The Starving Artist Stays Hungry To Make A Living

The Starving Artist Stays Hungry To Make A Living

Art is more than an economically viable endeavor, it is a way of life.


John Milton wrote in a letter to his contemporary that he wanted to reach "an immortality of fame." Vincent van Gogh was not critically acclaimed until after his death. The English writer continued to write his epic poem Paradise Lost despite going blind and the Dutch painter depended on his brother Theo's support during his personal breakdowns; the first the cutting off of his left ear and the second a gunshot to the chest in a wheat field. These artists have amassed a portfolio and braved their hardships while they worked or rather starved.

Creative pursuits are not always met with open arms but those who want their love give their love and hold on each time they do. Artists are seen as egotistical, woe-is-me, basket cases with a stubbornness that borders on pompous desperation. How they are known is never quite understood and the person that knows a person best is the very person himself. Some artists might have pity parties, but the public would not have any founded inkling of it. The cynical artist might say to those people that they put the "ass" in the "masses" or "assumption." The more optimistic would consider it true; who hasn't had doubts or hesitations?

As long as people eat, they will hunger. The artist is on a journey, and his destination has many different routes for him to discover and take. Limitations are determined by the artist; determination is either limited or extended by the artist. Of course, it is not fun being spiritually and intellectually starved, but when you are faced with quality over quantity, time over deadline, you know neither can be done without intentions of the heart. If their is no love in what you do, if you do not care for the craft or the process, find the place where love is. Whether people care or not is not up to you, but what is in your control is how you approach your creativity.

Art is more than an economically viable endeavor, it is a way of life. It is protest, it is a lesson, it is what puts you in motion. You create like only you can. The moment your art becomes devotion is the moment art becomes a responsibility. Sharing and creating stories for yourself is always the first step and the leap of faith is your patrons. You want to know that you have a supportive audience who says "you're okay," that enjoys what you do as much as you do. Surround yourself with people who care or even the ones who did not care to begin with; you can be their reason to care now.

Rejections are just piecemeal, it is a setup for your acceptance. Start with the basics, know who you are, what you do, and where you are going. Ask and answer "Why," recite your ABCs: action, belief, courage, determination, edification, failure, gain. Recognize the process, what works and does not work, subvert the naysayers by saying "Yes." Yes, I am an artist. Yes, I do starve. Yes, I enjoy the taste of canvas. The starving artist is not "stubborn stupid" but "stubborn smart" about his taste. The artist is only starving if his taste buds have gone dry and numb for the processed, the bland, the "extra ordinary." The artist is one who is rich in spirit, who digests the ordinary, and makes his own recipes so that others may know the rich soul of his taste.

The starving artist makes a living with rich taste. You do not jeopardize yourself for anything less than who you are: an artist. You make art for a living. Money comes and goes, and so does your life, so make it a series of masterpieces.

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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