Today is Father’s Day — which got me thinking about artists and most of the professional artists I know that don’t have children. Maybe it’s the difficulty of becoming a professional artist in the first place. Is it the lack of a steady well-paying income for most artists? The delay of success when and if it finally does come compared to other professional careers could be the main issue but there is something about being an artist and especially a gallery artist that keeps them from having families.
Commercial art seems to be different, maybe because of the more reliable pay it lends itself to more normal choices than gallery work. It is not just the men I know; many of the professional women artists too are childless. All of which makes one wonder what it is about choosing art as a career that keeps people from starting a traditional family.
Of course there are always exceptions to the trend and there are artists both male and female who do have children and just like individuals in the rest of society, some of them are better at being parents then others are. Most of the time it seems that artists that marry spouses that support their choice to be artists and have a steady highly paid professional career increase the opportunity to provide a better chance for family life than artists who marry or partner with other artists.
Some famous artists that remained childless:
Leonardo Da Vinci
John Singer Sargent
Edward Henry Pothast
Elizabeth Shippen Green
Grace Carpenter Hudson