Posts Tagged ‘day jobs’

Real Artists Have Day Jobs

June 29, 2014

Real Artists Have Day Jobs

“The biggest myth we are fed as artists is that we need to sustain ourselves solely on our art. This is ridiculous. Every artist has at some point in time had some other job. Some of them kept these jobs their entire lives. In the latter category: William Carlos Williams was a doctor in New Jersey; Henry Darger was a custodian in Chicago; Harvey Pekar was a VA Hospital clerk in Cleveland.

In more temporary capacities: Maya Angelou was a cable-car conductor; Sandra Cisneros was an administrative assistant; JK Rowling was a secretary; Jeremy Renner was a makeup artist (Please read that again: Jeremy Renner was a makeup artist).

Art does not require an MFA. Art does not require a BA. Art does not require a high school diploma. Art does not require any formal education at all.

Art does not need your full-time attention. Art does not demand that you starve in order to afford paint and canvas and brushes.”

— “Real Artists Have Day Jobs,” Sara Benincasa, Medium [links added]

Sara Benincasa’s website



Image (“Self-Portrait of [Name Withheld], after van Gogh”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, 

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