Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am a pessioptimist, or an optopessimist. I see the good and bad side in each event (as well as believing in fate; I, at least, have no free will). I've noticed that many artists complain about the lack of money or sales of pictures, but the advantages to poverty may be great for an artist. Even the lack of security and the stress and worry this causes may be beneficial to an artist's output (although starvation or illness to due extreme poverty is probably a bad thing, there is a threshold somewhere). Still, a low budget forces an artist to avoid wasting time and wasting paint, it also forces an artist to work a lot. The freedom of being able to paint what one wants and when is a huge advantage, the option of being made to paint what someone else wants in exchange for money is usually more unpleasant. Not selling pictures allows complete creative freedom, and there is no position to fall from and nothing to lose. If van Gogh had sold his first few pictures and become a commercial success before 1889, would his sunflowers or Arles landscapes have ever been painted? I suspect he would have still committed suicide, but in Paris and with half the number of paintings he ended up painting.

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