Artwork is work

Self portrait of Roger Vincent Jasaitis in pen and chaulk. Copyright 2013 Roger Vincent Jasaitis
Self portrait October 2013

I saw this bumper sticker out on the road this week that read: Artwork is work. My first thought was how true. The following thought was who thinks that it isn’t? Is the perception of the need to address this the reason for this slogan?

I get this question all the time is this your real job? Where does the perception come from that if an artist is doing other work to put food on the table he is not a true artist?

Perhaps people think that artists don’t deserve a living wage because they don’t work? Or is it that the creation of culture that is art, is not worthwhile supporting? Is the only good artist a dead artist?

I, like most artists, have had to struggle with temp and part-time work and odd jobs to support my art habit because my art work doesn’t pay a living wage. Then again, I guess I can count myself with the millions of people who work and are not paid a living wage.

What does all of this have to do with art? The great societies throughout history are remembered by the artwork that they made. What are we producing… and more importantly, what are we supporting?