One of the ironies of life is that on the one hand we feel most called to art, and on the other hand we believe our chances of making any money dedicating our life to art are inestimably small. We are often told that medical school, law school, and business school are safer and more prudent paths to a lucrative career. Many of us have bought into the conception of the “starving artist.” Frankly, this conception is complete nonsense.
Our art is our highest expression of ourselves, our reason to exist. Many self-identified artists are under the naïve impression that to be a true artist, there is just one medium in which to do it and just one way to make money from it. If that were the case, Steve Jobs and Apple wouldn’t have existed. Neither would have Elon Musk, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, or so many other influential people throughout history. Medium confusion and inflexibility kill more artists than any other human fallacy.
Let’s say you love to make cartoons. You can really make cartoons. When you make them, you are in bliss. Then the so-called “wise people” tell you that your chances of being a rich and famous cartoonist are less than one in a billion and you give up. Instead you become a doctor or lawyer or CEO. You no longer spend time drawing your cartoons. Rather, you spend time reading patient charts or litigation briefs or financial reports. With all of your personal and professional responsibilities and commitments, life seems to be as good as it will get for you.
Yet you still feel a yearning to continue your art. You think about it sometimes. You light up when you talk to others about it. You still want to do it. To show it. To learn and hone it. To teach it.
So why aren’t you spending some time doing exactly that? If you join Konversai, you could be. Konversai is a great new platform where you can engage in “art” with others around the world—talking art, teaching art, learning art, sharing art. Your art. You can always continue to play with your art while being a doctor, lawyer, homemaker, or whatever your “day job” might be.
If you want to go further and pursue a career in art, then there are also plenty of viable options for making a living. As an artist in the widely connected world, it is wise to be present in a variety of venues, physical and digital.
You can build your unique presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Konversai, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest by creating a profile, posting your work, and following other artists.
If you’re interested in freelancing or taking on temporary gigs, you can create an account on websites such as Thumbtack, Craigslist, Elance, Konversai, and Upwork. Invite your friends, family members, and colleagues to endorse you in whatever way you can be endorsed—they can be your best advocates and allies in helping you get the word out about your art.
Or maybe you don’t need the money. Perhaps you want to donate to charity or give your art away for free. You can do that through Konversai as well.
It is absolutely possible to make a living by doing art. But more importantly, you make a life by doing art. The benefits of doing art seep into our physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. Scientific research points to several of these benefits:
1. Creative Thinking: Art encourages your brain to think in new ways, which aids in the formation of new brain cells and neural connections. These new neural connections enhance your problem-solving skills, which can help you in other aspects of your life, including your day job.
2. Stress Relief: Creating art gives your brain a break from its usual patterns of thinking and requires you to focus on the present moment. When you create art, your body’s levels of cortisol—a stress hormone—decrease. In this sense, art is meditative, helping your mind feel clear and calm.
3. Increased Self-Esteem: Creating art releases dopamine—your brain’s “feel-good neurotransmitter.” Creating art therefore literally makes you feel better. There’s a sense of accomplishment that accompanies creating something of your own, which in turn boosts your motivation and helps ward off negative feelings. You can experience these same feelings by looking at art.
4. Improved Communication: Art is an expression of your innermost thoughts and feelings. The process of creation helps you make sense of these thoughts and feelings, which in turn can improve your communication with others. Creating art also helps you break free of your personal limitations and can help you overcome shyness or insecurity in interacting with others.
Making it big as an artist is no easy task. Rejection and discouragement are very real aspects of the life of an artist, but they are also part of any calling. Get out of the self-adopted limitation of medium. Passion, perseverance, and a flexible attitude will get you out of the yearning and into being the artist you are, the artist you were born to be. What are you waiting for? Start sharing, earning, and learning on Konversai.