When I graduated from college I never thought that I would use my artwork as a means of therapy. I still don’t really think of it as a means of therapy for me. However, it has gotten me through some really rough spots. Whenever I get overwhelmed by work or my life in general, I can always find grounding in picking up a piece of paper and pen. When I feel depressed, annoyed, anxious or angry, I can just dive into some clay and just feel the tension melt away.
I haven’t used my art degree in furthering myself as an artist, and in fact, I recently went back to school to become an engineer. I absolutely love engineering, and all the aspects that go with it. But I absolutely love my artwork. I just realized that I don’t have the drive to do what many artists currently do today. Making a living from your artwork alone is hard.
If you have a business mindset and a marketable idea, you can become like Pena with Windstone creations. Illustrators can usually find work freelance and with various companies everywhere, where many fine artists will supplement their income- or have a large part of their income- come from teaching others their craft. Many successful artists are also art teachers from high school through university level, and some even have their own studios that they and other fellow artists teach out of. Some are able to have such a talent, skill and business acumen to have the right backers and clients for their services, and make artwork for large corporations, the entertainment industry, the toy industry and so on.
The amount of work out there is vast, and nearly endless. It wouldn’t be too difficult to get a job at a studio like Gentle Giant, or Disney or maybe even a job as an artesian at one of the Art Studios like Windstone making dragons or at Nobel’s Studio making Star Wars sculptures, but I honestly cannot see myself doing either for any great length of time. There is also the bit about putting my work out there in galleries as well, but perhaps its me either feeling slightly intimidated, or mostly “meh”, but it seems like there is some sort of theme to the art shows in galleries by various artists. There’s always some sort of agenda in the political or socio-economic arena that is trying to be said through artwork. Bleh. I don’t care.
Seriously I don’t care. Having been in the military and in Iraq, as an artist, I feel like it would be expected for me to present my feelings on the subject in art form, in paint, pencil and/or sculpture, and that all of my stuff should be military or veteran based. Um. No. Don’t care. Not to say that I don’t have some, but I don’t want to be known for military artwork. And most of what I do have I did while I was on active duty. I also don’t care about the strife of people in various backgrounds due to their perceived (real or not) trouble of their place in society. I have my own problems, and they are of my own making, and no one else’s. The “man” is not holding me down. My background is only holding me back as much as I let it. And in today’s modern world of the internet, you can become famous for doing stupid stuff by posting it on social media, or rich by starting up any number of savvy internet businesses. Or just make a living in any fashion you choose.
So, my art work is for me. When I create a dragon, it’s because I want to create it. When I do a portrait, it’s because I find the subject fascinating. Sure, I’d love to become something like the Sherlock Holmes of artists, where I take commissions/clients, based purely on my own personal whims, but I’m also fine with not doing so as well. That said, it does make for an interesting existence. I wonder what I’ll come up with in the future. Getting back to basics through my own version of art therapy.