Why Did I Have To Be An Artist?

By Linda R. Fisler November 1, 2021

Sound familiar?

Welcome to November! Our first week starts with a jammed-packed schedule. John is traveling over from his home to join me at the Asheville Arts Council Creative Sector Summit. Following that, we will finalize some documents, board member invitations, and honorary members. We are in the planning process that will allow the official launch of the Artistic Harmonies Association in January of 2022. We’ll also begin to create more content during this time as we refine our objectives, goals, and strategies. Can you tell I have my business hat on? Those 26 years at Procter & Gamble have come in handy over the years!

Over the last week, we’ve spent a lot of time reading and searching for statistics. The Asheville Arts Council Creative Sector Summit is even more research. Like Artistic Harmonies, the Summit focuses on all the Arts. Although Artistic Harmonies has focused on the visual artist (painting) during the soft launch, we are researching across all disciplines.

We look forward to hearing about Asheville’s vibrant artistic culture and meeting many artists. The Summit is the region’s only creative industry-specific annual conference. When performing our research, we discovered that Asheville is not alone regarding racial equity in the arts, the benefits and burdens of local tourism, ongoing pandemic impacts, and the growing gap between wages and the cost of living. Each area mentioned will have a panel discussion, and we will be taking notes. A future blog will summarize our day at the Summit.

We enter the Summit with knowledge gained from various studies. These statistics will be in our media kit/fact sheet and will help us form strategies that we hope will impact individual artists and the industry.  For example:

  1. Out of 2 million arts graduates nationally, only 10% (200,000) make their primary living as working artists.
  2. An arts education is one of the highest costing educations. In addition, art educations have a higher default rate on loans and higher dropout rates.
  3. Those not working artists revert their love to a hobby, take jobs in other sectors to make a living.  
  4. There is a big disconnect between art and business skills; the latter is more likely to lead the artist to abandon their careers.
  5. ACS data reveals:
    • There are 1.4 million working artists.
    • 40% of working artists have a high school diploma or associate degree.
    • 16 % have arts-related bachelor’s degrees.

The above statistics, in our minds, only shows the small portion of the disconnect between being an artist and that artist having the business skills to be successful. Not mentioned above is the disconnect between male and female artists and artists of color.

Being an artist is not an easy career to choose. However, at Artistic Harmonies Association, we hope to change that, not only for art professionals but for all whose calling is to create!  

Join us on November 4th at 8:00 PM Eastern via Zoom, and let’s start a conversation about your successful journey! Subscribe to the newsletter to get the Zoom information. We hope to see you there!

2 thoughts on “Why Did I Have To Be An Artist?

  1. It is interesting to know the statistics about artists.
    I myself am a Medical Professor, but rediscovered my passion and retrained myself as an Artist and art educator.
    I am exploring, studying and practicing enthusiastically and hungrily to learn more and more.
    I am a watercolorist doing portraits and flowers.
    I try to participate in events,workshops and challenges to update myself.
    It will be wonderful to be a part of your forum and learn from you all.
    Dr Madhumeeta Banerjee
    Fb:Madhumeeta Art
    Instagram:Madhumeeta Banerjee

    1. Dear Madhumeeta, I apologize for my late response. As you may have saw, a family emergency kept me from responding until today. I am so sorry. Our media kit that we are working on will include more statistics as well as reasons why we are starting this non-profit. We welcome you to Artistic Harmonies Association. Our official launch is January 2022. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working on our membership structure and projects. It was a joy to read about your journey and hope that we hear from you more and more in the future. If there are specific questions you’d like answered, feel free to email me at LFisler@artisticharmoniesassoc.com Looking forward to hearing from you!

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