I’ve had this in my mind for a while now, and I see no one mentioning the life of an artist. Sure, you see posts of the self-hatred, lack of motivation, and art block posts - which are very true - but that’s not all of it. As an artist (who is also trying & planning to make a living out of being one) there are many hardships that one can go through. For me, some are recent.
A hardship that largely goes unnoticed is physical pain from being an artist. You may notice it but eventually dismiss it. But living as an artist, no matter what kind, you’re gonna suffer. I am mainly talking about the drawing-artists, since this is coming from experience. Physically, drawing can take a toll. You can get callouses on your hand, or a nail deformity that I recently read about from Yuumei. I wondered for a while what was going on and Yuumei had made a post about these similar happenings.
As an artist you may not be content until the thing you are working on is finished or to a standard where you can just stop and say “this is good enough for now, I’ll work on it later”.You’ll be drawing day and night, drawing for long hours to the point where it feels your hand is going to break. I have done this many times because I wanted to finish something so bad and I felt if I didn’t finish it now then the need to finish would be gone later. If you keep doing this, for years and years, nonstop - it will eventually take a toll if you don’t take care of yourself. Yuumei pointed out that with constant drawing and gripping of the pen, her nails deformed and eventually suffered with muscle pains. Within this past year I have grown more and more aware of the muscle pains in my shoulder area and grown aware of the sudden deformation of my nails.
You don’t see this side of being an artist - I think you don’t really see what’s going on with the artist and instead look at their art (which is beautiful) and don’t really understand how much work they (whoever they may be) put into it. If I draw for 5 hours, sitting in the same position, I can feel the onset of back pains. If I draw something that requires my hand to do a lot of moving around, gripping, or any form of pressure, my hand will later feel tense and just feel broken. I feel for most serious artists this can happen. Where your hand/arm can be rendered useless after short periods of time of drawing or if you stay sitting in the same position for hours you will feel stiff and maybe pain. And this is a reality that all artists should come to terms with. And mind you, this is all preventable with hand exercises and such as Yuumei has mentioned in her post. So in the long-run, this is important to keep in mind, I think.
In short, drawing is a pain. Non-artists, or of the like, should understand why sometimes we can’t finish something or why we complain or why we don’t post much - it’s because we are hard on our own bodies and sometimes we forget to eat, or forget to take a break. This is coming from personal experience and observations. Some artists are fine and ok with drawing for hours on end, and there are some who can draw for few hours, or can only draw when their hands are feeling better than the day before. All in all, I think people should know about what happens when you’re an artist - not just the lack of motivation or art-blocks and such - personally I’d like people to know about what happens when you sit still for hours on end or the pain of creating something you love. I just want people to be mindful of this.