It is quite interesting to look at the terms ‘young’ or ‘emerging artist‘: You would think it applies to the likes of me: being in my mid-twenties, having just finished a Master degree in my artistic profession and having had some public exposure in exhibitions. But actually I have the feeling that this category is often applied to artists from an age of 30-35 onwards, which means that before that age you can’t really expect to be called an artist, get known and therefore to be able to earn a living.
Was it ever possible for a young artist to work in a serious way? ‘Serious’ implicating value of work shown by level of salary. Or, ‘serious’ meaning the social expectation of a 100% passionate artist, not worrying about anything else in this world than his/her art. (Not even taking not-so-arty-jobs, like wedding or portrait photography into account to pay their rent – because you know you have to stay credible.) This summer, at the age of 25, I finished my studies in Photography. At this point in my life I ask myself: Should I go on studying in another artistic programme to slowly creep towards a higher age? Should I try to make art whilst working 3-4 bread-and-butter jobs at the same time, trying to gain ‘experience’? Or, should I just forget about it, fetch for any 40hrs-job and hope for the best…?
Everything seems to end up on a middle ground for most artists. Try to follow your passion, but try to earn what you deserve. Try to serve a serious compromise with the least financial input.