Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 208 – The myth of the starving artist


We all know it, we all think about it, but most of us are afraid to talk about it out loud. Are we or aren’t we starving artists? Is it just a myth or a reality? Is it that only starving artists are true artists?

I don’t know if this is true all around the world, but in Florence,there are many types of artists. There are the ones who tell you they are starving, but honestly you can see they are not; there are the ones with holes in their shoes because they would rather invest in new materials, in order to make another beautiful thing and they do admit they are struggling; there are the ones who are doing okay, or really well, but they have been through worse times, so they understand what it means to fight with the windmills; and there are the ones who have help from the outside world  and don’t like to admit it (parents, partners, friends etc.). The truth is if an artist is starving or not, struggling or not, we will never know, because it’s all about what mask, image or whatever you want to call it, they want to show off out there. It’s a question of bella figura as the Italians call it and you can choose your marketing strategy and use it any way you like.

But there is this constant question in my head about the myth surrounding all these things. Is it real? Has it ever been real? For example, whenever I chose to do what I love for a living, I got kicked in my face and my pockets badly, so almost always I gave up doing it and returned to a normal life. So, because of that I never got the chance to see what happens if you cross a certain line, or if you choose to say: “Fuck it! I am this…and I am not letting go no matter what!” This is the first time when I am really hanging on and ignoring all the lights in my head saying that I should give up. So, even if I don’t know the answer yet, I will tell you all about it as soon as I cross that line. Meanwhile if you know the secret, or if you have an opinion about the myth, I will gladly listen to it; it’s one of the things that has always fascinated me. See you across the line.

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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By Ela Vasilescu
Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu