The Art of Being a Failed Artist

rainy lights

“Rainy Lights, NYC”

By: Lucille Femine

When I was twelve, I knew I was a painter, same as I knew I was a girl. Actually, I knew it better than that because what you know as a being, inside where it counts, is truth at its highest level. You might say it’s all the truth there is, despite the apparency of land, sky, houses, trees and the IRS.

However, in the physical universe (your competition), things have a way of taking your basic purpose and banging it around, along with you, till it turns into something else, And YOU, that awesome powerful being, become someone else. Or many “someones.” Too often, we “must” do what our mom or dad or Uncle Harry did which we don’t dare question because we might come down with the disease of “regretitis.” That usually happens on deathbeds. We don’t want to go there.

Well, I went along with the beaten down crowd and didn’t paint for forty years – except for occasional Christmas cards. I did the right thing, that all-too-often substitute for living. This is a harsh universe to navigate, a you-better-listen-to-me! kind of deal. So, in the end, you conclude that you’d better listen or you and your body are not going to make it.

Is any of this familiar yet?

Believe me, though; I’m not at all advocating sitting cross-legged on a mountain top to get away from it all. It can get cold and the cell tower reception is really bad. No, life is to be enjoyed – family, friends, good food, lots of sleep, movies, laughs, etc. And producing a good product that you are proud of could be the greatest pleasure of all.

Regarding the last bit, if you can do that, regardless of where the product falls on the scale that goes from “your highest purpose” to “little purpose,” you are still on the road to what you should be doing – which is what you decided to do many years ago. That’s very important to understand – YOU decided.

Unfortunately, you might have been taught to forget or disregard what’s most dear to you because the brick and mortar world is so much greater than you! Here’s the part where you forgive your parents for swaying you in the direction of being a “solid citizen” because they were taught that very same lie. GET REAL is the ultimate chant sung down through the centuries.

Again, I have to clarify: raising children, making a living, mowing the lawn, paying taxes and bills, going to funerals of family members you never liked are all “products” of living and vital to life if you want to stay in the game, as you should. But I’m talking about the world or room in your mind you might rarely visit. It’s OK, you can go there; it’s toll-free.

So one day, I paid a visit to that part of my world where I had plastered a “no entry” sign. Or one that said, “forget it girl, it’s too late.” I did have a drawing table set up where the dust weighed more than the paint and brushes. Nevertheless, I sat there.

Squeeze Bar 8-17-12

“Squeeze Bar, Brooklyn, NY”

You know what I did? I just LOOKED at it all. I didn’t think or berate myself or cry with remorse at wasting over half my life not painting. I just looked. I had learned a very valuable concept and practice – that looking is far superior to thinking. So I decided to try it out. Well, lo and behold, I came to a startling conclusion. I realized I had never learned to paint! The next image that came to mind was when I was eight years old, trying to draw a face from a magazine. It was hopelessly bad, as the tears fell on the page. That was a big nail in my self-made coffin.

A few years later, I went to a few art schools where no one taught me any basics of painting – except one great old guy with a constant cigar in his mouth and a twinkle of compassion in his eyes. He was a commercial artist and taught me most of what I know now about drawing. But, aside from that, I was encouraged to “express myself.” Well, what I mostly expressed was incompetence. That led to frustration and down on to giving up.

So, after the revelation at my drawing board, I went to the library the next morning and took out several books on painting. I cleared up many terms I never understood and began painting. I painted every day after work and all weekend, while postponing my housekeeping.

A few months later, I exhibited with others at my very first show in a movie theatre and sold my first painting for $1750. I was stunned.

I went on to sell many more paintings but I have to say something else that is very important – marketing is as equally vital as talent. I read something once I’ll never forget, that promoting and marketing yourself should take up at least half of your energy if you want to make it as an artist, especially a fine artist. When I didn’t apply that valuable datum, I didn’t sell any paintings. No one knows you unless you tell them who you are and what you do!

There’s one last thing I want to say. Working with the incredible staff at the Liberty Beacon has been just as satisfying and creative for me. I totally believe that our purpose to put truths out there and help right the world will continue and is destined to occur on a very broad scale. However, the constant bombardment of globalist threats and destruction we are daily confronting, as well as our readers are, does not diminish for one second the importance of art. The world of aesthetics is not some airy-fairy activity limited to the faint of heart or something we need to “put aside for more important things.”

Rather, it is the essence of life and it takes a good deal of effort and perseverance to pursue and present to others. I shudder to think what this planet would look and be like without it. Indeed, it would be a world the globalists envison for us.

We don’t have to agree to their game. In fact, if we agree, it will occur. Let’s agree to disagree and create a beautiful world in whatever medium you choose.

I would like to thank Roger Landry, my dear friend and founder of The Liberty Beacon, for encouraging me to write my story as a painter. I do hope I have passed on something you can use. Please contact me at and tell me if you would like to be on my mailing list. I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned to help other artists. Or visit my site at


L. Femine is a Staff Writer and Executive Director of Media for The Liberty Beacon project.





5 Comments on The Art of Being a Failed Artist

  1. I never googled ‘failed artist’ my whole life until today, in a crisis of doubt and wondering. And I find this sparkling gem of an article…a heart-changing story which one can believe in. It’s sensible, realistic and honest, but still it lets one breathe with a bit of hope again.

    Wholeheartedly agree that one has to work to learn to paint, the real skills. Otherwise all that self-expression just wastes precious pigment and canvas.

    Many, many thanks.

  2. As a lover of Art and Artists I so appreciated this article because there was so much truth in it, and it puts an Artist’s attention on how important it is to follow YOUR Purpose!

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