Nice interview with Edward Winkleman, New York gallerist. One of the things he said really struck home. it's something I often feel when I talk with a potential client.
He said that you should only be an artist if you HAVE to be an artist–that the "real" artist has no choice. The "real" artist goes out and gets six jobs if that's what it takes to support herself and her art. It's a hard life and you have to have that passion. You have to feel like you have no other options.
I struggle with the term "real artist," but it comes up all of the time since there are (1) so many people taking up art later in life and (2) artists without art degrees who lack confidence. Either they don't feel like they've paid their dues enough to call themselves artists or they have little patience with hobbyists. (Don't get mad at me. I'm just the messenger relating what I hear on the streets, in my workshops, in emails, and on blogs.)
I think Winkleman is talking about the artists who aren't playing around and testing the market for their art. Instead, they have made a decision. They have decided that they're artists and that there is no turning back.
I hear this from success gurus, too: That you won't find the success you seek until you have decided and until you leave yourself with no other options.
Have you decided to be an artist?