Why I Decided To Be An Artist

Why I Decided To Be An Artist

By Wes Siegrist

Wes Siegrist as a boy with his artwork

Encouragement as a child helped me love making art!

Was it money, fame, glamor, self-employment … ?

I must admit deciding to be an artist as a career wasn’t something I gave much thought to but I have pondered it repeatedly over the years as to why I remain an artist. It’s never been about trying to make money although I’ve learned the value of profit and savings to get more out of life. It’s never really been about fame either. What international recognition I’ve received is enjoyable but is quickly squelched out by the attention that can unwittingly devour one’s free time.

Wes and Rachelle Siegrist exhibiting at the Sailfish Marina in Florida.

We have exhibited in some beautiful, fun locations over the years!

Is there glamor being an artist? Sure! Do what you want, when you want, how you want … get recognition via awards, sales, publication and museum exhibitions. Having been there and done that, what doesn’t show is the frustration with a problematic painting, slow times for sales, always present bills, PILES of office work and travel hassles. Reality is a balance between glamor and drudgery.  Thankfully, there is more glamor especially in my memory!

I’m extremely blessed to have a spouse that’s also an artist and even more blessed to work side by side with Rachelle constantly. Having my best friend with me always would surely have been a reason to choose at home self-employment but the flip side is dealing with one of us winning awards, selling and getting recognition when the other doesn’t. It required more patience and a thicker skin but together we have grown into something better than what we’d be alone.

Rachelle and Wes Siegrist painting together in their studio

Working together in our studio circa 2001

I didn’t pause to think when I chose to be an artist of the opportunities I would have to travel, meet so many interesting people, become surrounded by so many amazing peers, collectors and art professionals. Nor did I stop to consider how many would become dear lifelong friends. I didn’t wonder about how many paintings, drawings, books etc. created by me would spread around the world … or the hundreds of thousands of people who would be influenced by my art just in my lifetime.

Wes Siegrist with his grandmother and mother at an art show

So many art adventures are shared with family too!  Here’s me in the 90s with Nana and Mom by Rachelle’s paintings.

I think the reason I chose to be an artist was that I realized it’s what I already was. Expressing myself visually by sharing my experiences or thoughts was joyous … and it still is! I do feel that I live a dream and know that the unpleasant times associated with my career, only make the good moments seem greater. After spending the last two weeks vacationing with family and then back home painting decks and our house I’m longing to be back at my easel … it’s my happy place!

Rachelle’s blog will be updated this Sunday with our new miniature paintings and fun adventures!

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