion of Art and Music:
Join us on an adventure as a young woman journeys through the art that inspired Mussorgsky’s classic Pictures at an Exhibition!
If you haven’t done a Ripped show in the past, here’s how it works: you pair up with a fellow EBSQ Artist, and go through their portfolio and “rip off” their artwork. It can be one piece or a combination, or your interpretation of their work, ideas, medium, and technique. We invite you to check out past years’ exhibits to get an idea of the sort of things you can do. You MUST pair up with someone from EBSQ. Rip-Offs of non-EBSQ art, like redoing the Mona Lisa or ripping off Picasso, are NOT allowable for this show.
So, go ahead and pair up! If you’d like assistance looking for a partner, sign up in the EBSQ Forums or on our Facebook Page. Feel free to contact someone privately and see if they’d like to partner with you. The artist whose work is being ripped doesn’t have to rip off your work in return, but they do need to consent to their work being a springboard for your own.
1. Vibrant colors and wet petals after a rain is what comes to mind when I look at Ulrike Martin’s latest watercolor painting, Abstract Flowers. It’s a beautiful time of year here in the Northern Hemisphere.
3. Storybird: A New Opportunity for Illustrators – This looks interesting! Kelley McMorris writes, “Storybird users can make books for free by selecting illustrations from the site’s library, then writing accompanying stories.” If the writer purchases their book, the artists get a percentage.