I had a conversation yesterday with an artist I just finished producing in the studio. We were talking about the pursuit of creativity and art, and the difficulty of remaining pure to that art in a culture that demands the monetizing of everything.
Being an artist, I suppose, throws you into two basic categories. Artists that make money, and artists that don't. Notice that I don't call the later hobbyists. Understand of course, that most people would, and do, make that distinction. However, lots of so called "artists" I know do the same "art" over and over, with predictability, because it turns a profit, pays the bills, etc. This (in my opinion) is a money-making craft.
Art is different.
Art is something that's inside you that needs to come out. Art changes and pushes boundaries. Art is loved. Art is hated. Art is understood. And art is misunderstood.
Our culture has placed an unhealthy barometer on art and creativity, that basically says, "if you can't eventually attain the American dream, move to the burbs with your family, own the boat, take the vacation, etc, then it's time to hang up your college fantasy, and get a real (paying) job."
I couldn't disagree more.
Sometimes I think the problem isn't the art, but perhaps the scope which the artists dreams, and sees his or her art flourishing. We live in a culture that demands diversity and excellence. How can you (as an artist) see things this way, make necessary steps to diversify your art/talent/skill/creativity in such a way that you don't succumb to the lie that "it's time for the paying gig?"
Perhaps you're defining things improperly.
Perhaps your scope is that artistry is only attained once you've been given the national or international spotlight. Let me tell you that without a massive machine behind what you're doing, this may never happen. However, when you localize your tribe (or tribes) and create a genuine community with them (through and with your art), you will be a success.
This success may not equal Justin Timberlake status, but your influence may be just as powerful within your particular tribe.