Artist Stereotypes: A Rant
WARNING: I do my best to be optimistic, and pleasant the majority of the time. Right now that is all out the window. If you’re okay with this, then read on.
I rarely watch TV, but when I see a sitcom episode that pokes fun at artists, I do enjoy sitting down and having a giggle about the familiar idiosyncrasies associated with my kind.
However, I’ve noticed on many occasions that artists are stereotyped as drug addicted, antisocial, unhygienic deviants. WTF? Is this the way the rest of world sees us???
First of all:
I shower. Every day. Sometimes twice a day.
I am one of the most social, outgoing people you’ll ever meet. Superfriendly!
I have never done drugs a day in my life.
So am I an artist according to the world’s stereotypes? Are all creatives considered to be this vagrant? Do we stereotype doctors as arrogant, god-complex, megalomaniacs? Okay, sometimes they are stereotyped like that, but in recent years, it seems less prevalent.
My point is, art doesn’t seem to be a respected profession like so many other jobs in this world. Art is what makes us and keeps us human. It helps us connect with ourselves and with others. Sure there may be a bastardization of art in almost every style and discipline we see, but that does not mean we are all scruffy, smelly meth heads. And don’t even get me started on our portrayal as flaky, free spirited, hippie flower children who have no discipline and do things on a whim. Art requires intense discipline and practice if you want to be good at it.
It’s time to change the way we look at art and artists. Not just for the artists’ sake, but for everyone’s sake. The world needs to embrace creatives and appreciate all of our idiosyncrasies that may seem kooky, but make total sense to us. If we are embraced for who we are as artists, there is a possibility our work will be appreciated more, our efforts will be rewarded and we will be offered compensation in accordance with our artistic endeavors.