Professional photographic artist, author and speaker working primarily in the Western US.
There are two approaches, maybe three, to any art: you can make it a real business first of all, in which case ‘Art’ could, probably would, be killed; or you can live for your art, and maybe grow lean in the living, or try to combine the two approaches. In trying to achieve the latter, I have learned that you can’t make a lot of money, get rich, out of your own hide, no less than the corner grocer.~ Edward Weston, in a letter to his son, Cole
There are those who (legitimately) refer to themselves as artists by virtue of being skilled at producing artistic creations. There are also those who refer to themselves as artists by their conviction, beyond just producing art, to live as artists. To the former, the highest purpose of being an artist is to make art, often alongside or in deliberate contrast to less-artistic aspects of life.
There are many who live their lives as artists but earn a living in other professions (or perhaps are fortunate to not have to earn a living at all), and there are also many professional artists for whom art is primarily a means of earning income rather than an expression of an intensified life.
To the latter, the opposite is true: the highest purpose of making art is to sustain an artistic life by occasionally giving tangible form to certain experiences that ensue naturally out of such a life.
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