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How do I cultivate an artistic career when the financial incentive is secondary or in some cases detrimental to the principles of my values

I have made a conscious decision to make more of my passions and abilities. I am at the beginning stages of starting a family, and cannot realistically raise children and support my wife to be on my current wage. I do not wish to invest any more of myself in a career I resent purely to meet these financial pressures, I want to invest my time and energy in the things I am truly passionate about, however believe that the necessity to create for a financial gain is detrimental to the creativity itself. The saturation of creative markets with people trying to make a living out of their arts means that just creating is no longer a viable lifestyle choice, without the sacrifice of the woman I love and the family we hope to build. I do not want to abandon the fundamental principles I have about the value of art being greater than that of money, but not at the expense of my family. Compromise?


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  • Jun 18 2013: Wow! Reading this made my head explode.

    It sounds like you are trying to use your desire to follow your passion and creativity to justify not trying to make enough money to support a family.

    I believe that as an adult, you first do what you need to do to survive, be a good citizen, and make your way in life on your own. To do anything less means that you are expecting someone else to do these things for you.

    I believe that if you are married, you and your wife form an adult partnership that effectively does the same set of basic things for both of you together as a team. How the responsibilities are split up within the marriage (income, housework, chores, etc.) is up to you.

    I believe that if you bring a child into the world, you both do what is necessary for the child to survive and thrive. This includes spending time with the child and providing for the child's needs.

    Your personal choice to pursue your passion and creativity is noble and the mark of a committed artist, to the extent that your choice does not create a burden for other citizens. This means earning whatever you need to survive in a comfortable lifestyle yourself. Similarly, in your partnership with your wife, as long as between the two of you you take care of your combined needs, then all is well. Her willingness to do more than her share of the work to enable you to pursue your art is a selfless gift to you and the art. Similarly, in a family, as long as the basic needs of all members are met, no issues.

    Pursuit of your passion, after you or your family's basic needs are met, is your right. Deciding how much of your time is spent pursuing your art, financial gain or with family is also your decision.

    Compromising your art to earn the money needed to survive is your decision. You could earn money some other way.

    Choosing to not earn what you or your family needs to survive in pursuit of art is irresponsible, not some type of compromise, as it creates a burden on others.
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      • Jun 19 2013: Agreed.

        Hopefully, I was careful enough in my construction to endorse the scenario you put forward in my response. That was my intent. I fully concur with a income earning distribution such as your tinkerer had in his family and offer Kudos to the wife for taking the risk with her investment of work to support him as he was developing his new technology. So long as the basic needs of the child are met, i have no issue with this lifestyle.

        However, in my life I have met people that would say all of what was said and feel no remorse in pursing their art for their own pleasure and becoming a burden on those that love and need them. Hopefully my response isolated and illuminated this condition as being irresponsible under the guise of pursuit of an art .

        I hope Mr. Wood falls in the category of your tinkerer and not in the category of the deluded artist I described. My intent was to remove potential delusion, not judge. I could not tell which side of the fence he was on when I read the remarks.

        With a bit of good luck, perhaps he and his family will reap the benefits of family sacrifice and follow in the footsteps of the millionaire tinkerer.

        Here is to high hopes such an event occurs!

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