Art and Income
I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.
– e e cummings
Art and income often have a tenuous and difficult relationship,especially as they’re first starting to get acquainted. Researching the word art in the dictionary, I was surprised to learn a few of its synonyms are trickery, slyness and cunning. Indeed to bridge the gap between creativity and cash, sleight of hand and magic words are indispensible.
“Art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance” reads dictionary.com. Whether you write, sing, play an instrument, perform, paint, dance, craft, or cook, your art is a singular expression of how you view the world and your place in it. It is your soul’s calling and has little to do with your purse.
Our dilemma often comes when we attempt to make a living making art. The phrase “starving artist” is all too true, as most who create are forced to use funds for paint and canvas, strings and sticks, instead of food and shelter.
Indeed the artist and his income seem very far apart at times. A commission results in paying the bills for the lean months between sales. CD sale money goes toward buying more CDs or tee shirts or gasoline to perpetuate the artist’s calling. We never quite seem to get “caught up.”
Poverty of pocket can always be dealt with but poverty of soul is deadly. An artist must create, must offer herself freely to the world despite sales or reviews or opinions. It is soul work and muchly deserving of our time, attention and monetary support.
If you meet an artist today, give them a hug. If you can, purchase a small piece. If you can’t, tell them you admire their work. Artists are the shining souls of the world, the ones who take the everyday and make it extraordinary,the ones who enchant our everyday lives with music, paintings, mosaics, clay, and canvas. Art is the ultimate expression of love and giving.