Choosing “artist” as a career is basically a death sentence. But there are ways to prolong a shortened lifespan.
These ten reasons aren’t the way to do that.
10. The Same Regurgitated Ideas as So Many Others
These include but are not limited to: still-life paintings of some fruit in a bowl, digital photographs of dogs, 99 percent of watercolors because never seen those things before.
9. You’re a Master Procrastinator
This is usually one of those deals where people know you more for your social-media presence – because you’re always posting nonsense instead of working on art – than the art pieces that you (never) produce.
8. Pretending That Art Is Actually Your "Lifeblood"...
...that keeps your heart pumping and that you would be a pile of nothing without your art. Gag, bro.
It’s fine to lay it on thick in grant and residency applications, but in your artist statement, please don’t write these types of disgusting statements. Also, don’t say coffee is also your lifeblood because — bingo! — another puketronic artist cliché.
7. You Think You're Talented but You're Really — Hands Down — the Opposite
This includes people who can’t cut it as creatives as well as “artists” in the steampunk genre.
6. You’re Actually Really Talented but the Decision-Makers Suck
We’ve met, profiled and admired so many artists over the years who are doing all the right things but remain under the radar. Maybe it’s an oversaturated market; perhaps it’s the lack of money and staff power in the industry. Or possibly the decision-makers are waiting until you’re DEAD so that they can exploit the everloving poo out of you and your art! Life is so cool.
5. Losing at Social Media
If you’re boring or annoying on Facebook and Instagram, why would anyone think your mixed-media work or l’Art Brut tabletop noise set is going to be any more riveting?
4. Not Willing to Compromise Whatsoever
This is a tricky one because being told what to do by an “outsider” is the pits. He or she doesn’t know you and your art like your “lifeblood” knows your art!
Calm down for a second.
Absolutely make what you want, but then be willing to make some concessions. Not on your “artistic vision” — no freaking way — but don’t be so stubborn with business decisions (because you’re probably not very good at that anyway) and suggested portfolio adjustments.
3. Specializing in Something Most Other People Know How to Do
Not everyone is a fine-art photographer with a killer eye or a page-turning writer, but most everyone in this world has taken a photograph and written a word. Which means that the globe is teeming with know-it-alls who think they might know how to do it better than a great photographer or writer.
Instead of photography and writing, choose something like harsh noise-wall musician. Even if you have zero aptitude in HNW, you can more easily fool the masses into thinking that you’re “good” at something they’ve never even heard of.
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2. The Gallery-Representation Success Myth
The goal of moving some paintings at a gallery, taking your cut and rotating in some more to put up for sale is a noble one, but it’s also a business model that’s worn-out and unviable for most artists.
1. Because You Don’t Care About Your Art
Or at least that’s your whole shtick. Buck up, King and Queen Emo. Take some pride in your work, even if it’s lousy.