Do Artists Retire?
Today I was basically offended. Someone had written about me that I was retired! That person does not understand what it is to be an artist. I am NOT retired and NEVER will retire… I hope. I recently read a very interesting book about the Private Lives of the Impressionists in France. Some of them came from relatively wealthy families, some were dirt poor. They all kept creating and exploring new ways of making art. They were mocked and ridiculed and did not have much commercial success during their lifetimes, but they are titans in the art world today. They painted and created until they died.
I found the book very inspiring! As an artist it is easy to doubt yourself and feel inadequate. I have read of artists who have become very successful and still keep knocking and doubting themselves, even taking to drinking and other self-destructive behavior. Think of Basquiat, Pollock, van Gogh, etc. Just because I have made one master piece, there is no guarantee that I will be able to make another. But we are always on the search, always exploring new ideas, practicing our skills, observing the world around us. Hopefully we can put food on the table, so we can live another day of being creative.