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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Oconnor

There's an app for that.......

Stay positive. Work hard. Follow your dream. Never give up. Be patient. Nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself. Embrace social media and self promotion. Be authentic. Be different, but no too different. Be strong yet show your vulnerability. Share your feelings yet never take things personally. Practice hard, give it your all, expect nothing in return. Do what you love and if you keep at 'it', eventually 'it' will happen. It's not about the money. There has never being a better time to be an artist!

I'm still waiting.

I'm still wondering. What is it that drives me and so many others to pursue the artists life? Why have we chosen an existence that has no clear definition of success, very little monetary stability and the experience within ourselves that questions our own worth and validity. How is it that the loves of my life, my passions, my entire reason for breathing has caused me to have anxiety attacks, depression, no home of my own and a total sense of loss. Creatives lives are fragile. The artists journey seems to come with negative health implications.

I have until now never had a 'normal' job. Six months into my 'cafe' career, I look back at my life as a dancer, musician and now aspiring oil painter with confusion. Why? What have I and what am I achieving? Yes it makes me happy to be creative, while I am actually doing it. However, housework and washing need to be done, bills need to be paid, meals need to be organised, relationships need attention and did I mention, self promotion on social media needs to be prepared.

Perhaps I am just a mad artist, crazy, way too emotional and I should accept that as my position. Maybe I'm not as smart as all my peers who seem to have successful careers in finance and real estate. Maybe I'm not emotionally stable enough to have one husband, 2.5 children and successful online business waiting to pop. Maybe I haven't worked hard enough to have my own home, a new car and a dog. Maybe, after reading this last paragraph, I'm just way too dramatic and I need to stop over reacting. Enough, what is enough?

I paint. I paint from my heart. Just like every dance step I ever performed and every note of music I ever played, it came from and is a direct link to my soul. I embody my work, and like all other artists, my oversensitivity is a gift and a curse. Just like the way I have invited the world wide into my life via you tube, Facebook and instagram, I now place my essence on canvas and oil, stick a price on it and hope someone likes it. Then I wait. Is the reaction I get from potential buyers a marker of my success? Is the payment or the praise a definition of my 'career'? Is it my job? Will it be my last piece that is ok? Does the fact that people like or dislike it validate my worthiness? Should I give up and mourn the loss of all that supposedly makes me happy, or soldier on in the belief that 'it' will finally happen? I applaud my fellow artist friends for their courage yet I wonder how and why they continue.

Why do even ask so many questions?

Music, dance, art are all apparently crucial to the world's happiness. Its abundant, it's free. It's special, i'ts everywhere. Like water, It's streaming. Unlike water, people pay very little for it. We should be happy enough with our artistic hobbies and a job waiting on tables knowing that all the hours of unpaid work and preparation we do for art enriches peoples lives. However, there seems to be too much music, too much art, and some peoples lives are already too rich. We are gorging on content while unknowingly providing data to the digital companies that I suspect are depleting the incomes of creators.

Is it time for me to open a doughnut van?

Artist's are drowning. We can't breathe. A lot of us are finding it impossible to continue. I have no conclusion to this blog. I have no answers, I almost have no energy left. On day's I need cheering up I'll paint a portrait, however I believe there is now an app for that.

Kathryn O'Connor

painting of Marilyn Munroe by KittyOart

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