This blog is now connected to a twitter account, a FaceBook page and two websites. At a time when it is accessible to many more people, readership is down this week. That is because I have not written anything new in a week.
It is an uncomfortable connection between art and business/marketing that seems to dog artists. An artist just wants to make art all the time. If it is writing, if it is painting, singing, playing an instrument or ventriloquating, that is what the artist wants to be busy doing. Unfortunately to have the time to do the art the artist must support himself with the art. That requires a commitment to gather an audience who will in some way help pay for the art. Time spent gathering an audience is time spent away from the art. Too much time spent away from making art to gather an audience to pay for the art, causes the art to suffer from abandonment. This makes it more difficult to make better art to attract more of an audience to help the artist contine to make the art. An artist can find himself chasing his tail in pursuit of an audience for a product that he does not have the time to produce.
It seems to be a fact for anyone who does not work a traditional job, and there is no clear solution to fix it. Rarely is the best artist the most popular artist. If they are spending time doing the things to become popular they are not doing the things to perfect their art. There are cases when the artist finds a connection to a partner or guide who will promote the art to pay for the artist to continue to do what the artist does best. There are also artists who care nothing about popularity and will starve rather than take time away from making art. The art world is full of artist who are celebrated after they are dead but impoverished while they are alive. Mozart and VanGough to name only a couple.
I tend to be of the mind that to create and make art is my job, popularity is not, although media would have you believe that popularity is prosperity. Too many people seem to be willing to exchange their happiness for popularity, assuming that popularity will replace their lost happiness. Or people buy into the myth that popularity brings money and money can buy happiness. These ideas rarely work out that way.
As a little girl my goddaughter stood at Disneyland's "Snow White wishing well" with a penny. She thought long and hard about the wish she would make as she threw the penny into the deep well. She was all smiles as her Mother asked her what she had wished for. Still glowing with the anticipation she said excitedly, " I wished for a penny."
I don't know what all of this means exactly. For me it means that I need spend time writing better blogs. Who reads them is not really within my control. I will hold to the philosophy that art is its own reward. A bird doesn't get paid to sing, it just sings. A flower doesn't get a salary for modeling, it is just being beautiful.
I ain't no flower and I don't sing like a bird, but I think what I am supposed to be doing is what I am driven to do. I think the Universe will provide for the continuation of that passion.
As you were,