But Can You Make a Living At It?

“Can you make a living at it?”  That was my DH’s response to my surprised and excited proclamation, “I am a painter.”  Wow, talk about a fun-sucker.

I was on an art high.  Since I started my art classes 7 weeks ago, I’ve done 3 (and a half) acrylic flower paintings and a watercolor landscape that I really like. I screwed up my courage and posted them here for all the blogging world to see.  All of your kind comments encouraged me to start my very first portrait.  After spending about 10 hours on it, I put the hair in and miraculously, the painting just came to life.  It looks better than I had hoped it would and I’m thrilled with how well it is turning out.  It was at this point that I declared, “I’m a painter.  Really, I’m a painter.”  <sigh>

So, that begs the question, how do you know when you are a painter or an artist in general? Is it when you can support yourself with your art? When you sell your first piece? Or is it something much less mercenary? Does it rely on the approval of experts? The masses? Or is it how you feel about yourself?   Are you an artist?  How do you know? What do you think?

So, today I’m taking a break from painting and tackling the Diva’s weekly challenge.  I love the new tangle and decided to make a coloring page with it. 
So here is the page
And here it is colored with my Whispers markers.

29 thoughts on “But Can You Make a Living At It?

  1. Thanks, Julie. Simple and to the point. My art teacher, who is also named Juli, has a standard response anytime someone asks a question like, "What color should I use." She answers, "You're the artist." Even though you think, "Um, no, you are," it is still very empowering. Are you a teacher?


  2. I love the idea of making a zentangle challenge into a coloring page! And wow, when you added the color it really pops! I agree with Julie that if you create art, you are an artist. I also think that as with anything, the more you do it, and learn about it, and experiment with it, you probably become a "better" artist. Keep at it Cris, your art is lovely.


  3. Even if a person cannot make art physically, they can still see or think like an "artist". What if it was just about the way we see and not so much about what our hands produced? Love the joyful color in your tile!


  4. Thanks. I wasn't trolling for compliments, but today I really appreciate it. My painting is not working at all today. But, I guess some days are just like that.


  5. I am loving this conversation. By your definition, I am a "sometimes-artist" 🙂 Yesterday was not one of those days. Today is looking better!


  6. Cool answer. And since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then it is perfectly fine to know you are an artist without having anyone else tell you a thing about it. When I was about 10 I KNEW I was an artist and all I did was mix paint and make patterns on canvas. Somewhat like Zentangle, but with a color instead of tangles.


  7. I love color and zentangles, but haven't developed the knack of using color IN my zentangles effectively. So I end up with this weird balance–black and white only in my zentangles, and intense color in my collages!


  8. I need to decide ahead of time that I will be using colors. I think the easiest way is to tangle using a marker that comes with a blender. (I use Whispers – way cheaper than Copics.) Tangle with the small end and then use the blending marker to add shading. Or tangle with a watercolor pencil and use a clean brush with water to shade. It makes a really nice effect. Try it some time.


  9. What an interesting collection of responses. Even though I call myself an artist in my head and maybe to DH, I can't quite get the word out of mouth to other yet….I'm "playing" or "experimenting" or whatever other euphemism that doesn't invite their criticism. Now why would I assume it would be criticism? See my dilemma? 🙂 Generally, I agree with everyone else…..when you produce something you feel is artistic, you're an artist…..now if we can just say it out loud!BTW, fun interpretation and great idea to make it a coloring page….


  10. i've come to your blog via a circuitous route (you know how that can be~!) but am so glad that i found it and am able to see your art and tell you that you are indeed an artist. one does not have to sell one's work to be an artist in my opinion. i think what makes one an artist is having a need to create and following up on that need in whatever way suits the artist's personality and her/his needs.i looked back a few posts and you have many talents and a creative spirit that comes through beautifully in your work.:-)libbyQ


  11. So I guess your husband wouldn't consider Van Gogh an artist because poor Vincent couldn't make a living with his art. For me, if one has a passion for creating and creates unique original pieces, s/he is an artist.I like your take on Golven and especially how it looks after you colored it.


  12. Terrie, You definitely understand where I'm coming from. I saw a great status on Facebook today: People you don't even know will often notice your worth, while those closest to you often make you feel unworthy. BTW – I've looked at your blog and YOU ARE AN ARTIST! Love what you do with Photoshop. Playing with Photoshop is one of my favorite things 🙂


  13. Thanks, libby. I've been doing the blog-tangle lately myself. There are so many generous and talented bloggers out there. I'm glad you like my creations.


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