Mar 23

So you’re dating an artist and everything has been lovely so far. He calls you daily; he’s drawn your beautiful face, sculpted your bust and has written a song that led to you riding him for dear life after you stopped crying. But the honeymoon period is slowing down, your nosy friends are starting to talk and your bank account is revealing that things are different with this guy than the stiff lawyer that you used to date. Sure you love the way that life slows down when you are in his company but you don’t really love the way that you’re picking up the tab on most of your luxurious dinner dates. You begin to wonder at the future, if there is a future and will this man ever have the means to pay his part and more.

The answer to this question is a resounding NO! Do not get in deep with a self-proclaimed artist unless you are prepared to be pay-master, psychiatrist, and financial planner for him throughout the course of your relationship. Art was once a profitable enterprise back when people used words such as renaissance, when music wasn’t a construct of computers and an untrained air. Nowadays being an artist is akin to saying that you are a “free-spirit”, a “student of life” or any phrase that you make up to mean “professional freeloader”.

“We think that our rap career will take off”

Artists of course do not view themselves this way. We think that one day we will have a magical showing of our work and some kind soul will buy a painting for $100,000. We think that our rap career will take off and we will be the newest Wiz Khalifa.  All we have to do is get our demo CD to Eminem and he will realize the brilliance and sign us to his label. We think that poetry isn’t dead, if Essence magazine reprints our work, we can make it unto Oprah’s show and then all the house wives of America will buy up our book… that we haven’t written yet. Do you see where I am going with this?

The problem with these aspirations is when that painter isn’t renting out a location to show his work to potential buyers. The rapper has yet to make the “demo” because he won’t spend the money for studio time. The poetry writer has them in his notebook but is afraid the internet will “steal his work” if he put it anywhere on there. These “artists” stay in this la la land of make-believe and run that game to you in order to get you there with them. The problem with this however is that money doesn’t lie and a man who has been in your house playing the Playstation 3 for 2 years jobless will start to look more like a bum than a future Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.

Yelling at him will not make him change, threatening doesn’t work, and ultimatums are about as useless as buying him the studio time it will take for him to record. If you are dating an artist then you are dating a man that you will support for a very long time. Now if you are a strong believer in his craft and the fact that he will stick around should his golden egg hatch then you have no right to be upset if it takes a very long time to get there. An artist’s motivation goes well beyond the woman that he is with and your yelling at your husband to “go out and get a damn job” will just make you seem bitter and angry, especially if you put up with it for years in hope of a change.

Author’s Note: Now I’m an artist (cursed with the ability to make things pretty and poetic wherever I please), but I have had to reinvent myself. My reinvention started with the reading of many financial education books from the masters of the art (you know who they are) and then putting the theories into action when I cut off from a secure job in 2007. Prior to the reinvention I was very much the mold of person that I will be discussing in this article. I prefaced this in order to dispel the usual suspects who like to come at me as an opinionated asshole with no reference point all because their ass gets sore from the truth (check the commentary of my nerds are sexist and racist article for reference).

Artists are a unique breed of human being, money isn’t as important as the art and your relationship is going to need money. Now are you willing to be the foundation when “writers block” or “lazy days” kick in and your guy is sitting around watching Wendy Williams when you get home? This is what you must consider before going into it. Not saying that all artists are worthless but hustlers are born not made, and you will know early on the type of animal that you are dealing with.

So date us at your own risk, there is a trade-off when it comes to that beautiful feeling inside that only an artistic man can bring to you. How important is the money? That’s what you have to decide before you let Picasso into your heart.

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  • no one of consequence

    aaaw… you sold out… money over everything else ? While it is true that some sort of practiclity is needed, money is a lie that is subverting all human value… good luck with your choice of choosing money over the courage to build a successful relationship with someone who understands what Real value is but, who is either naturally confused by a world that only values the return of material investment over human value or consciously resists that devaluation and strives to change the world, to redefine it in human terms. Art has more to do with human value and spiritiual knowledge than it does with making the objects that only seek to express those values.

    • Jeremi

      Thank you so much for that reply you hit it right on the head. I see another error as well. The point made by the writer of this article is superficial and failed to look deeper into the topic. I myself am an artist who lives in a nice well furnished house with big flat screens in every room and drives a nice new car. Yes I am a talent and crazy motherfucker and No I do not give a shit about any of the material goods in the house but they’re for my kids and wife who by the way doesn’t have to work and is a home maker like she wants to be.
      Its laughable that someone can be employed as professional writer and produce half assed products like this article. how can someone write in a way that is so opinionated about something they know nothing about. To use rap as an example of art in place of so many other mediums is very misleading to the readers that aren’t resourceful and wanna be told what to believe and how to think. If Rap is art then so is creative writing. I assume the writer of this article is getting paid for this piece which to me, negates the thesis because here we have an audience for your art that’s not even that good. If you’re paying your bills off of this and also have a girlfriend, boyfriend, regular sex, partner or plural then your contradicting your own article. This is a great example of the problem with the power of media. Allot of prejudice and ignorance can be spread so easily.
      Women are gonna Fuck who they want to no matter what any Damn way. Not all artist are starving artist, not all writers are good writers.

  • Scarlett o hara

    Like yourself, I am a financially independent artist (some would say ‘sell out’) who occasionally dates other artists but is more than happy to exchange my body and passion as currency rather than any $’s.
    One thing you forgot to mention though is how completely explosive, addictive and amazing the sex is especially when you are BOTH creative… NOTHING ever can compare….pure fire and gasoline 🙂

  • rana205

    It can be good married to an artist, but it depends on his or her personality. If the person is well balanced and kind then anything can be sorted out about money and practical things. But if the artist is narcissistic and selfish then be careful because you can get sucked up into their life and used. It depends if you want to sacrifice yourself for them and become a shadow. Let them do what they want and be encouraging, but make your own life as well and try to be financially independent.

  • Sarah Eells

    This is hands down the most piece of shit articticle I have ever read. At least arstists do what they love and don’t think money is everything. At least they chase after things they love and have passion in their life. Enjoy marrying for money and enjoy divorcing three years later. Maybe if you were more successful of a writer you wouldn’t need to worry about paying the tab.

  • This Blog Will Give You Brain

    I’ve been dating an artist for nine years. I had a child with him. Much of what was written in this article has been true for me. My partner even has a degree in art, but left a high-paying, yet stressful job in the art industry for one that’s “fun”, but is temporary and pays a third of what his last job paid. He claims it will help give him the time and energy to work on his art. But it hasn’t. His motivation comes in unpredictable spurts that amount to little. And the worst part is, he’s supposed to be a photographer, which can actually be a solid profession if the artist isn’t hell bent on only selling their work as “fine art”. The problem is, he’s only interested in creating the art, not doing the work to try and get it shown, or (god forbid) market it. I have been close to leaving him many times, but I feel that I’ve invested so much time and money trying to be supportive that I worry it’d be a mistake. And, of course, I’m a cliche: I love him. I was stupid enough to spend nine years loving this person more and more deeply, so that it becomes increasingly harder to leave. If you partner with an artist, make sure he’s a motivated professional who is willing to put the work in to make his art pay.

  • Driedpaintbrush

    So artists are only men!! Now I get it. What a one sided view, and evidence that you do not personally know any serious artists trying to make it.