What are we going to do about artist stereotypes?
Have you ever felt like your career as an artist or works are often misunderstood? How did you react? You could do one of two things: with good intentions, you could try everything in your power to fulfill your calling. Or you could give up on your dreams.
Being an artist is being a creator. To tap into the unknown and create an image from your imagination. The basis of artistic pursuit.
Go on, artist, don’t stop creating!
You probably already know the cliché artist stereotypes. The crazy, beret wearing, cigarette smoking artist.These artist stereotypes are dead wrong. But do they ring true for today’s modern artist? Doubt it.
Artist Stereotypes: Always Carry A Sketchbook
One of the first artist stereotypes is that artists always carry a sketchbook. A sketchbook is the artist’s best friend. One reason is that sketching is practice and will improve your work. But sketching can also be liberating.
Some artists prefer to draw on printer paper and then have it spiral bound. A sketchbook is an artist’s playground. Of course, pencil or pen and paper is the traditional medium for artists. It’s where you try out ideas, free of critique or perfection that may be present when you craft a piece.
However, some artists do all their work digitally. A tablet and stylus is the modern day sketchbook and pencil for many artists. We almost always have our phones with us. No matter where we are, we have an unlimited access to apps to turn inspiration into brushes, color, patterns, shapes, and themes.
You can sketch your work digitally and have that sketch turned into a usable file. Drawing on mobile devices is enabling artists to create on a new medium. Wacom introduced its first pen tablet in 2005, a dream for aspiring digital artists. Yet, we take for granted the use of Wacom tablets for drawing.
Artist Stereotypes: Always Broke
The starving artist is a popular stereotype. Sure, some artists are poor and starving. But others are making a decent income and comfortable.
Just as artists create different styles of works, artists come in various levels of income. Many artists self-identify with the starving artist stereotype. Because there’s pride in being hungry and not giving up what many would call a hobby.
On the other hand, some people believe that artists will always be broke unless they “sell out.” In the creative world, a sell out is one who belittles his or her talents for measurable success.
How do we dispel the starving artist myth? Think about all the possibilities that self-promotion offers artists. You can develop your own community through which you’ll build an audience.
Using various marketing channels, you’ll easily promote your work and have complete creative control over your artwork and marketing process. No need to hold on to the notion that artists can’t make money doing what they love. With the technology available today, there’s a definite shift in people’s views on what it means to be an artist.
Artist Stereotypes: Live in a Dream World
Painting provides artists a place where they can vividly paint the future or past without risk. When the mind roams freely it aids in creativity. Artists don’t live in a dream world, they create a dream world.
Who couldn’t use an escape from reality every now and then?
Some artists paint for the purpose of bringing to your attention what’s going on in the world today. They ask questions about the why and seek answers because they crave a deeper understanding. Artists see the world through their own lens.
As artists paint through life asking questions, they confidently form their own perspectives and opinions. They won’t bend because someone else tells them to. They follow what they view as ethical, exciting, and positive.
One of the things I learned from my father, who’s an artist is that they take time to reflect. Artists don’t get in the past. But they don’t deny the past’s role in the future, and set time aside to acknowledge it, appreciate, and learn from it.
Just like a book on a shelf, they take the memory down and reminisce. Then, place that memory back on the shelf.
Artist Stereotypes: Perfectionist
No one is perfect. Artists grapple with vulnerability. To publish one’s artwork is to expose a piece of yourself.
It takes courage to put oneself out there and to be vulnerable. Art comes from the artist and therefore when you publish your work it opens the door for one of two things: criticism or praise.
While no two artists are the same, they love meaningful dialogue. Any reaction is valuable, but no action is meaningless. For artists, an interaction is opportunity to examine other people’s experiences.
You probably know the stereotype of artists being different. Artists have a different perspective of looking at things. When one path doesn’t work, they pave another.
Artists are keen on thinking outside the box. They consider all options before moving forward. Most times artists create their own possibilities. Whether it’s a new innovation or a combination of an existing idea.
All this being said, there’s one stereotype about artists that we can get behind. Creative people need to be eccentric.
How well, if at all, do these stereotypes define you? Do you have any other ideas on how to defeat these myths? Share this post with your friends using the share buttons on the left hand side of this page.