My blog turns 7 years old on July 15! Here is the very first post from July 15, 2012. Q: What does it take to be an artist, especially one living and working in New York?

Barbara's Studio

Barbara’s Studio with works in progress.

A:  The three Big P’s – Patience, Persistence, and Passion.  Without all three you will not have the stamina to work tirelessly for very little external reward.  You can expect help from no one. 

There are so many obstacles to art-making and countless reasons to just give up.  When you really think about it, it’s amazing that great art gets made at all.  So why do we do it?  Above all it’s about making our time on earth matter, about devotion to our innate gifts and love of our hard-fought creative process. 

And, my God, it even gets harder as we get older!  So what do we do?  We dig in that much deeper.  It’s a most noble and sacred calling – you know when you have it – and that’s what separates those of us who are in it for the long haul from the wimps, fakers, and hangers-on.  I say to my fellow artists who continue to work despite the endless challenges, we are all true heroes! 


Lucky me to still be in the same studio!  However, when you visit now, you see more tables full of pastels, more postcards on the walls, newer pastel paintings, etc.  What I wrote seven years ago still rings true.  

Most importantly, THANK YOU to my 42,000+ subscribers for taking this journey with me!

Comments are welcome!     

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art and the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our lonely roads.

Posted on July 13, 2019, in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Art Works in Progress, Black Paintings, Creative Process, Inspiration, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography, Quotes, Studio, The West Village, Working methods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Wonderful Barbara!

  2. Barbara, I really enjoyed reading this interview. I fine and concise combination of personal story, art “exhibit”, and pep-talk- we all need it! Congratulations on getting this done and out there. Best, Cora

  3. Jacqueline Sferra Rada

    Your words on pastel work which I also have a deep love for in addition to my painting practice resonated with me as I also love being one with the medium and being able to move the color around and layer them directly using my bare hands for which I am yet to find a satisfying replacement and doubt ther is… for your words on being an artist in NYC (and I think they would apply to any location) ….truly inspirational and validating.
    Jacqueline Rada

  4. Hi Barbara,
    Love the Q&A format. I work in pastels as well, and there is something better about using your hands, partly to do with the “grease” from your fingers I think! I find that Wallis paper is slightly kinder, while still taking lots of layers (plus wet media).
    Kari Feuer

  5. Congrats Barbara on this. It looks great and definitely reflects your vision and persona. I am really curious to see what emerges from the Bali trip.

  6. Reblogged this on The Gallery Goddess and commented:
    The inspirational, talented Barbara Rachko on being a living, working artist in NYC, USA.

  7. Strong, good advice Barbara! Yes, as we get older, it gets harder. But maybe it gets less scary to let superfluous things out of our lives so we end up budgeting more energy to artmaking. You call it persistence. I call it stubbornness. Let them shake their heads and shrug!

  8. Patience, Persistence, and Passion – So true

  9. Wow. I know how you feel! The world pouresses inward to squeeze the creativity out of you and you must push back twice as hard to continue on your (my) Creative Journey! Glad you started your blog five years ago…Congratulations!

  10. Happy birthday, Barbara’s blog! Wishing you many more years to come.

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