Muse: Demystifying the Artist Open Access

Duval, Sara E. (2016)

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Today, there are many misconceptions about what it means to be an artist. These false stereotypes surrounding artists are rooted in myths that have become known as true to artists and non-artists alike today. These myths make it difficult for young, aspiring artists to follow their dreams because they are met with resistance from parents, advisors, and their own socially motivated ideas about what it means to be an artist. These myths are especially destructive to young artists because it is impossible for them to live up to the myth of what it means to be an artist, leaving room only for failure in the long run. My research is motivated by my own personal desire to pursue a career in the arts. It is important to me to live a life that I enjoy. Many Americans get stuck in jobs they are not happy with, which translates directly into their personal lives. Not being happy at work has dangerous repercussions. That being said, why not do something that is both your day job and your passion at once? Why not get paid to do something you love? I highlight the importance of doing just this - getting paid to do what you love - and show the possible job options that exist. There are more options for the creative individual than just working as a traditional artist. It has been argued that creating art for a company is "selling out" as opposed to creating art simply for "art's sake" because it furthers a commercial agenda. I argue that the process of creating art or creative work is the same whether it is being done for a company or for oneself. Therefore, the happiness generated from making a creative work is the same no matter who it is created for. In addition, most traditional artists create art for the sake of selling consumers their work, which arguably, the consumers have no distinct need for. An artist working for a company also sells consumers a product they do not necessarily need. The two practices are direct parallels. For this reason, I argue for expanding arts into the commercial sector to ensure financial stability while still producing important creative work.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1-2

Overview. 2-4

Ritualistic Art. 4-6

The Lone Male Genius. 6-7

The Myth. 8-9

The Danger of the Myth. 9-12

The Artist as Border Crosser. 12-14

Double Agency. 14-17

Career Happiness. 17-18

Flow and The Good Life. 19-21

Design in a Period of Abundance. 21-24

Conclusion. 24-25

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