I can't say enough how this has been largely forgotten in today's art world, and in some respects this makes sense. Investors want to invest in something that will give a return. They want to give their money to someone who is established so that the money is well used and turns into something productive. We're all wired that way to some extent, from how we buy groceries to save for retirement to work on projects at work. A return is always nice, and unfortunately it means that the return is often the end goal in of itself. We want that return so much that we take the safe route to get there. Again, there's nothing wrong with this, unless of course you want something different, something new.
But even then, developing artists inspire other artists. Think about it as if it's a team: one player sets up the other. Not all artists can be successful millionaires or hanging in the permanent collection of the Louvre. But none of those artists would be anywhere either without the army of unknown artists who paved the way. This is development. We all get better together, some at different speeds, but it's all the same thing in the end.
What are some of the developments I've made in my life? I used to work in healthcare finance at a children's hospital in Boston. It was a great job and came with great benefits. I was off climbing every weekend all over the country as a result of it. But I while I was apparently living the life I also wasn't happy. I needed a change, so I risked everything to pursue a long-held, and oft-criticized dream of becoming an artist. And I didn't just quit my job, I moved to Chile without speaking a word of Spanish. A few months later I picked up and moved to Brazil without speaking a word of Portuguese. Today? I've exhibited in a few cafes and have had a couple of galleries show my work. I've even had a solo show at a small museum. My Portuguese is now pretty good and my Spanish is coming along thanks to a project I have to document Flamenco.