Hobby Or Profession?
July 27, 2018
Whenever I tell people that I am a sculptor they ask me if I can get an income out of it. Their second question is how I turned my hobby into my job. Another rather funny question is how I make time for this. I seldom think about that but occasionally I look at my work, at the amount and I just know how many hours I spend on each sculpture. This is what I do, my life’s ambition, my profession. I am a sculptor, I make sculptures. I devote my time and my life to this.
People never ask a professional athlete how much time his sport occupies or how he changed his hobby into his job. You just know that. He is a professional athlete so he already made that choice and will dedicate all his time to it. All his future decisions will be dependent on his choice to become a professional athlete. It is the reason for his doing or not doing certain things. And that choice can only be made after spending 10.000 hours practicing your sport to discover whether you’re talented enough. I once heard people say about Sven Kramer that he wasn’t all that talented but had enormous will power.
It is the same for professional artists, for true craftsmen. Once you’ve made that decision, the consequences will reveal themselves. And I remember the exact moment I took that resolution. For me that means a continuous study of forms, I will always work from my heart. I will submerge myself in what touches people and capture it in my sculptures. The foundation of my work is my bewilderment and surprise about man and the world he creates. I am honest and open.
It also means I have to go along my own path, I cannot be part of the heap. I observe humanity and feel the impact it has on me. I try to translate that into my work. I look at society from the side line. But of course I am also part of society and have to meet the demands of that society to be able to keep my occupation. To get by (yes, it’s my livelihood, of course it’s my livelihood, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to stand in front of you). But I need to be able to do lots of other things as well. I must be capable to build a website, negotiate prices, hit the market, search for customers, do public relations, keep a portfolio, know my position with reference to other artists. But the bottom line, the reason I need to learn all those things are my sculptures. That is the consequence of my heart’s acceptance.