• STEVEN YU

"YEAH, BUT YA GOTTA EAT!!!!"

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

It's starting to get late and I'm supposed to be winding down for sleep right now. Been waking up in the middle of the night to go pee (TMI I know) and it's really screwing up how rested I am the next day. I know. "The hell does this have to do with art?" Well, as an artist to create you gotta have a healthy mind and body, and since I've been doing this waking up in the middle of the night thing for months now I really hope it's not an issue with diabetes. Can't be. I work out daily and eat healthy. I drink a lot of water though. I've stopped drinking water at 8:30PM tonight. So let's see if I can just sleep all the way through until tomorrow morning. Oye.

Spent today doing nothing but building this website. Pretty damn excited. Can't wait to get to the finishing line (if such a thing exist for these types of projects). I'd call this site more of my "body of work"  and less than just an average "work for hire" purpose. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being a working artist, but it'd be nice to get a job working in the genre and style I love rather than someone hiring me to draw in the style of another artist that they couldn't afford and I was the poor man's version of said artist :)

Hm, somebody probably just read that and is right now in the middle of writing me an angry email. Jeezus.

For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking really deeply about the art/commerce relationship. Lots of artists out there giving advice about how to go about their careers. You have the David Lynches out there who advocate for 100% ownership of their art and then you have the Work-for-Hire types who rail against that and retort, "YEAH, BUT YA GOTTA EAT!!!!"

It's as if there is only one way to make art and that is it's either for money or for expression, and if you choose expression you're just being foolish.

Look, self expression and commerce can co exist. Proof: talking is just as much a creative expression of your thoughts as visual arts, yet we don't always monetize our words. Yes, most of us get paid hourly at work that involves talking, BUT we also talk after work to friends, strangers, and family. Yet, we aren't fighting to have those moments monetized. I mean you could....if you were so strapped for money.

So, yes you gotta eat and you gotta feed your soul too. Hell, if you have a dream job where you get to make the art you want and get paid then that is super cool. The lot of us however are working day jobs we just like and aren't super enthusiastic about it. So we do need that time off to do what we want to do.

In the end, no two artists are a like. I take artists' advice with a grain of salt. The Work for Hire artists are not the same as the Auteur driven ones. So please, for the love of God, just let every one of us figure it out.

Keep it simple: Do what you love and, yes, pay your effin bills.

-S

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