Blog / 2022 / “Are You Still Doing Your Art?”

December 1, 2022

Nineteen years, six months, and fourteen days.

That’s how long I’ve been a full-time artist, supporting myself through the sale of my art and my books. I’ve definitely had help along the way—no artist can make it any length of time without a community to back them—but I don’t have a trust fund and neither does my partner, who’s also an artist. I’ve been able to make it work because people value what I do, want me to keep on doing it, and give me money to help that happen.

I’ve been making art with the support of a magnificent and steadily growing group of people for almost twenty years now, and yet, to this day, I get asked on a regular basis if I’m still doing my art.

Sue Begent painting process by Gwenn Seemel, Lambertville art
painting process

It’s definitely aggravating—particularly since I have a vibrant website that I update all the time with new paintings and process animations, like the ones embedded here, showing the making of almost every new piece. If people really wanted to know whether or not I was still making art, a quick internet search would reveal not only that I’m always creating, but also how I do it.

That said, if I take a step back, I see that the question “are you still doing your art?” has very little to do with me. It comes from a belief that people can’t possibly make a living doing something they love—and especially not for twenty years. And that means the question is actually a terrible indictment of our society.

painting process by Gwenn Seemel, Lambertville art
painting process

When I think about it like that, it makes me want to ask myself the question every day, in a voice tinged not with judgment, but with wonder:

Am I really still doing my art?

With a lot of help from my community, yes, I most certainly am.

Lambertville art portraits by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Sue and Meg
acrylic on paper
7 x 5 inches and 6 x 4 inches

You can see the faces of some of that community, including Sue and Meg featured here, as part of Friend Request, which is currently on display IRL in the window of Winifred Weiss’ studio.

Winifred’s studio window
17 Church Street
(at the intersection with George)
Lambertville, NJ 08530

Open: now through December 12th
Hours: whenever (you can look in from the street)

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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