Been a while since I can spend 10-12 hours working without interruptions for a few days straight. Interruptions being hoping on a bike hustling for a few hours.
11 months ago I made the decision to stop conducting workshops/classes in my studio so I can focus fully on my practice and completely utilise the space that I have. I only conduct external classes and workshops. In exchange for some financial stability I ride my bicycle to deliver food 4-5 hours, 4 times a week - and I'm actually quite decent at it. Many weight lost, healthier lifestyle, and I get to pay my rent, make my work without unreasonable strain and sustain myself. I need to eat a lot.
A question came up recently: Are you still a full time artist? Perhaps it's not so much about the question itself, but the tone and suggestion of such queries. It got me thinking. What is a full time artist anymore? Is the definition of such concept driven by the main source of financial stability (or survivability, let's be honest)? If so we have very very few "full time artist", or by extreme prejudice, artists. We have artists who are part time or full time anything else - teacher, waiter, courier, prisoner, technician, currently jobless, lecturer etc. I remember even as I was "technically" a "ft artist", it was mainly a label that looks good, sounds good, copy and paste, repeat.
Smokes and mirrors.
I practice lesser then I can in comparison, I have to take up more classes that takes away time and energy from my work, and I can hardly sustain myself comfortably. I personally do not value myself or my work, any more or less between these 2 classification of myself. And why should I? I still create honestly to my best ability and dedication.
Let's not have any illusion about it, perhaps we can use the old cliché: it's what you identify yourself as. Don't be discourage and conform into the classification labeling game. One day if we work hard enough people will instead ask "what do you do to make your art possible", and then we can tell them the adventures of our lives.