I am a person fast approaching mid 50’s and this conclusion from years of trial and error experience is becoming more apparent. You have a much better chance at financial success by exploiting other peoples’ labor than you do working hard at something like creative artwork and design.
This week the stock market moved into record breaking territory. People are making all kinds of returns from investing their money in the stock market. A well diversified portfolio of investments will generally protect one against adverse risk and over the years has provided approximately a 10% return on investment. Whether you have easy money to invest or money you worked really hard to accumulate for investing you have very little work to do on top of the investing and managing your investments. In the stock market you make money (dividends) by exploiting other peoples’ hard work and labor.
Artwork on the other hand is something I have persistently continued to pursue. Spent four years of career training back in the 1970’s for illustrating art and commercial art. I have never really made a living at artwork and never sold anything for any reasonable profit. I have spent thousands of hours working on paintings and drawings over the past 30 years (with ten years of not doing much). For me to pursue artwork the reality is to earn money outside of this field by working hard at some other form of labor and then use what you made there to invest in supplies to work even harder pursuing something that can become downright frustrating and aggravating as you become more serious about perfecting your work. There is an incredible amount of competition in this area for what opportunities are available. Therefore your risk is very high and adverse when investing your time and money into pursuing art. You also run a higher level of risk from having your work stolen by someone else, especially with anything shown on the internet. In conclusion artwork seems like very little return for a lot of work and extremely high risk involved.
As I draw close to retirement age and find myself with no money I realize that the time and money spent pursuing artwork was a waste of time and a serious mistake that will now cause me financial problems as I approach retirement. Was it something I enjoyed? In the roller coaster ups and downs I have experienced in life, the only time I have enjoyed working with art is when I have a lot of money for the freedom to do what I want and pay for living expenses providing more time to concentrate on artwork. During the difficult times it always seems like a waste of time and money. It seems to me that artwork is something that only the rich should pursue for fun and enjoyment. I'm sure there are exceptions where someone from a poor background becomes financially successful doing what they like as a professional artist yet the odds seem much better investing money in something where you exploit other peoples hard work and labor like the stock market and also a lot less work involved.