Why I Choose Art As My Money Vehicle
Because it is the only thing I knew nothing about upon entering it. I didn’t have any skills or knowledge about it and the only way I can go is forward. Also it is the place where you can create something out of nothing. Almost literally. If you think about it, the physical item of money is art, it is a piece of paper/fabric/plastic with artwork printed on it.
Art is also the place where you can simply buy something because for the simple reason that you like it. You don’t need reason, as long as you feel the connection, that you buy it. It is not something that you need, like food or shoes, or water. It is something that you love to have in your space, because a certain feeling or it helps create a certain atmosphere that in turn make you feel a certain mood or emotion.
My educational background is in psychology, self development, sociology, business, accounting and a little bit of law. Things that are very cerebral left brain, logical, concrete, structured and as grounded as possible. So Art was the furthest left I could go from what I knew to start a fresh.
The first year was hell, why? Because all you have is a belief. A belief that it can be done and it could produce some result. My first sale happened two months after I tried this art thing. I only made maybe $10 profit, after spending a significant amount of money in art supplies. It helped that I never really think myself as an artist (still don’t). My identity is probably more towards a business person, or the entrepreneurial side of things rather than an artsy person.
It helped having this identity because it is easy to get caught up in the ‘likes’ and ‘praises’ of ‘oh I love this’ on your artworks. Because my intention was to use art as a vehicle, like any other vehicle in business (i.e. widgets) to create a revenue stream (OK. I do love creating things, so it is not purely about a means to an end), it was easier for me to focus on the bottom line. Cash flow. Because no matter how many ‘likes’ or ‘loves’ you get, if you are not selling things, then you are not in the art business. The latter part is emphasized.
Also, because of the same identity, I knew even when I first started that I would sucks, fail, and make so many mistakes. So I made sure I did all of those early on and kept on going. One of the things that I had in my head on a loop when I first started was an Ed Sheeran’s interview about how he approached his singing in the beginning. His answer was simple “ I treat it like a normal job. Wake up and go to work. Day in and day out.” I remembered he also mentioned how in the first four years, he basically couch surfed, and at times slept on the street or stranger’s places, busk on the street etc.
I also learned as time progressed, that the artwork that received the most likes or comments or praises was not necessarily the one that people buy. There is almost no correlation whatsoever between an artwork’s popularity with its sell-ability. It is still a mystery for me, to this day. If I found the answer, I’ll let you know.
One thing I was very sure about though, talent has nothing to do with your ability to make money through your art. Believe me. Your job is not to have talent, your job is to allow the art that wanted to exist in this world to exist. Your job is to use your physical body to create it. You are merely a vehicle (also) being used by your artworks to make sure they are birthed and can be enjoyed by people who want to possess them in their own space.
Soon it will be my two years anniversary since I started this art thing, I am still a novice. I am still uneducated about it and I like it that way, it keeps my left brain away from interfering with the birthing of the artworks.
Lastly, I choose Art as my money making vehicle because as a spiritual person, I find it extremely magical, to create something out of nothing that affect people enough for them to buy them. Because at the end of the day, that is what money simply is. An expression of (the energy of) appreciation in a physical form.