The Starving Artist

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The title "Starving Artist" is one that has been around for thousands of years. It is a title that is thrown around haphazardly without really understanding what the definition is so let's break it down.

starved  starv·ing - intransitive verb

1a: to perish from lack of food b: to suffer extreme hunger

2a archaic: to die of cold b.British: to suffer greatly from cold

3:  to suffer or b.perish from deprivation

Artist - noun

1a: obsolete: one skilled or versed in learned arts b. archaic: physician c. artisan 1

2a: one who professes and practices an imaginitive art b. a person skilled in one of the fine arts

3:  a skilled performer; especially: artiste

4: one who is adapt at something artist

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The definition of starving is pretty spot on. The definition of an artist on the other hand is a little more complex. Some things can't be explained by definition, so it takes the experience of different journeys to understand what it truly means to be defined as "One who Suffers, with great Skills". It comes as no surprise that in the creative thought process, logic doesn't often apply, humanity doesn't usually apply, humility almost always applies. The creative mind is always creating it's own existence following through with works that flow from within.


The trend that we've seen in regards to artists for thousands of years is that they are crazy or tormented in some way. We've watched creative people from all realms often die at their own hands due to the constant stigma and expectations set by the "greater society". Artists are conditioned to believe there is something wrong with them because of the burning desire to bring what's in their heart to life. They starve because they don't know any better; they starve because they listen to voices outside of themselves that hold no relevance in their existence. We (artists) have been caught in this web for a very long time and it's very difficult to get out once you've been wrapped in it's lies.

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The term "Starving Artist" resonates with me, because as a fairly new full time artist I see how someone else can look into my lifestyle and believe that I would fall under that title. I am not financially rich nor am I seeking to get rich from what I create. It is not at all about what I can gain in creating art, it's about what I can give back in light of what has been given to me. I am not financially poor either because believe it or not the universe sees fit to take care of me through my creations. When I create, it comes from a deeper place and grows abundantly in blessings so long as I don't try to control my creative process.I did not choose art, art chose me. This is why I feel so compelled to create in the moment. No matter what the outcome is I allow myself to be a vessel. I think of the artists that came before me who acquired fame after their deaths. While fame is not my goal on this artistic journey, I don't want to become an after thought or another "starving artist". That is why I gravitate toward painting the human body, there is just something about seeing transformation in action. The art that I help to create is alive and thriving. Watching art move forces you to appreciate it in a greater manner.  When I first started body painting publicly the stops, stares, questions and overall interest was sparked. This was an exhilarating feeling for me, because it allowed me to see the kind of appreciation people actually showed for art. The Body Painting process is both really physical and spiritual so it requires a lot of energy from both the artist and model. Standard canvas is much different because all of your energy is going into one place and time is not always of the essence. Body painting requires a very high level of awareness as your canvas requires regular attention and frequent stretch breaks. Though I enjoy both forms of painting, I thrive off of the challenge of Body Painting more because I am very in tune with that creative energy.

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"Starrvin' Artist is not just a brand...  SA is a lifestlye where art is life, and hunger breeds passion. A Starrvin' Artist is someone so in tuned with their passion, trade, or hussle that not a single day goes by that their "art" isn't created. This is my art." This is a quote from which is an actual brand. I chose it because this gets to the point of the Starving Artists lifestyle; this is the definition I prefer if one must refer to me as a starving artist. This is a passion from within, and no matter what the situation may be it must come out. I believe that if you are hungry for something you must be clear on what that hunger is and feed it. One cannot actually starve if he/she ingests the nourishment that is meant to sustain them. I personally will never refer to myself or any working artist as a starving artist, I prefer thriving because that is what we truly are.

"Creative energy doesn't have to worry about how it's going to survive; it only has to create to survive."

~ My brother: Brian T. Cobb

Creativity takes courage - Henry Matisse

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find their way by moonlight, and their punishment is that they see the dawn before the rest of the world - Oscar Wilde