“The Starving Artist Myth”

from PM Shore

It seems that almost every time someone talks about artists as a group, they invariably refer to us as “starving artists.” To me, this has become a pejorative phrase. It brings to mind garish television ads for copy-art in cheap frames to “fit above the couch.” It is demeaning and devalues true original art.

Perhaps, if we had gotten degrees in science or business or our incredible talents lay in the world of sports or popular entertainment, the remuneration for our efforts would be greater. But, athletic careers are often short and those engaged in business or science are often at the command of others, working in a competitive, corporate, and unfulfilling environment.

Most artists are driven to do art and as such, many also choose to live an “artful lifestyle.” We may have less – but, what we have is beautiful and loved. Instead of commuting, we take walks in the park, take time to read, get up with the sun to study the light. We don’t have closets full of clothes, but those that we have are comfortable, appealing, and sometimes designed or woven by a friend.

The walls of our homes are covered with art. Our rooms are filled with happy, relaxed friends we admire. We may not have a lot of money in the bank, but we’re not in debt either. (Who’s going to give us a loan?)

Art enhances our lives and with the support of an enlightened community many of us do well. Others of us may live on a tight budget, but with the joy of creating and doing what you love . . . starving artists? Not hardly.

Many artists live to and produce their best work at an advanced age. Not many wish to retire. At times we can be sought out, admired, praised, and honored. Our work brings pleasure and joy to many. Come join us in our studios and see first hand the rich and varied lives we lead.