I’m experiencing a phenomenon that artists are looked upon as not being serious professionals and what they do has no real benefit to the world. Artists are just a group of creative people who make paintings to decorate homes or to be collected by wealthy investment bankers. If you are an artist who is not showing at Art Basel and the hottest trend then you are invisible.
I don’t need to be famous. But I want to be paid for my creative skills. Which brings me to the point of this post. I will not give away my time or knowledge for free.
I am shocked at how many people pick my brain about iPad painting. Promoting my iPad painting workshops has been exhausting. I am treading a new path and there are a lot of biases to break through. So I have been giving a lot of lectures on it. In order to get people to register I have been too free on details which has given them the information to get the apps themselves and screw my workshop. I have been learning this iPad painting on my own since 2011. I consistently study all the ins and outs of every art app. This is my hard work and people want the information for free.
I joined a art organization in Riverdale when I moved here last October. I went to their business meeting and realized it was a bunch of seniors who do art. And they were rude and ignored me. The fact that they were hanging their paintings in an urgent care doctor waiting room really made me run. I couldn’t associate with them because they would tear my reputation down. But they consistently nudge me to give a lecture on my iPad painting to the group. When I told them what I charge for the lecture the director told me that they don’t pay members to give lectures to the group. Here is an art group that doesn’t think their members knowledge is worth paying for. Thank God my membership is over next month.
I have pitched my workshop and shown what I can do and when they ask how or what app I use I answer come to the workshop and find out.
An artist works hard to learn their skills. It is not all fun and games. Artists go to college to study art. If art were easy they wouldn’t have colleges giving out MFAs. ARTISTS ARE PROFESSIONALS!
I value my talent today and I demand respect. If you want to do what I do you need to pay for my knowledge.
MY PORTRAIT WAS DONE BY ORRIN A SUPER ARTIST I MET IN THE SUBWAY IN NYC.
Okay this may be a strange title but I have experienced this when I was in my artist block for 30 years.
So here it goes. When I gave up my art I did it in a big way. I not only stopped creating I stopped going to museums and art shows. I couldn’t look at art. It was too painful to see what I had stopped doing. In those years my goals were to survive financially and find a husband to support me.
I was such a lost soul. Empty. I took jobs that I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t care about the job just the paycheck. I couldn’t keep jobs. I was not good at administrative work. My mind was not wired to be organized. I never wanted a job that was too responsible. I wanted jobs where my desk was far away in a corner and all I would be required to do was small. I didn’t even want to answer phones!
So I had no self esteem and I needed to get rid of the pain. Drinking was an option and antidepressants too. But a better thing was shopping! I needed to have my outsides looking good. I was always buying clothes. I made sure I never wore the same outfit twice in a week. I wasn’t making a lot of money at these jobs but I used credit cards to shop. I blocked out the consequences of having to eventually pay the bills. I never made enough money to pay them back. I had awful credit card debt and ended up in bankruptcy!!
The need to look good took me down. I was filling my empty soul with things. When I broke my artist block something big happened in my brain. Creating art put me in a zone that filled my empty soul. I was lifted to another dimension. My self esteem and confidence improved. I got myself back.
Today my world is BIG. I used to love things and use people. Today I love people and use things. Creativity has given me a purpose in life. I connect to people through art. I no longer think about my selfish needs. My fear of people has been lifted. Through my art I have been able to bridge cultural barriers. The big picture of art is that barriers can be broken.
So I believe that people are today are chasing designer labels trying to mask the fear of reality. Women who are living at poverty level yet wear a $2000 handbag. People have been brainwashed by designers that in order to fit into society they have to wear their clothes. The truth is the designer is getting free advertising from the consumers. The world is broken. Greed is in charge. Looking good is more important than connection to people. The sickness starts even in grade school.
Creativity can bring people together. Creativity makes life bigger. Creativity is not frivolous. We need to make it a necessity. Get it???
today I was journaling about the brick wall I hit when I tell a person that they don’t have to be good to do art. People think art is not important. People think art is meaningless to them. People rather rack up credit card debt shopping for things that end up in their closets.
I believe coloring books should be banned!! Kids who struggle coloring in the lines think they are failures in art. The fact is true art is done outside the lines. That is true creativity.
My mission is to get people to see that creativity needs to be part of their lives. It is not just for the talented. Art is necessary for the brain. Creativity works the brain by stimulating ideas. Ideas keep the brain youthful.
America wake up! Art and culture are what makes us civilized. Kids in rural America turn to destructive forms of behavior because they have no opportunity to be creative or look at beautiful art. They end up on the internet or shooting up schools. Art can help people with mental illness.
We need to stop treating art as a subject that has no importance to our lives. Creativity needs to be seen as a valuable part of everyone’s life. It has to be seen as vital to the human experience. It is not a frivolous activity to be ignored.
