FFS get a real job image

post #5 - FFS, get a real job!...

and so i did & became an artist

i'm pretty certain you will have heard of the “The Starving Artist Myth”, that age-old stereotype that claims true artists must suffer financially to create meaningful work.

for absolute moons, society has built up this idea of the struggling artist, believing that “great art comes from great hardship” (said in a highfalutin fancy ass voice)

poor wee Van Gogh, only sold a few paintings in his lifetime, but hey look who’s laughing now (she nods, raising one eyebrow knowingly & then realises shit not the best analogy, maybe should have used Barbara Kruger or Tracey Emin, but you get what i mean right?). but you know what times have changed, & so has the art world

"i've completely lost my f*cking marbles"

you might think i've completely lost my f*cking marbles to go from a secure job as a lecturer to what might seem like an unstable career as a full-time artist, but i don’t think so

i do get feelings of guilt though when i'm creating a new piece of work, rather than building my website or working on social media marketing

all the time i'm wondering is this a "real job"? is this actually legit what i'm doing? & then i think it can’t be ‘cause i love it & it doesn’t feel like work! – wtaf, why do i think like this?

"stubborn mother trucker"

so, here's a few of my wee musings as to maybe why:

reason 1: cause it’s the norm for people to value “traditional” jobs with clear results more than a creative gig

reason 2: business stuff like boosting traffic or sales is structured & shows results quickly, which can feel super productive

reason 3: creating art can seem more abstract & usually takes way more time to see the payback

reason 4 (& the real kicker): the starving artist myth has been pedalled for centuries & now, subconsciously (big word for me), is a deeply rooted & stubborn mother trucker in my mind!

it is a stubborn mother trucker ‘cause the actual stats say otherwise but yet those stats haven’t stuck in my mind in quite the same way. maybe if i write them down they will? so here’s a few according to the UK governments most recent stats:

“the creative industries account for nearly 6% of the British economy, generating £126bn in gross value annually & employ 2.4 million people, as well as contributing greatly to the country's status internationally”

“the art market plays a key role in attracting high-value cultural tourism to the UK”

“the British art market is the second largest internationally with aggregate sales of £9.7 billion”

we are currently only beaten by the US (but let's be real, we are a tiny wee island by comparison, what is it they say - small but mighty?)

there's lots more stats but stats are boring, i prefer pretty pictures myself, but the point is art is a real job & the figures, boring as they might be, tell no lies!

"aka scary AF"

so maybe i haven’t lost my marbles after all eh & changing career was the right move to make? for me personally it was a decision that has been both exhilarating (aka scary AF) & liberating

my journey to here hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. i found myself stuck in a job that felt more like a soul-sucking vortex (picture a death eater from Harry Potter & you’re halfway there) than the fulfilling career it had once been. surrounded by toxic vibes & naysayers who seemed to thrive on negativity, i knew something had to change

& tadah enter art - the unexpected hero of my story. in the middle of the all chaos & frustration, i rediscovered my passion for my own creativity. i began to channel my pent-up energy into something beautiful & well, empowering really

& so, kweenie was born - a colourful celebration of resilience, empowerment, & unapologetic self-expression.

"just for the shits & giggles"

through my art i'm flippin’ the bird in defiance at the haters, amping you up to believe in yourself, & bringing big fat sparkles to the world. simply just for the shits & giggles of it all & well also my sanity, what there is of it anyway!

one of the earliest collections i created was my "divinity" collection. it's not very polite & it gets straight to the point, no real hidden message or symbolism here to decipher, well maybe just a wee tiny bit

i wanted to make bold iconic portraits that radiate a divine aura & Hollywood glamour. redefining wall art with their killer gold Virgin Mary style halos, creating a feisty & cool urban vibe. i think of it like street art meets divine intervention (pmsl as i type this)

Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Dorothy Dandridge & Marilyn Monroe; these kweens aren't just faces to me - they're symbols of power & rebellion, ready to take on the world. & those gold-leaf halos? they're like a wee shout-out to their iconic status, a reminder to always keep it real, something i've now vowed to myself to do

you can hang them solo, mix & match, or scoop up all four to recreate the lyrics "fuck you I won’t do what you tell me" from Rage Against the Machine’s iconic  90's track "Killing in the Name". i'm hoping that these badass collage paintings might just start a wee conversation on your walls!

my thinking is why should you or your walls conform? & hell yes, f*ck you i won’t do what you tell me!

so maybe in some ways i have had great hardship to then create meaningful art but i ain’t starving, i've exhibited & sold work, run inspirational workshops, created a passive income strategy, started a line of merch & this is only the beginning kweens!

what about you then? if you fell out of love with your job what would you reinvent yourself as & would you care about age old myths? or maybe you'd rather tell me who you'd say "fuck you i won't do what you tell me" to? c'mon hit me up in the comments...

love you, bye


PS things i've learned to help me believe art is a real f*cking job:

  1. applying a bit of structure to my creative process, setting goals, & tracking progress helps me see the value & productivity in my art-making. think of it as plotting your creative conquest - world domination, one masterpiece at a time
  2. external validation is great, but your self-worth should come from within. you need to believe in the importance of what you are doing. if in doubt, just channel your inner kweenie - she doesn’t wait for anyone’s approval
  3. invest in learning the business side of art. knowledge is power, & it can help you feel more confident & legit in your career. who knew spreadsheets could be sexy? (did i just take that too far?)
  4. & finally the truth is i'm more likely to starve cause i burnt the dinner as i got too engrossed in my painting than to NOT make bank on my art!


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Oops predictive text in my last comment I meant chocolatier!


I think I’d become chocolate, but my profits might suffer a bit!


Loving your work Kweenie! Both the art and the writing are top notch! Warm, honest and full of humour!

Alan Holligan

Fantastic summery of your life and how you kicked back on the current restrictive environment we now live in. It’s good to reflect and I salute you for making a difficult choice from the shitty safe ‘same as’ security and actually living the life you have trained and strived for. Love it. 😘 Xxx

Nina cairney

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