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Doc Ray Art Blog

Art and Life

by artdawg , July 30, 2009—12:52 PM

Topics: Paint, art, artist, artists, craft, create, creators, life, living, painting

I often comtemplate the relationship between art, life and being an artist, making a living, and surviving as a professional working artist.

Does one have to sell themselves, so to speak in order to make it successfully as an artist?

I find that it is a very thin line, a tight rope - if you will - that we as artists must walk, when it comes to fulfilling our need to create and making a living as an artist.

I have pursued and practiced my craft for more decades than I care to remember now, and often find myself wondering why some so called "artists" make it and others do not. Did they sell out?

I believe you must first stay true to yourself and your art, your higher calling as an artist, a creator, an artisan - if you do not then all that you do with your art, will never satisfy your most inner desires as an artist.

I have painted for others and not been satisfied, finding that they do not have the same "want to and need to" I have about my art. When I create art for others - often times they do not have the same understanding of the creative process - that we as artists/creators have... I find this inherent trait in all artists I have met over the years, that burning desire we all share - to create our art.

I have painted for myself - my need and want - finding peace, fulfillment, satisfaction and completion with my art, my life and my work.

Create for yourself first - everything else is second.




  Caroline Henry ( homepage )

08/01/2009 * 21:00:49

Two artists. Both real people. One sells nothing. His painting are very good. He does give some away. He has a detached garage that is packed with paintings.

The other paints nothing without a commission in hand. This keeps him fully occupied. It is the way he likes to work.

Has either sold out? Or are both true to exactly who they are?


  Mary Lawler ( homepage )

07/31/2009 * 12:09:20

There is a difference between selling yourself and selling out yourself. One is promoting you, as an artist, in tandem with your work. The artist is sometimes more popular than the work itself, but however it's divided, the artist and the work must be given equal attention when it comes to marketing.
Some artists make a great living painting what's hot, currently collected, or requested. I don't have a problem with that, if the work is good and they are happy then great!
If an artists paints solely for themselves and their own creative fulfillment, that is an enviable position that is often accompanied by disappointment when their work doesn't sell.Each artist must strive for the balance that feels right for them.


  José Carrilho ( homepage )

07/30/2009 * 14:57:15


Although I believe that nowadays a good marketing and sometimes even branding is necessary, I find utterly important to present to the public an artwork of good quality.
Of course that we know that having the right connexions helps alot and unfortunately is often decisive, but when an artist is good, he/she will have a public and buyers, be it from a gallery, a website, or word of mouth.
I'm a believer of the expression "quality sells".

Have a nice weekend,


P.S. But don't forget the marketing

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