And please don’t tell me you can’t draw a straight line. Creativity is not about straight lines.
ART IS IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE!!!
The picture below is my first show at the Art Students League. My son was proud of his mother.
This is a self portrait of my illustration teacher Max Ginsberg who taught at the High School of Art & Design in NYC. I attended the school graduating in 1970.
Mr. Ginsberg encouraged me to enter the National Scholastic Art Competition. I never would have done it. He told me to enter my charcoal life sketch I did in his class. He saw something I didn’t see in that drawing. I never expected to win an award but I did!! My drawing was exhibited in the lobby of the Lever Brothers building on Park Avenue with other winners !
Max Ginsberg is an awesome painter and is infamous in the world of art. I love the painting of the girls in the subway above. He never told any student that they should paint like him. I couldn’t paint like him ever. But he always pushed an artist who he saw had their own creativity.
I since then have gone to art schools where the students try to imitate the style of their infamous instructors. A lot of instructors bask in this flattery. When a class has a show of their work you can tell who the instructor is. Am I crazy or is there something screwy going on?
isn’t art an expression of who you are? I love Max Ginsberg because his only objective was to help an artist develop skills and a good basic training in art.
How can you be seen for who you are if you paint like someone else?
For 30 years I gave up my art. I worked as a secretary those years trying to fit in. My goal was to get married and have someone take care of me. I was depressed and taking cocktails of drugs from psychiatrists to the point I was numb. I stopped seeing the beauty of the world. I basically stopped seeing. As an artist I lost the most important thing which is seeing. The world got smaller and smaller. I was dependent on people to make me feel good about myself. I married but it didn’t help. The only blessing was the gift of my son Dan in 1995. The marriage was bad because of me. I was dishonest and used my husband to rescue me. I’m grateful today that we are able to be friends and I am still part of his family.
In 2009 God released me from my 19 year job as a legal secretary. The economic crisis led to my firm downsizing. Still looking to find a secretary job I found myself in a Debtors Anonymous meeting (DA). I was anxious about finding a job and making money. But I met a wonderful young man who brought me back to my true self. I was directed to start becoming the artist I was meant to be. He told me to do what artists do…paint every day. When I would tell him I needed to make money he would say I need to bring my art out. He was the miracle teacher in my life.
Last year I took early retirement after again trying to make money because I still couldn’t support myself with my art. It was an under earning job. I couldn’t meet my basic needs. I missed a month rent. My landlord decided to sell the apartment. I lost the temp job. I had no job and no home. I was able to get a financial gift to help me get an apartment. I left and moved to Riverdale in the Bronx.
Riverdale is God’s country. It is near the Hudson River where the Hudson River painters painted beautiful scenic landscapes. I am surrounded by nature. I am 10 minutes from beautiful Wave Hill which is a public garden with views of the Hudson. I painted there recently. I’m getting recognition for my art in Riverdale. The Riverdale Press had a picture of one of my paintings in their paper. I won first prize in a juried art show.
Now I discovered how to make a living with my art. I am developing a business teaching iPad painting to seniors. I have promoted myself and now a newscaster from a tv station is going to do a story on it. Yesterday I got an email that a Bronx neighborhood paper wants to do a story on it.
The moral of this story is you never know when you will be successful with your art. I’m 64 years old and I feel like I’m doing this better than I would have in my twenties. I’m not famous making millions of dollars. But my mission to get people to create art and experience joy is starting to click. People are listening to my message. I am being heard and it is because I am offering value to people.
I went to my temple last night for services hopefully to get some peace. At the break a member brings up her involvement with a big protest against the police in October. She started to describe how a big rally about this was important and that the police had murdered helpless children.
ANGER. RAGE. FEAR. LARGE CROWDS. THE CROWDS MENTALITY.
All it takes is one person to incite anger in a group. Anger is not a solution.
Culture and art civilize people. Kids in rural America do not have access to art and music. The education system took away art and music classes.
STOP TRYING TO FIX THE WORLD. DON’T BE TAKEN DOWN BY CROWD MENTALITY.
My mission is to be helpful and happy. Create art.
See how many things can distract you from your art.
BE QUIET. KEEP YOUR ART IN FRONT OF YOU.
And the fact is there are a lot of toxic people who will take you down. They are negative and will not support you. Toxic people destroy your energy and can lead to an artist block. It’s doing it to me now. My artistic motivation is really low.
People pleasing will kill my art. I can’t let people do this. This is taking me away from my mission. I’ve been brain dead for weeks. I’ve lost myself.
I’m telling on myself and making a commitment to take care of myself from now on. The vampires will not get me. I need to be the artist I have become. Stay in my mission and do my work.
Being needy is not who I want to be. It’s an old defect to distract me. The world is crazy and I need to protect myself. I’ve got to get back to painting today. Let go and let God. God is my companion. I will not let these insecure feelings take my to another artist block.