Yes, most artists are broke, but here’s why you should date them

Yes, most artists are broke, but here’s why you should date them. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

  • A case why artists make the best lovers

It’s almost like people feel like they must shame women for their love lives. You date a man, and you leave him, and then he gets a government appointment, and all of a sudden your entire life is (once again) up for scrutiny.

It’s as if women can’t win! You date the richest man on the planet, you’re dating him for his money. If you date an artist, who is apparently broke (because that’s what artistry means, of course), you’re making a bad decision. You date a watchman; you have no standards. You decide to not date, you don’t understand the currency of youth and beauty; you marry young, you’re stupid, you marry too old, you’re too late.

Take the example of artist Juliani and Lilian Ng’ang’a. It doesn’t matter what way Lilian turns, it’s either she is at fault for dating rich or currently for dating a ‘broke’ man. 

I find the discourse around dating artists very interesting, obviously because I am a writer, but even more so, that whole bit for if you’re dating an artist, then you must both be very broke, or someone is supporting someone else. Definitely, this is true sometimes – even though money isn’t everything, it is definitely something, and when you don’t have it, someone is suffering a little. The notion comes from somewhere, for sure. And there will be times in many ‘artistic’ relationships, where someone has to prop someone else up – but isn’t that all relationships? Sometimes I’ll have money for the anniversary dinner, and you won’t; sometimes, someone’s payment will have come through late, and another person has to shoulder a few more responsibilities; sometimes, a worldwide pandemic will happen and there will be no coins to rub together, much less argue over.

Maybe, just maybe, artists are the ones to date, in fact, because we’re the ones who are more familiar with the impermanence of life. We’re used to it. We don’t expect life to follow the rules society insists on, because no one really follows the rules with us. No rent this month? We’ll find it from somewhere, just like we’ve always had to.

Artists empathise more during hard times, too. Being an artist in itself is a hard time – people don’t take you seriously, and they’re always comparing you to people’s exes with government jobs. No one wants to really pay us what we’re worth, because most people think, si it’s just pointing and shooting to take a picture? Ah, si you’re just writing a few words…I’ve been told things like, I also used to write compositions in high school, it can’t be that serious. We know what it feels like, intimately, to carve out an identity that is outside of how much money we make, and therefore, we are incredibly self-assured – again, because we have to be. And because we understand the separation of love and labour, we’re the ones who will remind you that leisure is just as important as work. We’ll stop you from going over the edge and working too hard for a company you don’t even own. We’ll know where all the good gigs are to unwind and remember that life is more than just deadlines and audit reports. You want to smell the roses? We know where to buy the most fragrant bouquets.

Then there’s the fact that when you date an artist, you’re immortalized, because artists can’t help but make art about the things that bring them joy or sadness, and everything else in between. There will be a song, or a poem, or a painting, or a sculpture, commemorated to you – possibly more than one (I have two books of poetry to date. Do the math). Someone somewhere is always thinking of how to symbolise the glories of your love, in the most expressive of ways. You’ll never have to guess how they feel about you. Just look at the splendour of the Taj Mahal! (architects are artists too!) This is a case for artistic relationships. They’re the best kind, because art and the passion behind it is one of the sincerest forms of love. Date an artist today.