So. It sucks to be alive in the world right now. But, life has always been hard. For some people it has always been hard. Let’s talk about artists.

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David by Michelangelo

Unless backed by an exorbitant amount of money, artists throughout history have struggled to make their art. The struggling artist is a stereotype that we have seen throughout history and that is because art is not seen as something essential. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it isn’t included in our pyramid, but some may argue that art is foundational human, in fact it lives underneath that pyramid. For me, and many other artists, this time is a time of reflection. How commercial is art your art right now? Are you holding yourself accountable to creating art and being creative every day? It is difficult, yes, but it will be more difficult if you down in the negativity of today’s reality. With technology, we are constantly sucked into this powerful vortex of consumption and find it difficult to get ourselves out. Narratives and stories that are claimed as honest and true are simply proclamations of hyperbole for the masses to panic and then consume more. …

To be an artist is to be always aware. If I have learned anything over these past months… it is that I am constantly learning how capable my awareness is.

In both my personal life and professional, the tools I am crafting as an actor and creative stem from me. I am all the paint and canvas that I have available so that is where I began in this rediscovery of being an artist. I began with a rediscovery of me, which at this current moment has been painful.

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Source: Fanatic Studio / Science Photo Library

I’m sure many people understand the need a drive to be an artist, and many people have entirely no idea what that struggle is like. For me, logistics like surviving month-to-month or paycheck-to-paycheck used to excite me or give me drive to create with what I had. …

I just finished working as a Group Leader for the Open Jar Institute.

As I sit here in my bed watching the last season of The West Wing, I think about the idea of inspiration and endurance. I have pushed so much energy into these students that I realized teaching is a full time job. Giving knowledge and energy is a full time job, which is why I have so much respect for my past mentors and teachers that have made me who I am today. Now I sit here looking for the next thing.

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I left my job working at Apple… a stable, positive environment that I could rely on… for the opportunity to be an artist fully. That commitment is scary especially when New York constantly asks for rent and you have to be able to fund the projects you want to do. …

Ry Armstrong

actor, creative, and environmental activist.

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