Bhargav Ramakrishnan – actor, director, arts manager, stand-up comic, writer, amateur chef, semi professional food critique and many other things that he believes he can do whilst being completely unqualified to do even one of them.
Try telling someone you’re an artist, the first thing they’re likely to ask you is what you do for a living. Tell them again that you are in the arts, and that is what you do, you might as well have told them that you’re suffering from cancer! Because obviously, you can’t be in the arts and still live a normal life, you have to be (melancholic violin in the background) ‘The Struggling Artist’ – Lets please stop struggling!
Being an artist is a profession
So treat it like one, expect the same from everyone around you and educate the ones who don’t know better. Go to office, keep working hours, set targets… And see how you can use your skills as an artist to create products that the market wants and needs, sell it and maybe, you could just make money. Using your art to make money is NOT selling out, it’s having a JOB!
Success is NOT only Super-stardom
If you’re an artist then you have to be MF Hussain or Kamal Haasan or Michael Jackson or a failure. Fair enough. But that means if you’re an MBA grad, you have to be Donald Trump, if you’re in politics you have to be Obama and if you’re an engineer, you better not be in Software! See what I’m getting at.
Art teachers, script writers, set designers, arts managers – all of these people are artists and they have careers and can lead happy, awesome lives.
The arts is NOT JUST a substitute
It’s not for the one who fails in math, it’s not the backup option for someone who couldn’t get placed and it’s not JUST a passion or a hobby. The fundamental reason artists are struggling, no one taught them otherwise.
Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology study all of these subjects as a kid and then you can choose which you want to specialize in. Of course, if you don’t like any of them then you can take commerce. What about the arts? oh please, don’t make me laugh..
Let us teach the basics of arts also, let it be an option from the beginning, not ONLY something you ‘realize’ has been you’re calling when you’re 20+ and then grope around in the dark with.
The above list is definitely NOT exhaustive, so many more misconceptions out there. But what I’m trying to say is that I’m an artist and the only thing I’m struggling with, is a suitable way to end this blog post. So, it’s time we started changing how we look at people in the arts, it’s their livelihood!