This week in Depressed Artist…. she’s depressed about a new day job, goes on a rant about something I probably shouldn’t have told her but that came up in conversation (note to self: don’t make assumptions about D.A.S.W.B.A.A.H.S’s legitimacy as an artist), and says she will show us some of her art soon. I’m looking forward to seeing her work and hope it’s just as good about the points she makes about being an artist.
And if you can identify with her story, please consider sharing your own by submitting to this project:
Here’s part 3 of As the Artist Turns…
(Part3) Depressed Artist Seeks Wealthy Benefactor, And Also Her Soul (Anywhere)
I’ve started a new day job this week. It’s in my field. It’s technically a good job. I’m so happy yet so sad about it. I’m having a hard time coping with this but have a lot of support, and hope to adjust soon. This isn’t about not being able to stay home and paint all day. I think I’ve developed some kind of aversion to the 9-5 world, or at least in my field. I really don’t want to have this aversion; it feels involuntary and I take many steps to neutralize it, to no avail (though some days are better than others). I want to go in and at least not feel complete dread and depression. On top of that, it’s exhausting to use what little energy I have to not only do a good job but pretend like there’s nothing wrong with me.
Pros: I can pay my bills now and have benefits. Cons: Just thinking about this job, a good job (not perfect as I can easily tell you some really gross things about this place already), makes me want to abandon everything and crawl into bed at my parents’ home and not leave it for days, or maybe even years. I can’t help how I feel. I know the rational and mature thing to think. But hopefully when my health insurance kicks in, I can get a good shrink so doing what able adults do, even if they do it begrudgingly, doesn’t feel like I’m walking to a guillotine every morning.
I’ve made art since my first post. Most of the emails I received from caring and concerned fellow artists urged me to get to art making, and quick. I was going to make it anyway, but it was nice to have these exchanges. Some were curious about my work. I guess some might wonder if this person complaining about art is actually any good. So I will make something specifically for these Craigslist posts, soon. The work I’ve made recently is part of a series known within my network, so I won’t post those. Information about the podcast is also on its way.
A new artist friend of mine told me that one internet person who read my first post actually accused me of not having an artist’s soul or being a real artist. Ugh. People. They think they know everything. I think she said that because I said in my first post that I don’t take risks so she concludrd that I’m not really an artist and that this lack of risk taking is my main problem. People are so presumptuous. Could someone with a disability be as risky as someone who has their health and mental health? Look how poorly I’m doing without health insurance because I’ve been underemployed for the last few months.
Could someone with a family and mouths to feed be as risky? I didn’t marry rich. Like most people, we require a two-family income. People can be so insensitive, and this is just one example of what I meant in my last post of how artists lash out at each other, because of their own internalized invalidation of the identity of the artist. Not all of us can just live as free birds not worrying too much about our well being OR not needing to worry because we have someone (like parents, a trust fund, or a spouse) to supplement our income that provides for all of our other needs. I’m not that young. I need to sleep on a bed, eat every day, not worry about whether it’s safe to walk home in the dark, see a doctor for my health conditions at least once a month. And to expect people to live as artists in these conditions, or be considered inauthentic is quite horrible.
That person should be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating such nonsense. Making art is work and one shouldn’t have to sacrifice basic necessities to be an artist. Because art is not seen as legitimate work is one reason why we haven’t been given the same labor protections and respect as other professions.
And most of us aren’t as lucky to have financial support coming in from somewhere other than a day job. I don’t know what the bigger problem is, these types of artists who say such terrible things about artists who aren’t as lucky as they are, or the art world, or both, since the world is at least partially made up of artists (and also greedy, money hungry capitalists).
My new friend is keeping a copy of my CL posts on her website so you can read them here: artiststories.wordpress.com
To read previous posts, visit the Depressed Artist Archives
Original Craigslist post for part 3 (which will expire): http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/ats/5192921433.html