Today I coached one of my favorite Artist Clients (we work together every month on her music career goals), and the subject of money came up. It came about after she did my Circle of Personal Perspective Exercise (you can find that in my book, Just Get Out There), whereby she perceived her professional goals at a 4 out of 10, less than half. I asked her why she put such a low number, especially after all the work she has been doing in fulfilling her dreams and working on her goals. She replied that it was because even though she has been doing a lot, she isn't making any money from it, and so therefore didn't value her progress.
I reminded her about the chapter I have in my book Just Get Out There, as well as the whole ethos about being a professional artist, in my first book I AM A Professional Artist.
Simply put, I have come to the conclusion from my writings and interviewing other artists, and also how I live my life as an artist, that being a Professional Artist does not mean you have to be making money from your Art. It's a hard pill to swallow even in our enlightened culture, because as a child we and even our parents have been taught that self-value comes from a "good ol' fashioned" job that pays well and affords you all the things you need in this life. I don't want to get into politics in this blog, but I will say that our Western culture emphasizes a definite lenience to "living to work" in our capitalist society, where schools push subjects based on what jobs you can get, and the Arts are pushed aside as electives only, and not mandatory, because it doesn't feed into our "jobs society".
But what if we were brought up to enjoy the Arts, where music, art and dance were encouraged, and where careers in the Arts were respected. Imagine our own self-esteem about following our artistic passions? It would create an entirely different society.