I don’t usually get many comments on my posts, but the last one struck a nerve with some artists and I wanted to amplify their voices while clarifying the content of my earlier post. I am not suggesting that every artist “sells out” and “goes corporate” and in doing so, sacrifice their vision and mission as an artist. I got what I needed out of being a street artist – I got freedom, satisfaction, opportunities to share my art with millions of eyeballs, and an adventure! I also got sick all the time, drunk all the time, and exhausted. So when I was looking for a more stable life, I wanted a job that could support that AND support my art. This is not for everyone. It was for me. Here’s what worked for some other folks:
1. Do freelance work. You can still pull benefits, a variety of work, and an artistic outlet. But you don’t have to go fully corporate autonomic American workdrone. And you can continue to travel because freelance work allows you to work from everywhere.
2. Fuck off. You gave up, you went corporate, you’re no longer an artist, you’re a monetized art brain in corporate America.
3. Find service industry work where you can pull a paycheck, some benefits, a work-based social network and stability, and create work on the side. Tangling your artistic work with your income-based work blurs the edges around your art. You want to be committed to both but in fully different ways.
4. Apply for every scholarship on earth – whether they be creation-based or school-based. There are philanthropists all over this nation who want to throw money at young artists. Find one and become their pet!