Friday, November 19, 2010

Being An Artist Is A Lifestyle Choice

     I’ve touched on this in previous posts, and I’ve been considering and pondering the bigger picture.  What is my motivation to being an artist?  It’s a question you should ask yourself.  And I don’t mean for two minutes at the end of this post.  Really think about this question. Say it out loud and look at yourself in the mirror.
     My answer always comes back to two distinct, but affirmative statements:  1) “Because I see myself as an artist”, and 2) “Because I choose to live away from the city.”
     Let’s break these two down into the whys and wherefores, shall we?  #1:  I see myself as an artist and artisan.  In many ways the influence of my grandfather set me upon this path.  I like walking in the footsteps of a master craftsman that I’m connected to.  I feel as though I’m seeking my own destiny; the path that God created me for.
     #2:   Living away from the city --- this is a concept that people immediately understand, or they stare at me in bewilderment, with a cartoon question mark over their heads.  It’s rather difficult to explain, but let me try.
     I believe art allows me a lifestyle that I enjoy.  I’ve had the house with two cars in the driveway, and the job with a great income, benefits and profit sharing…. And I was miserable.  It sounds good on paper, but I was missing “life”. 
     Art allows me to live my life on my terms.  It can be a struggle, but so can Austin traffic.  I can’t see myself working a crappy job for big money to be able to afford the place in the country sometime in the future.  Why not make a little less and skip the benefits, but live a real lifestyle now?
     In the argument I have within my own head, I run all the rabbits, and it always results in the same conclusion:  “Art in the country.”  I have the hardest time understanding why I would want to spend a lifetime working for the opportunity to retire to a lifestyle.  Why not grab it now?  Art will let you.
     I realize this may not be your cup of tea.  You may have grown up in the country and waited your whole life to make the jump to a loft studio in the city.  You may have worked the corporate grind for the last thirty years and need a slower pace.  We’re all different, with different expectations and dreams, but I beg you to nail this one down.
     Once you identify your motivation to create your art, you will be unstoppable.  

All content © Mark Kohler Studio.

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