When I was growing up my father owned an advertising agency. As a result he was always involved in something creative. I loved this. I remember sitting on top of the kitchen table as he used those smelly, toxic ( I still LOVE that smell, do you know the one?) felt pens to design logos for his clients. There were no computers back then and coming up with ideas was done simply with pens and paper. Unlike a computer that is designed for one, art supplies spread on top of a kitchen table is much more of an invitation for others to join in. I always drew too.
His background when he was growing up was art and design and so when he did finally retire he started up oil painting again. His work has evolved over the last 20 or so years from representational to abstract. It is such a cool thing to be able share both of our creative journeys whenever we talk. I think both of us have influenced each other.
One of the great things about having a father who was in the creative art field was that he was simply IN a creative art field. This is what he enjoyed doing and he was able to support our family in the process. Luckily for me I was taught to believe that not only could I continue to do art, which was something I loved, but I could make a living doing it. Knowing now what I know and being involved in the process of helping people overcome the many false beliefs around art making as a viable career, I truly see how fortunate I was to be raised with this expectation.
I chose to go to art school because I loved making Art and I never wondered how I was going to make a living once I graduated. I know understand this was in large part to my Father.
I remember being at one of his office parties about a year before going to college. He was talking to someone about where I was going to school and that I was passionate about art. I overheard him sheepishly ask my father, trying not to talk too loud to let me overhear…”Aren’t you a little nervous- I mean, do you really think there is any money in Art?”
To which my Father instantly replied with an air of authority, ( Both my parents are British and are not lacking in having their own opinions) “No I am not worried at all, there is nothing BUT money in Art!”
Looking back I don’t know why or how he came to this conclusion, but it was said with such conviction, that I just figured it was true. Of course, from that point on I just threw out this line at anyone who questioned the viability of my career choice. I have been saying it all my life and now I say it to students who find themselves lingering on the edge of doing something they want to do but are held back because of money worries.
This statement has served me well. Repeating this mantra it has had a self fulfilling prophecy for me. Next time someone from the sidelines nervously asks you about the financial viability of your profession try saying it. It feels good. It has a way of raising the bar. It puts you squarely in the driver’s seat of your extraordinary life.
Over the years I have come to realize why the statement is so powerful. If you do something personal in Art (unique) it and you love it (passion) , I believe with out a doubt, you can make money doing it. Conviction, intention, passion, and authenticity are the underlying forces at work here and when these are aligned they are unstoppable.
Is their really money in Art?
Hell Yes! There is nothing but money in it!
Does this ring true for you? I am curious.
Please leave your comments below.
PS Have a look at my father’s amazing work here.
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.