I Am Not a Starving Artist: A manifesto
I am not a starving artist. Supporting me and my work is an act of love, not an act of charity. If you fall in love with something I've made, if my work speaks to you, and enriches your life: then it has value to you. Please, adopt it, take it home or spread it around and compensate me according to that value with joy!
I am not a starving artist. I am a professional who has invested time, money and resources into building a useful skill. Like any other professional, I might be in debt because of that. I might be looking for gainful employment in my field. I might be experiencing a windfall or a lean time, but don't pity me anymore than you would a law student.
I am not a starving artist. My work doesn't make me crazy or unbalanced. I do not suffer or struggle because of my interests and passions any more than someone who is passionate about bird watching, mountain biking, or electric trains. Sure there are difficult days. Days where things don't flow. But that's called life.
I am not a starving artist. I am a creative individual, fortunate enough to have developed a proficiency in something that brings comfort and joy to people across the world. I love what I do, I respect my craft. I understand that its value is far more subjective than that of a good brain surgeon, for example. But subjective value doesn't mean no value, and just because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, just because it is often intangible and hard to pin down: well that doesn't make it any less essential.
If art of any kind feeds your soul. If something someone created has ever made you laugh, dance, cry, feel relief, or see things differently: then art has supported you. Say thank you. Share it with someone. Know and enjoy its value.
I can't speak for everyone, but when it comes to me: support me as a fellow human because that is what community is about, but celebrate art with me because that's what art is about.
Art is what happens when we love, art is what happens when we are alive. It's about participation; whether that be through creation or observation. It's for every body.
I am not starving. I am full of joy, and gratitude. I am full of ideas and inspiration. I am nourished by the creativity in my life: not depleted, and I want to share it with the world.