Any artist pursuing their creative passion faces a constant struggle for funding, validation and, in the ideal case, the ability to have their art support them financially. One area that is often overlooked though is the emotional support and influence which can come from family and close friends.
This week City Hub spoke with a number of Sydney artists from a variety of fields ranging from music to comedy and professional wrestling to get a greater insight into this aspect of creative life.
For musicians Cosmo’s Midnight, a duo consisting of twin brothers Cosmo and Patrick Liney, and Tony Free (aka Anthony Grady) the influence of their family on their creative careers goes all the way back to their childhood.
“The music my parents played in our house or car laid the foundations for what I’d later relate to and create,” said Grady.
This was a sentiment echoed by Cosmo Liney who also added that his family’s support in the early years of Cosmo’s Midnight was crucial, “Our family was incredibly supportive. Our Mum has been a composer for her entire life so I think having that around growing up, whether that was someone playing the piano or playing records, could definitely have pushed us to pursue music.”
Without those early creative influences during their childhood a deep seeded passion to pursue a creative career may never have developed for both Cosmo’s Midnight and Tony Free.
As twins Cosmo and Patrick Liney had a distinct advantage as they pursued a career in their chosen creative field because they always had someone there alongside them who could understand the struggles and emotions they were feeling along the way.
Unfortunately that isn’t always the case for artists though.
As Cosmo Liney told us he witnessed other musicians being discouraged from pursuing their creativity, “I saw other people I knew who were making music have their parents tell them to stop this hobby and pursue a real job.”
Comedian Frida Deguise is a perfect example of someone who had to not only battle to establish herself in her chosen creative field but also had to battle to convince her mother that comedy could be a viable career.
“In the beginning my Mum didn’t like that I was pursuing comedy and wanted me to stay in my more traditional job,” Deguise explained, “Once I started getting more gigs and things became more serious though the support from both my husband and Mum became much more important because they had to look after the kids more often.”
During an upcoming program curated by the City Of Sydney Late Night Library Frida and her Mum, Kawkab Dakiz will sit down to discuss the series of events which led to Kawkab finally supporting Frida’s creative career.
The Artists And Their Mums program will also feature Benjamin Law with his Mum, Jenny Phang and Moreblessing Maturure with her Mum, Sibusisiwe Maturure.
One final Sydney artist who has had to overcome a long and arduous journey to success in a creative field is professional wrestler Robbie Eagles. After 10 long years performing in community halls, clubs and various other venues around the country Eagles is now seeing success internationally, having recently competed for a prestigious company in Los Angeles.
During those early years in order to make a name for himself Eagles explained that it often meant “missing birthdays, family gatherings and other important events” which obviously requires an incredible level of understanding from those around him.
“Everyone around me has always known that I wanted to not only pursue wrestling but excel at it. Sometimes it has gone as far as my family helping me supplement my wrestling passion both financially and logistically. I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the things I’ve been able to without them,” Eagles said.
Artists never forget the support they’re given along the way and often return the love at every chance they get.
“I try to take any spare time I have to be with my family and spend quality time with them,” said Eagles.
As we can clearly see even in the wake of recent government funding delays the challengers in pursing a creative career are much more nuanced and multifaceted than simply money, so if you know someone with a burning passion for creativity go out of your way to show them some love and support. It may be that final thing they needed to make their dreams become a reality.
Artists & Their Mums
Jun 21, Jul 19 & Aug 23. Customs House Library, 31 Alfred St, Sydney. FREE, but seats limited. Tickets: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au