Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just Another Artist?

*** UPDATE the hardcover of Water So Deep is now available for purchase on Amazon!***

Last weekend, I went to a retreat with a few good friends. We spent our few days writing our tails off (I got 12,000 words done on Legacy, so YAY!) and also took a short break to detour to a nearby writing conference, where two of my friends were on panels.

We were literally there for a total of two hours, and then we left. In that two hours, I ran into quite a few people with whom I am friends or at least acquainted, and those were only a few of several hundred people who were in attendance at this conference.

One of the hazards of publishing these days is that there are so many authors writing so many books, that at some point or another, we all feel slightly lost in the sea of awesome.

My oldest son and I had a discussion this weekend in which he informed me that he’s not sure he wants to go into art as a career field, because it is just too hard to be anything more than “just another artist.” And it’s true. He is a phenomenal artist. He paints, and draws, and creates some amazing things. He has such talent. But unless he fully commits himself to rising above the crowd, that is all he will ever be.

There are those cases in which one special artist or author breaks through the bottle neck on the first try and succeeds in a way that most of us will only ever dream of, but even those people will at some point have to produce a spectacular product in order to keep their audience/fans happy, or they too will become lost in the sea.

But is that a reason to give up? To go a different direction? Maybe for some people. And that’s okay. But for others, it’s not. It’s really not. Because while all artists need to be paid, we are not ALL in it just for money (although, at some point, we have to at least break even with our time and investments*). Some of us are in it for the love of the thing. Or to change the way someone thinks, or heck, to just entertain someone. And that’s enough for those of us who are in it for the long haul.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that there is no such thing as being “just another author/artist.” Each one of us has something important and unique to share, as long as we dedicate ourselves to doing it.

Are you dedicated to something in life?

*To clarify, most authors/artists only make pennies per hour for the work they do. Love of art can only go so far when it comes to survival. Please remember that downloading pirated books/art greatly risks our ability to continue producing more books/art. Please consider our art at least as valuable as a cup of coffee or a soft drink and pay for it. Thanks!


Keith N Fisher said...

I too, felt lost in that sea. I enjoyed seeing you there and I agree with you. I kept commenting on the fact that I didn't know 98% of those who attended. Not that I'm anybody but I've been going to that conference for several years now.

You voiced my concerns exactly. I'm in it for the long haul and I have you as an example to follow. thanks and tell your son you can't squelch greatness like his.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks Keith! It was good to see you too. I'll pass that on to my son. It's a tough industry, so I guess if he's going to study something else, now is definitely the time to decide that. The impulse for art never really goes away, so maybe he will someday change his mind and come back to it. Here's hoping!