This phrase struck me as quite odd in my readings around the net. The author was talking about allowing yourself to be a “bad artist” when you are beginning or experimenting with new things. If we don’t allow ourselves to be “bad artists” we are essentially committing artist abuse to ourselves for not allowing us the time and space to grow into the new role or form. I like being a bad artist. But I think that can be habit forming, a security net to cling to. I notice now, as I did some reading for today that there are lots of side of me that are involved in the process of my being a successful artist, and only one of those roles is actually being an artist. The rest of the roles involved are the salesperson, the marketing person, the agent, the shop manager, and so forth. While each of these roles is quite different, I seem to be forcing myself to keep the same requirements for each role as I give myself for being an artist. While those requirements aren’t necessarily a bad thing, they don’t always apply to say being a shop manager. And I hinge my success as an artist on all the performance of all these other roles as well. That seems to be unfair. A shop manager should be need to be quite and inventive or abstract as an artist, and an artist should have to consider (within reason) the cost analysis of the materials when they are trying to create something new or a little different than their standard fair. It would seem I am undervaluing certain roles in the process of being a successful artist. I am pushing myself in many different ways to wear as many hats as possible in the structured world of running, promotion, and managing the sale of my “art”. I hurt myself over this. I hurt my artist and snarf at all my other hats when I don’t get to all the promotion, blogging, and listings done when I thought I would be able to. I suppose there is a reason why there are college degrees and businesses with multiple types of employees. I also suppose this means I should take deeper look at how I am functioning like this and make some priorities to help keep myself on the right path and sane….being sane is still a requirement of being an artist, right?? Maybe not, I’ve been running like this for a few years now, and now that I think of it, it sounds pretty insane. I have to give myself permission to be a bad artist, but also give myself permission to be less than stellar in the other areas associated with my being a successful artist.
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