the following excerpt is taken from this blog
on tumblr for purpose of discussion:
Anonymous asked: Hi, just wondering how you became an artist and how you were able to sell your art etc?
became an artist when I was 14, I went to art/theater school and
graduated with a BFA in painting. Selling art has been few and far
between. So I would suggest to anyone wishing to make a living as an
artist….get a good day job you like. Only a very few lucky artist’s
make a living selling art. The art world is a fickle place…..it is a
matter of timing, luck and willingness to create the same thing over and
over and over……or very similar things. Gallery owners are in the
business to make $$ and most galleries fail.
I have been in the business for 40 years and most artist’s who try just to make a living on their art…live in poverty.
Beyond that: make a website, be willing to accept rejection and believe in what you do!
and now because this post bothered me i must share my 2 cents:
WOW WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF MAN!
While basically on the surface this maybe appears to be some practical advice, when i read it i thought: this sounds bitter and IT SOUNDS LIKE THINGS I HAVE SAID TO MYSELF IN THE PAST
that is the part that scares me, that i have in the past sold myself on giving up....accepting 'normal'...
but i seem to be turning a corner... art is no longer the thing that makes me need therapy and it is also no longer my therapy for other messed up things. art is now just what i do to complete myself. art is who i am even at this modest level of ability i currently inhabit. and i know i have potential and skill beyond that which i currently exhibit and i am working every day to achieve and match that inner vision.
Re: success being "luck and willingness to create the same thing over and over"... i think the idea of making the same thing over and over is THE DEATH KNELL to any artist and NOT THE KEY TO SUCCESS! Hello! People buy art because it touches something in them and that spark of life is what they CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT. The artist that continually grows and works for self actualization as a creative being MUST CONTINUALLY REINVENT THEMSELVES. As a result our art will continually change. AND THAT IS GOOD Turning your outlet into a work-a-day repetitive job will potentially kill your creative drive. putting your talent to work to support you does not have to be repetitive and mundane. but if you can't make art all day for your daily bread IT IS OK TO HAVE A DAY JOB to help pay the bills. THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A FAILURE. THE ONLY FAILURE IS IN GIVING UP ON YOURSELF. I have done that in the past and it feels terrible. DON'T DO IT
I may not be in the Guggenheim. I may not be the latest must have item in someone's art collection. BUT I am making the best art I can. I am making better art every day. THIS IS WHAT AN ARTIST DOES. Yes we have to eat and pay bills. All of us monkeys do that. BUT THIS IS OUR SPECIAL GIFT TO BRING THAT SPARK OF IMAGINATION LIFE HUMOR CURIOSITY AND MAGIC TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. I don't know if this man really takes his own advice to believe in what he does. It is hard to trust that which everyone else doubts but that is our practice as artists.
It sounds like he has given up hope and yet there is that hidden inner wish because you cannot deny your true self. This is what i have learned and if anonymous had asked me this is what i would tell him/her. YES IT IS HARD YES YOU WILL BE REJECTED YES IT FEELS IMPOSSIBLE BUT YOU MAY AS WELL EMBRACE IT BECAUSE IF IT IS YOUR TRUE CALLING YOU HAVE NO CHOICE. Living a false life feels worse than failure.
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