SSB: The Starving Artist

Artists don't have to starve to stay cool. Stop the movement now. (SOURCE:
Artists don't have to starve to stay cool. Stop the movement now. (SOURCE:

There has always been a love – hate relationship between artists and the public-deemed status of their work.

If an artist was  titled famous and their artwork labeled good enough to make headlines, back in the day, they were gifted with headshots in history books and artwork in museums for centuries to come.

It was a world of success, the knowledge that they made history.

If an artist’s work was labeled wrong or “no good,” however, it was a life time of misery and trying to prove themselves.

They became starving artists: Creators who spent all they had on their projects, and lived with the bare minimum required for a less-than-comfortable lifestyle.

And of course we all know who comes to mind first when thinking of starving artists: Vincent Van Gogh.

Unless that’s just me.

But he isn’t the only perfect example:

Claude Monet spearheaded French Impressionalism, and critics rejected his works, ridiculing his talents.

Paul Cezanna, often called the father of modern art, was finally given recognition. The year after his tragic passing, of course.

While most of these artists went through torment (or, you know, death) before anyone realized their work was fantastic, today, anyone with a little talent and a lot of practice can sell their creative artwork.

The idea of an artist having to be poor and suffer before gaining popularity and acceptance runs deep within the threads of our culture and our society; either from Mr. Van Gogh up there, or all those other troubled artists who appeared to be making a pattern.

When we look toward musicians on T.V. or actors who finally hit fame in the magazines, we think, ‘It’s about time.”

We assume all over the place that any type of artist has to struggle to make it in our society doing what they love. And chances are most of them do.

In reality, half of it is about the talent and the determination to succeed, yes. But a lot of it is how you market yourself and your art.

In fact, according to Cory Huff, an actor-turned-business man who aids artists in utilizing the Internet to market their work.

The idea we seem to have around the world – that you must struggle, be poor, and work your way up through huge corporations who deem your worthiness and talent – is in fact a myth. Hence the motto on his website,, “Dispelling the Starving Artist Theory.”

If you think you might be falling under this ‘starving artist theory’, keep your aim for the stars, but see if marketing yourself while you wait for big names to pick you up will help you get to your dreams faster.

Advertise yourself, ask your friends to spread the word – make sure you know the marketing field so you don’t get cheated – and you may be surprised by how many people become a fan of your work.