Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birds of a Feather Or Pursuing Your Passion

We went to the annual Bald Eagle Day at the Conowingo Dam in Maryland. We didn't see a lot of eagles that day, and the event was really crowded. However, we did get to see these amazing and beautiful birds with the people who care for them. I've been thinking a lot about the whole concept of following your passion. It's easy enough to suggest that to a young person, but let's face it: it's just not always feasible. More and more of the arts seem to be viewed as secondary, something that the producer of that art should be willing to share at no cost. Photographers joke darkly about people who say "We would like to use your photo, but we can't pay. We CAN offer you "exposure." Musicians are offered this "exposure" as are painters and other artists. Nathaniel Hawthorne tried to make money from his writing, but took a job at the Salem, MA Customs House. Artists have often depended on having a "patron" to take care of them. There are people and places that do this today such as artists retreat organizations, awards such as the McArthur Prize. Still, in the end, most artists will have to go it alone. Maybe in the end, it's better to "keep your day job," i.e. find something to do that isn't really awful, and try to pursue your passion on your own. That probably doesn't sound very optimistic, but I'm a realist in the end. So get out that with your camera or your paintbrush or your collage materials or your chisel and go for it. Or do what these folks did in my photos - educate the public about something. It's not going to pay the bills, but, just maybe, your spirit will be refreshed for another day. 

The McArthur Awards

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