Depressing  Misconceptions About Artists

Edvard Munch's 1895 "The Scream".

Artists Are Crazy
Artists like Van Gogh were known to be insane. Unable to live securely on his own in Arles, he admitted himself to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, a psychiatric asylum. Other artists such as Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s life was fraught with anxiety and hallucinations. The famed American artist Jackson Pollock suffered from depression and alcoholism.

The only privately owned version of Edvard Munch's The Scream is to be sold at auction in New York

An interesting study “Creativity and bipolar disorder: Touched by fire or burning with questions?” by the US National Library of Medicine  explores the apparent association between creativity and bipolar disorder. Sounds depressing, however just because your an artists doesn’t mean your crazy.

The sensitive nature of artists, the very thing that is a strength for the powers of observation and expression, can also be an Achilles heel. However, all personalities have their own challenges.

As in every profession there are extremes. Artists can find healthy ways to deal with sensitivities through health, the gift of expressing themselves through their art and keeping a balanced perspective.

Artists Are Starving
Some may believe to choose a career in the visual arts you might as well adopt a mindset of the starving artist. This just isn’t true. Granted you might not get rich off your art however there are many ways you can make a living incorporating art into your career choice.


Graphic Design – good graphic designers are in demand and effective graphic design is built on a foundation of art. Any graphic designer that wants an edge should work on non-digital skills such as drawing, painting and more.

Web Design – web design is much more than the technical. The technical can be learned, there are numerous online classes. However, the visual skills, the artistic ability and interpretation is what makes a website above and beyond the typical template website and this takes skill and creativity.

Illustrators, digital and non digital illustrators have opportunities for careers and career growth. Books, advertisements, online and offline advertising will always need  concepts illustrated that just can’t be communicated with photography. In addition, good commercial design illustrators can make passive income selling their work on stock illustration sites.

With all the opportunities for traditional and non-traditional artists to market online through their website and social media, artists can go even further in having their work noticed and PAID FOR. Additionally if they are willing to teach and conduct workshops, share their skills, they can do well in remaining visible and relevant.

Artist Are Flaky
flakeSome artist are flaky just like anyone else. Artist tend to get the flake label when they don’t meet deadlines, can’t be counted on to finish what they start, or have to wait for the mood to strike. If your an artist for enjoyment you can be as flaky as you want. Create when the mood strikes! If your in it as a profession you have to create on demand and this takes skill, dedication, and self discipline.

For visual creators that want to make a career of it, it’s essential to stay professional!

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