what it's like being an artist
Updated: Jan 28
deep dive into the world of an artist and see what it's really like.
One of the most common questions I get asked is what it's like to be an abstract artist, and the first thing that comes to mind is, it's the best feeling in the world! But as an artist, and whether you're an abstract artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer, or anyone in the creative field, the difficulties and challenges faced are still very much the same.
As many of you know, I was an accountant before I became an abstract artist. I worked in London in stable job with regular monthly income. One of the biggest transitions to becoming an artist was the uncertainty of when my next pay cheque is coming. There are weeks on end where I will be painting and working on abstract pieces for my collection but with no sale. It is times like this that I wonder if I am all of a sudden going to have to go back to my normal 9-5 day job but I remind myself to stay patient, and keep doing what I love, and the rewards will come.
But what many of you don't see, or the not so 'glamourous' part of being an artist happens in the background behind the scenes and is integral to the way I work and the sales I make.
I am a one man team, I am an artist, a website designer, a marketer, a videographer, and an editor all in one. Not to mention, I am also a framer and an administrator! With every sale comes the need to pack and send items off, which is often a time consuming process. With every commission, there is a need to frame (which I do myself), and deliver personally. With every sale or enquiry on my website, this is a result of the hours spent on my website making the page look as attractive as possible.
Take the example of my latest piece ('Mångata' - 150 x 100 cm). The piece did not magically appear (I wish it did!) After buying the materials and canvas, the piece took weeks to create, and thereafter take images and videos, list and market on the website. If this abstract painting sells, it may need to be framed, and so I will need to liaise with the framer to get the right frame, get it shipped to me, install the frame, and then make a custom wooden box to send out to the client. As I do with most of my abstract paintings that are sent overseas, I make a custom wooden box so it arrives safely! I will then arrange for the piece to be transported by DHL of FEDEX.
My point is, there is lots of work that goes on behind the scenes to complete a sale and get it to the client safe and sound. So when people ask, what is it like to be an artist, the true answer is, it's HARD! Don't get me wrong, I love every second of what I do, it's my passion and my livelihood and I wouldn't change it for the world. But as with any job in any field, and particularly if you work for yourself, you have to stay patient, motivated, and work hard to succeed!
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