An Artist in Business, Purpose



A word on the subject of an Artists' Purpose at Help 2 Succeed.

What is the purpose of your art? Why do you keep painting, sculpting, writing, playing music?

The major purpose of my art is to make other people happy, inspired, uplifted, make them smile or at least make them think. I decided on that purpose some time ago, and it makes me smile to think someone paid me for a painting and now that painting is on their wall making them smile. If that sounds airy-fairy to you, perhaps you should take a look at yourself and figure out what your purpose is. There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to make people happy.

I think most artists find a purpose somewhere along those lines, creating art to evoke an emotional response in the viewer, although there are a few who would have you believe art is meant to shock people in some way. Creating beautiful things in visual arts, music, writing, dance, theater brings the viewers up to an aesthetic band of emotions, and lifts them out of everyday life.

There can be other purposes for art and there can be secondary purposes. My secondary purpose is to pay the bills – we all get bills, you know. I could get a job in an office or store and pay the bills. When the going gets rough I think about that, but I won’t give up on my major purpose. I cannot think of another job that would please me as much as creating art.

A million things can knock you off your purpose. If you have not defined what your purpose is, you can be more easily knocked off. You will encounter critics, even people who do not wish you well. You can easily ignore them if you stay on purpose. Define your purpose. Write it down. If you feel like giving up, go back to that purpose.

In a sculpture class in college I created a sailing ship in bronze, with delicate brass screen for the sails. When “critique” time rolled around (“critique” is a part of art classes where the professor and other students can criticize your artwork), I was talking about my inspiration for my sculpture and called it a boat. The professor went crazy – “You called it a ship earlier. So is it a ship or a boat???” I clammed up – I didn’t know what to say. But I was thinking, who cares if it’s called a ship or a boat? If that was all the criticism he could think of to say about my sculpture, I should have been proud. But I felt invalidated, which was exactly how he wanted me to feel.

As I got older and more confident and got my purpose sorted out, I was able to talk back to such trivial criticism. A young woman came into my booth at an art fair once and said, “I don’t mean to criticize but aren’t the necks on your horses too long in that painting?” I looked her in the eye and I calmly said, “Yes, you did mean to criticize. You had every intention of invalidating an artist.” She couldn’t get out of that booth fast enough.

The above examples are minor compared to many you run into as an artist. Parents, siblings, spouses and “friends” can be particularly hard if they cannot see or share your purpose. They may want you to give up your “hobby” and get a real job. Define your purpose and be able to talk about it to them. Many will change their minds and be inspired by your purpose. Those who don’t – those are not your friends.

The best solution is to be successful – flourish and prosper. Keep your purpose fresh and follow it.

Happy Trails,
EC Sullivan Fine Artist


© Copyright 2023 Help 2 Succeed. All Rights Reserved. noai noimageai
This article was written by a human regarding real life experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *