Blog / 2018 / Living Gratefully

November 19, 2018

[video transcript]

Artists also tend to live simply. I talk more about public and private patronage in this video about how to make a living as an artist.

The original periwinkle painting is $200 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks. There are prints and other arty items of this piece in my Redbubble shop.

periwinkle flower illustration
Gwenn Seemel
acrylic on wood
4 x 4 inches

Living gratefully. Anybody can do it, but it’s easier for artists than for people who have other kinds of jobs, because gratitude really flows when we understand our connection with the world around us—when we understand that we can’t do anything alone.

More than any other career, professional art-making brings the truth of our interdependence into sharp focus. There are only two ways to make money with art: private patronage and public patronage.

Private patronage is individuals giving money in exchange for an artwork or an art print. Public patronage is a community of people coming together to give money to an artist, through grants or public art commissions, but also through microdonations that happen on sites like Patreon. In other words, the only way that an artist gets to keep making art is if they are aware of the people who privately or publicly fund their art.

And that awareness makes it easy to feel grateful—doubly so! Thank you for making my art possible and thank you for helping me to live gratefully.

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