Why It’s Time to Call BULLSHIT on the “Starving Artist” Myth

Realization time.

If you follow me at all on social media, you probably know that I spent this past Thursday-Saturday at a kick-ass female entrepreneur’s conference in Atlanta.  I was immersed in business from 9:00am to 9:30pm for about three days straight.  By the end of the conference I’m pretty sure my brain was leaking out of my ears.  I probably learned about 30 posts worth of delicious information, but my biggest realization was this:

I don’t work well when I’m hungry.

Who else is familiar with this?  I start the day in a focused note-taking-frenzy, but by 1pm my brain has gone sluggish and everyone around me has transformed into cartoon drumsticks.  When I’m hungry, I just don’t do good work.

So…then what the fuck is up with this romanticized vision of the “starving artist”?  Why do we believe that in order to be artists we have to be struggling or uncomfortable?

I know I bought into that for a long time.  I felt obligated to take on tedious, low-paying jobs between acting stints, rationalizing that it would “keep me hungry for work.”

Bullshit. Bullshit. BULLSHIT.

I love acting.  I love telling stories.  I love collaborating.  THOSE are things that keep me motivated to keep auditioning.  My crappy serving job did not. My crappy serving job motivated me to watch Netflix and take a nap.

And I know I am not alone.

I have watched so many people I love suffer for their art.  I have watched them starve. And I don’t just mean figuratively.

We wear our suffering proudly like a badge that says “See, I’m an artist! I belong in this community!”  (And we don’t even have to pay union dues to wear it!!)

But that badge gets heavy. Especially if you never allow yourself to put it down.

So I’m calling BULLSHIT on the “starving artist” myth.  Personally, I’d like to be a full artist.  I just work better that way.

Anyone want to join me?  Picnic season is almost upon us!

Until then, please post your comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Why It’s Time to Call BULLSHIT on the “Starving Artist” Myth

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