Life as an artist, or as the intimate partner of an artist, might be romantic for many people. At exhibitions, we as artists and artist partners are often the centre of attention. We are often treated extraordinarily well as the result of the artistic renown, flown to exotic destinations, accommodated restaurants.
Ironically, you may gradually come to understand, and acknowledge, you’re your partner may not like most contemporary art. They may prefer to avoid the preciousness of the inner sanctum of the art world. More often than not, they may refrain from joining you on your public artistic excursions. This may be a sign that you have graduated from the romance to the reality of life as an artist, organising your lives in quite specific and perhaps uncommon ways.
For example, because of the unpredictable nature of artist’s income, you may create individual financial arrangements. You may share a mortgage on your home, but other than that, you might find it best to manage your finances separately.
Discovering and uncovering the inherent aspects of both the romance and reality of life as an artist, or as the partner of an artist, is a journey of expansion and deepening trust in my personal relationship. As an artist, or the partner of an artist, there is no escaping this journey. Being open to its many faces is essential to domestic goodwill for an artist.
There is no doubt that artists have an extra sensitivity towards life. Artists have sensitivity towards life that is vital to their well being as an artist. In fact, it is a necessary component of the artist’s quality that enables him or her to respond creatively to life’s experiences. What initiates or develops this sensitivity is, of course, an individual thing. Each individual has various things that have fuelled this ‘extra sensitivity’ to life. This artist’s sensitivity has been particularly helpful when it comes to any form of creativity personally engaged in over the years. It adds intensity and depth to the work.
Sometimes the biggest and best breakthroughs have been achieved when the artist’s ego and any form of rigid or limiting beliefs or expectations are released. This has the resulting effect of leaving the door wide open to the new, the unexpected and the potentially limitless.
The artist’s identity will evolve and it may only be in hindsight that this identity becomes clear. Young artists should not panic if their identity is obscured. The artist’s identity will always materialise with maturity.
Developing a regular meditation practice in life has been imperative to maintaining a strong sense of a spiritual identity – which in turn influences the identity and clarity as an artist. This has helped to no end to understand the contradictions of the art world and my place in the broader scheme of things.
When confronted by judgements, particularly in relation to ‘vast amounts of angst ridden neurosis masquerading as art’, this daily meditation practice helps to expand an understanding of the world and to be curious, rather than dismissive. In this way compassion is developed for the artist’s endeavour and there is an ability to better understand and accept the journey.
Meditation and personal development gives solace when times are times are hard and peace when the alternative is a constantly chattering mind that inhibits artistic expression. Somehow the spiritual life makes up for unpredictability of the daily chaos that could easily become the life of the career artist.
When meditating literally it creates a sensitive element, which is sincere and loving. Any insecurities, or inadequacies experienced as an artist, or any reservations or judgements that may be carried around about the art world and the shenanigans that go on there, are ironed out and life begins to make sense.
Young artists, and career artists, who envision making their living from art, would do well to consider a spiritual practice that nourishes their life. This hour-a-day to commune with your deepest self is precious time and must take priority in the artist’s day.