colby caldwellHOLLER

Leif Erik Johansen - Day Three

colby caldwellHOLLER
photo by Leif Erik Johansen

photo by Leif Erik Johansen


I forgot my teeth today! Recently I had my four front teeth removed because of a skateboarding accident i had when i was a teen. Let me be the first to point out the obvious... it SUCKS not having front teeth! There are a whole host of challenges such as, but not limited to: talking, eating, swallowing, whistling, drooling, voting, kissing and self-esteem. Then there is the embarrassment of forgetting to put in my teeph (again, speaking is a challenge) before leaving the house, because... its not exactly something i ever had to remember to do before leaving the house!

On a semi-serious note this process is going to cost me a pretty penny to say the least! What could come out of it is the best work of my life, because I need money!

Most artist like to talk about inspiration, but many artists don't like to talk about money being part of that inspiration. Let's face it, this business can be a struggle at times and we do what we can to survive.

Here are some questions I've asked myself since becoming a full-time artist five years ago:

1. Is it necessary to struggle financially as an artist in order to create good/great work?

2. Could an artist create better work if he or she had "deep pockets" and/or unlimited funds to create the work they’ve dreamed of creating or would there be less pressure to create because there is no desperate need to create?

3. Does the need for money push artists to grow and evolve as an artist?

4. If money is your primary motivation, does the work suffer and become superficial, non-challenging "furniture store" art with the intention of appealing to the masses?

I began my professional art career partially because of another injury, I ruptured my Achilles tendon two weeks before my first son was born. My recovery time would be about 3 months. In addition my girlfriend was scheduled for a C-section. We were in a panic. There was no more dragging my feet (pun intended) on this dream I had of becoming a career artist, I needed money and I couldn't walk, but I could sit and paint all day.

It was around this time I realized you can't wait for inspiration to hit you, as a professional artist, you have to work everyday, there is no waiting for inspiration to strike. Picasso once said, "Inspiration exists, it just has to find us working." Now it's time to close and get back to work so I can buy me some new teeph!