Interview with an Artist

Interview with an Artist was originally published on College Recruiter.

I consider myself to be an artist. I’ve been an artist for most of my life, but I would only consider it to have been my job for the past two years. That was when I sold my first painting.

I do my work whenever I want. I paint when the mood strikes me and doodle or draw the rest of the time. When someone shows an interest in purchasing my work, I negotiate a price with them.

There are some common misunderstandings about artists, but there are so many different stereotypes of artists that it’s almost not worth it to even bring up. Some of them are that artists are messy, depressed, druggies or arrogant. They can be people that are very serious or people that are very aloof. Some of these traits are present in some artists, but every artist is different. Their unique personalities shape their work in significant and surprising ways.

On a scale of one to 10, I would rate my job satisfaction at a 7. I don’t make as much money with my art as I would like, but it’s still fulfilling for me to complete a project. It’s also fulfilling for me when other people genuinely like my work, even if they don’t buy it.

I think the only things that would need to change about my work to improve my job satisfaction would be if more people wanted to buy my work and if I created more pieces of art.

This job does move my heart. I can express what I’m feeling on a piece of paper or canvas, and during the process of drawing or painting, I can reflect on what I am feeling. It is rather therapeutic.

I like to think that I have found my calling in life. I get to do the things that I love and get paid for them.

If anyone wants to become an artist, they should keep in mind that it is very difficult to get their work out there to an audience that will consistently buy their work. I have to have other jobs to get a consistent income. Supporting yourself on art alone is a great challenge, one that I have not yet mastered.

I got started as an artist as a child. I was always drawing and seeking to better my artistic skills. Over the years, I became a better artist through taking many different art classes and practicing.

In this job, I learned to never count you chickens before they hatch. A person that was interested in my work commissioned between 10-15 pieces from me. When I had completed 5 of those pieces, I sent them an email telling them that I would finish sooner than expected. They cancelled the order and said that they had changed their mind about wanting my work. They wouldn’t pay me for the work I had done. I also learned to ask for an upfront fee when doing commissioned work.

The most important thing that I have learned outside of school about the working world is that life isn’t fair, but you can always make the best of it. When the person that I previously mentioned decided not to buy the pieces that she commissioned from me, I took that opportunity to keep one of the pieces that I really liked from the five that I had completed and sold the other four for the same price that I normally would have gotten for all five.

One of the strangest things that has happened to me as an artist is the time I incorporated honey into a painting. It was difficult to keep the honey where I wanted it and to figure out a way to hang the painting vertically in a gallery without the honey dripping out of where I wanted it and onto the carpeted floor.

The thing that makes me feel great about my work is when people want a specific piece that I had made and just make an offer for it. That tells me that I create art that people like, and I feel proud of myself in those moments.

I can handle most challenges that come up. However, I get really irritated when I’ve been working on something and I mess up, and everything that I do to try and fix my mistake only makes it worse. Being an artist is only stressful when I have artist’s block. I am able to maintain a healthy balance between work and the rest of my life.

You don’t need education to get hired and be successful in this field, but it doesn’t hurt. You do need to know who to market your art to in order to sell it, though. If a friend of mine was considering my line of work, I’d tell them to know their audience, be persistent with their work and never give up.

If I could choose what I would be doing in five years, I would be a successful artist and editor, making enough money from both of those career fields to support my family and give them what they want.

This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry.  Visit to read about how to not suck on the job.

By William Frierson - College Recruiter
College Recruiter
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