I work with a guy who talks a lot. Today he was talking to me about his experiences playing in various punk bands in LA and he asked “You know what the worst thing about being an artist is?” I said that I did since I am an artist and, even though I didn’t have an answer ready, I figured I had to have experienced the worst part of it at some point. He also wasn’t about to listen to anything I had to say. “The worst part about being an artist is doing work and not getting paid for it” he said.
I disagree with him, but in order to argue with him I felt like I had to come up with what I actually think the worst part about being an artist is. I couldn’t come up with anything. I know it’s not all bliss but, what’s the worst part?
Sure, I’d like to get paid for my work but I do it even though I don’t get paid. I almost said that the worst part is when people think your work is bad simply because they can’t figure it out, however I’ve done LOTS of pieces where I wanted the audience to be confused. I’ve done some where I honestly wanted them to hate it. It was my desired reaction.
It’s not the amount of work that it takes to be an artist because you only have to do as much work as you feel like doing. If you don’t want to do it you don’t have to. (especially if your not getting paid)
When I posed the question to a friend of mine he said that the worst part about being an artist would be to do something that gets no reaction. There’s a lot of truth to that. Granted, I think most artists have done work that they never intended to show to others, but when you do open your work up to someone I think it’s safe to say that every artist wants at least some reaction. What do you all think? E mail me if you’ve got any ideas. I’ll post what people think