This is, I suppose, a reaction to some posts I’ve seen recently. They are the ones talking about how art is supposed to be “fun” and if it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong and blah blah blah.
I just want to point out how stupid that generalization is.
I’m an art student (yes, that’s right, I’m spending money to go learn about art and my influences and to get help from professional artists in the hopes of becoming a professional myself someday), and a lot of the art I do is not “fun”. I don’t enjoy coming up with ten different ways of illustrating one of the most boring scenes in “Of Mice and Men”. I have no interest in painting 30”x40” Cubist pieces. But I still do them, because I know that in the long run, knowing how to do these kind of things will help me. I’m learning. I’m growing. It’s not always fun, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing this wrong.
I’m an artist. Art is what I love to do, and what I want to do for the rest of my life, what I want to support myself with. But I am not under the delusion that everything I do has to be fun. Not every assignment is designing Alice in Wonderland characters or mapping out post-apocalyptic cities. There’s a lot of boring stuff to do.
Note, though, that I’m not saying art can’t be fun. If you want to be a hobby artist, go for it, have fun all the time! But if you want to make a living with art, please, understand that you will end up doing things that aren’t quite as exciting. It’s just the way the world works.
I don’t get the whole idea of art being purely for fun. Well I mean, I guess I do in the sense that I understand someone doing something casually and for the fun of it, but I have no concept of what that feels like or being able to make the conscious decision to do it feels like.
There are not many occasions where “fun” would be on my list of words to describe what I do and why I do it. “Punishing”, “brutal”, “taxing”, “frustrating”, “fulfilling”, “addicting”, “necessary”, and “illuminating” are much more relevant to me. And it’s why I’m not particularly interested in the people that do it for fun. I honestly don’t have any common ground with them, can’t talk to them, can’t really relate to what they’re doing at all. Two completely different worlds there— one of necessity and one of choice.