Real Struggles Every Artist Goes Through

Art is a struggle in itself. Accomplished artists will never discuss this, but this is the truth.

Being an artist seems like the coolest thing ever. Your passion is your career, you get to express yourself in unique creative ways, you drink colourful paint water once in your life… Yeah that’s the dream! But you know what is not the dream? Late nights, Little sleep, Incessant hours of self doubt and frustration and the constant struggle to sell your art when the world is still spending millions on dead artists like Warhol and Renoir. They are dead for god’s sake. Get over it!

Some might find the life of an artist trivial, others a bit too challenging, but whether it’s running out of fingers to smudge with or wondering if it’s better not to smudge at all, being an artist full-time is just a huge struggle on its own. This is something that a lot of art students and budding artists need to face on a daily basis. Added to that, most parents wouldn’t explore that notion in their children’s lives, they would probably wonder how their kids will sustain themselves, how will they put food on the table? Every parent wants to see a bright future and security for their kids, because let’s face it, the arts and entertainment industry is competitive and you need to be brilliant or have a unique style in order to capture the audience and grab a potential client’s eye and to make matters worse, every famous artist is.. well.. dead.

On top of that here is an added list of struggles every artist has to go through:


Mega Expensive Art Products

Irrespective of the medium, traditional or digital, Art supplies and gadgets put a humongous dent in your pocket. Unlike people who go broke trying to look rich, Artists go broke just by being artists. And being an art student is the worst. I keep remembering about this one news article some years back that spoke about an art student who used blood instead of paint. I think now I know why.

Always being asked to draw people

Every artist in every nook and corner of this earth can vouch this on their source of income. Everyone wants to be captured by an artist. Just because Rose asked Jack to draw her like one of his French girls, doesn’t mean you should too, unless you’re Kate Winslet. Which you are not.

Never Enough

Even after spending hours and hours on an artwork, there is always that one thing you want to tweak. The line seems too straight or it’s not just straight enough. You tweak and tweak in hopes of improving it and end up with something wrecked. Now you can either trash it and start over again or just convince yourself this is how you pictured your artwork to turnout.

Selling your artwork

This is one of the most difficult aspect of an artists career. As much as we want clients to co-operate financially and, well mentally, Clients seem to have a stick up their butts about pricing because they don’t understand the cost that includes art supplies/ products plus time. At first they seem interested in your work, then something comes up and that person doesn’t have the budget anymore. So you are expected to give the best service to a low budget guy because Hey! You getting exposure right! Exposure is gonna help you pay your bills. Exposure will help you from drowning in your College debt. Exposure is the solution to every problem in an artists life, eh? No wonder artists end up dying poor.

Art as an asset

It will be an understatement if I say Art is dying. Because today, Art is one of the most commercialised field of work. Owning a Rembrandt is like having 100 million in your pockets. You will probably need a 100 million to buy a Rembrandt but that’s not the point. It’s an investment. But why invest in someone who is dead. Why not invest in artists who are struggling to make a name for themselves today. When did Art become so commercial? And the funny part is, had someone invested in Picasso or Van Gogh when they were alive, maybe they wouldn’t have died poor. Why does the value of someone or something increase so drastically when they are not around anymore. This is the biggest setback for budding artists, unless you have a rich ass family to pay off a gallery or you are ready to suck someone off, you will have to struggle for the most part of your life. And by the time you do settle, it’s time to die.


So yeah, as glamorous and fun and frollicky our lives look, it’s not. Its not just getting high and painting when inspiration strikes. It’s a constant struggle everyday to not be intimidated by the giant blank canvas and create. So if you see an artist trying to make a name for themselves, help them. Someone you know just started their own art studio or print shop? Promote them. It will cost you nothing:)

Published by Diya Sengupta

I draw, write and read to keep my sanity

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