On Being An Artist In Difficult Times

In this time of nationally and international uncertainty when we are fighting an invisible enemy, when people’s lives hang in the balance, art can hardly be considered essential. At least not in the same category as first responders, clinicians, doctors, and other health care professionals who risk themselves each day. Still, artists still have something to contribute, even in these trying times.

Art can inform us, elevate our thinking, or just provide a much needed distraction. In the case of my art which focuses on notable cars from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s it is my attempt to visually retell the stories of those who were inspired to create these machines we so love or those who raced in them, pushing both their own limits as well as our understanding of how far or fast we can go. There are important lessons here for us. Lessons of perseverance, of innovation, of courage and determination—all qualities we can surely use right now.

Then there’s the economic uncertainty almost every artist faces. No complaints. It’s an occupational hazard when you elect to forgo a real job. That, and no one forced me into this. Working without a net, so to speak, has its thrills for sure but it also comes without the security of unemployment benefits, workers compensation, insurance or other compensatory benefits enjoyed by those in more regular professions. There will always be down times in one’s art career. What you do might go out of style or might encounter a lengthy period where you lack inspiration or muse. But times like these are really scary for artists every stripe because without you, the people who buy our art, concert tickets, or theater seats, we are utterly without our only source of recompense.

So I ask you, on behalf of all those who draw, paint, craft, sing, dance or act, all of those who bring their light into the world please, continue to support us so we can continue to help in the best way we know how. Thank you.