Monday, August 1, 2016

Artist = Flake

I think I've ranted around this point before, but this is a hot button that keeps getting hit.
When I went through the small business training program 5 years ago I was told point blank by one of the supervising councilors that art was  a hobby, not a business.
I beg to differ.  
When we were applying unsuccessfully to dog adoption agencies I listed my self as self employed/artist, and was told I had to be employed....WTF? I'm sure a self employed plumber wouldn't be told to get a job, grrrr. 
At an art fair a person walking through the tents after enquiring if I was an artist said 'it's a lovely hobby isn't it'. 
Today at the dog park, of all places, during a conversation I told some one that I'm an artist, and was asked 'where do you work?'
I started to talk about my work (art) and got a blank stare. Obviously this isn't what she meant. 
It seems that people see artists as hobbiests at best and unemployed, unprofessional, potentially suspect persons at worst. 
It saddens and amazes me, and makes me wonder how a respected profession, slid so far into disrespect. 
It also stuns me when in our gallery we occasionally have people complain about prices, they can get the same thing at homesense for $60, or less...
Artists, we have some work to do. 
The world seems to have forgotten the value of what we do, and who we are. 
Occasionally I see flashes of hope, the minimalist movement I think works in our favour. 
Only possess that which you must and/or brings you joy is a philosophy we can get behind. 
I get annoyed when I see artists playing the role of flake. If someone must choose a role I wish they would respect themselves enough to to play at being a professional, intelligent creative business person, because isn't that who we are??

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