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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