art is essential

For me, artmaking is a part of processing my own experience in life. All art originates in your own life experience. Paying attention to my experience and using art to talk about my experience is an important part of my process.

But not all that's created gets sold or shown.

Certain skills, I get paid for (like photographing). Others, not so much (gardening, or cooking the family dinner, for instance). So I have the skills that I market and get hired for, and the skills/activities that I don't market and don't get hired for.

The same is true in my work. But that doesn't mean that the skills or activities I don't get hired for aren't vital to the paid work.

Often it's the work that doesn't get marketed that is an important part of generating the energy and ideas for the marketable work. You'll hear this called "personal work" or "personal projects," to differentiate it from the work that you do for clients.

Much of the time my "personal work" is the actual art I'm practicing, while the art that makes it out into the world is the fruit of that invisible work. And so, I keep working invisibly to reap very visible rewards.