Do we create for money or do we create simply for the pleasure of creating?
It has been said that money is the root of all evil. An artist will tell you that is absolutely the truth.
We create not for financial gain, but for the love of the creative process. We enjoy painting, we are fulfilled when we see our final product. For us, there is no real price tag for each of our creations is our child. Each piece bears a piece of our soul. How can you put a price on that?
But people do. Society does. The outsiders tell us which art is good and which is bad and they suddenly slap a numeric figure (good or bad) on our creation.
As artists, this concept is foreign to us. As people living in today's economy, we need money. So, we're really caught. Stuck in the middle of an unanswerable question: art or money.
Both, please. It is a difficult balance. It is difficult to find money in art. I for one make no bones about the fact that I have a day job because writing, as much as I love it, does not pay the bills. I hate that, but at least for right now, it is my reality.
So I write for the love of writing. That gives both you and me a blessing. It gives me the blessing of doing what I love for the right reasons. And that gives you the blessing of reading work that truly comes from my heart.
I hate money, I really do. But it is a necessary part of my life as a modern American. Ideally, I would live with my wife and a heard of animals in a log cabin in the woods and all I would do is write.
But, we live in a suburb of a smaller city in upstate New York and we both work. We love our home, but a log cabin it is not.
It often seems that reality and idealism are polar opposites and ne'er the 'twain shall meet. That's not necessarily so. The two need not conflict. Instead, there is a happy medium. My situation works for me. I know other writers, artists, creatives who find a balance that works for them as well. The trick to money is not letting it drive your art nor letting it drive you away from you art. It is simply a facet of our lives, not the end all.