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The Myth of the Starving Artist Part 2

The Myth of the Starving Artist Part 2

In Part 2, let me address the issue of the artists who insist that starving is the only way to be a “real” artist.

Let me clarify that by no means do I believe that all art is pure commodity; rather my argument here is geared toward those who dream of making a living with their art, but are holding themselves back through their limiting beliefs about money, selling, success, business, etc.

I’ve heard friends say, “Well, you know, I’m an artist, so I don’t buy into ‘The System’” or, “I haven’t even thought about how much money I could make with my art” or “Real artists don’t care about money.”

These statements leave me feeling sad and frustrated for all artists. In my pursuit of the Art of Coaching I have had to learn that in order to be perceived as valuable by potential clients, I need to deeply understand my own value. What I offer as a Coach is not so different from what many offer through their creative pursuits: I help people come to understand themselves better through my art; I challenge accepted norms in peoples’ lives and encourage them to open up to a different perspective.

If I believe that my art is somehow “above” monetary value, I only distance myself from the people I want to serve. If I do not come to deeply know the value of what I create then what, exactly, am I offering? And who will buy it? How could I possibly make a living from this mindset?

I posit that this type of thinking can be dangerous: it becomes an excuse for not making art. When we prevent ourselves from earning income with our art by refusing to attach a monetary value to it, the process of making art becomes more and more difficult. We end up not having the money to purchase supplies; we take on jobs working for others, thus limiting our time to make art. It can become a downward spiral where we simply reinforce the Myth – that we can’t make a living doing what we love. We end up not making our art, not contributing to the world in the ways we know we can. We remain frustrated and stuck, dreaming of a life we want, but believing we can never have it.

What would it take for you to value your contributions, skills and genius? What if you chose to put a number on that value so that you could make a living? How would it feel to tackle your relationship with money; empower yourself to learn more about what it takes to make a Creative Business work for you?

Don’t give in to the Myth of the Starving Artist and try to convince yourself that art is “superior” to actually making a living. If you’re not fully living (with all your basic needs met) then what becomes of your art?

I work with artists who choose to value themselves, who value their work and their contributions. I support artists who have a passion to make the world a better place through their art. Those artists who are courageous enough to choose to face their own demons, who learn to love and value themselves, those who step into abundance and birth their gifts into this world which so desperately needs them.

If you are an artist who is ready to prove wrong all the people who’ve said “that’s nice but it’s not a real job”, I want to work with you. I want to coach you to create the life you dream of. You deserve it. All artists deserve to become full on the abundance life has to offer them. All artists deserve to make a living doing what they love, what they do best.

I invite you to choose your reality, not the myth.

Shattering Myths

Shattering Myths

Part 1: The Myth of the Starving Artist

What’s worse: that our cultural mythology tells us that if you choose the path of being an artist, you won’t make enough money to live on? Or, that there are artists who actually perpetuate this myth by believing that making money with their art is somehow less noble, less worthy, than starving?

This is the paradox of the myth of the Starving Artist. I don’t know about you, but I’m frankly sick of it. I think it’s high time we busted through.

First, I want to reiterate a message that I am passionate about: Everyone is Creative. While not all Creatives are fine artists, all Artists are Creative. Remembering that we are all Creative, whether we are painters, poets, actors, musicians, teachers, coaches, accountants, engineers, scientists is extremely important to busting the myths which abound regarding Art and Creativity.

When we embrace everyone as Creative, it becomes more difficult to give in to feelings of separation or superiority around our creativity. It’s no longer necessary to believe that we have to hold ourselves to a different, more painful, standard.

Second, I want to address the fact that there are quite a large number of artists of all stripes who are doing their art AND not starving.

Real life example: My friends Chris and Victoria Jordan come to mind. When I met Chris & Victoria, they were both still working full-time jobs in the law industry. Chris was a lawyer and Victoria was a paralegal. Not typically jobs you would consider “creative” or “artistic”. (I imagine that there are some pretty creative lawyers out there, though!)

Shortly after I came to know them, they each quit their legal careers to pursue their creative and artistic passions. Now, this road was not necessarily an easy one and I am sure there were those among their peers who didn’t understand their choices. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were told: “you can’t make a living doing that”.

Less than 10 years after quitting his career as a lawyer, Chris Jordan has come into his own as an internationally renowned, talented and passionate photographer and environmentalist. His wife Victoria is a poet who assists Chris not only by writing poems which compliment his work, but also publishing in her own right. They are not starving. In fact, they are invited to travel all over the world because of their art.

What I have noticed about Chris and Victoria is that they love what they do, are passionate about it, but are practical enough in the application of their creativity to be able to make a living doing it.

Check out Chris Jordan’s work here: http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#CF000313%2018×24

An example of Victoria Sloan-Jordan’s poetry can be found here: http://www.midwayjourney.com/2010/07/16/midway-journey-ii-kaleidoscope-a-poem-by-victoria-sloan-jordan/

What would become possible for your Creative self if you stopped believing that myth of the Starving Artist? Will you finally let yourself pursue your Creative Dream?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Myth of the Starving Artist…