Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Pay Your Dues As An Artist.

This is a very interesting topic I think for anyone in the art world. Any level of art experience and education can appreciate what we are about to explore here. There are so many views here and knowing the bullshit from reality is something that needs to be cleared up.

I am a self taught artist. I consider myself and artist to the core. I use my medium to express my soul and convey it to the world. How the world perceives my canvas is not my problem. Once my work is out and about I am free. The audience always has an opinion. The public never agrees. We all are unique in our situation and have different views. Our experiences shape our views. Our lives and the choices we make everyday steer the rudder. So with that is the critique we receive from artists, art aficionados, collectors, curators, gallery owners and again the general public. They all have a reason they are who they are and why they make the decisions they make. As artists we thrive and learn from the critique. We welcome it, good or bad.  We receive it "with all due respect". It is a wonderful thing. We have a choice to absorb and digest or throw it away. We can be enlightened or be insulted. We can cherish it, carry it and treasure it or be disgusted and lash back. One thing is for certain, if it is a consistent theme and remark in that critique, then at some point it should be at the very least considered. If this is a random here and there it is a common "what ever floats your boat". At this point we can all agree we cannot please every one in our creations. I can live with that.

What I cannot live with is when an artist tells a peer of theirs that they're not that, "a peer". Why?...Because they did not pay their dues as an artist. WOW! Ok. How do you pay your dues as an artist? Let's start with the educational route. 10k a year(being nice)X 4 = 40k. Yes there will be a great deal of learning from fellow genius classmates and professors. A lot of practical class application. Art history and appreciation. Learning how to prepare a portfolio and market yourself to this tight knit industry based on relationships. That is all very fine for 40k. or more? For some including Masters programs. So these artists paid their dues somewhat. This is a wonderful way to learn if the resources are available to the student.

Mentored and apprenticed artists are very strong. Most of these individuals are naturally gifted people that were hand selected by a higher calling to be the industry leaders. They were born to inspire us. These people were  created to light a fire up our butts to be involved. They were given this natural ability/gift so they can spend the rest of their time teaching instead of learning. Sadly. Very rarely do we see them appear. We all know one. There are two extremes that dominate and a small minority actually finds someone to show them the ropes and the love for the arts. They are either too shy, withdrawn and antisocial, or very arrogant and too good to share.

I call an artists soul their passion. We all have this. We all want. We all dream. Passion is how we get to. The path we take is how we respect each other as artists and the arts. There are fine lines drawn here. We have to recognize them. We all know what they are as artists. Laws have been passed recently to protect the integrity of our work.

A self taught artist is a humble person in most cases. Realizing they have a love for the arts. Buys some supplies at some point in their life. Starts creating masterpieces. Masterpieces in the sense that they delve into their works like it is the last thing they will do on earth. These artists, and they are artists by definition, become addicted to creating and expressing their soul, their life experiences, their tragedies and triumphs. They want the world to see their world inside out through their eyes. they are so filled with excitement. No agenda. No expectations. no dream of fame just dreams of appreciation and thanks. they experiment fearlessly. They were never shown the rulebook so they are not afraid. Colors are just a tool to speak through so traditions and cultures do not apply. Abstract, contemporary, modernism.. etc....are words from the furniture store. They create with emotion and love. If it feels good in the end it stays. If their wives and husbands hate it?, maybe he can give it to the neighbor and make them smile. This is where we lose our focus. Right here. We are doing it to inspire the world to love through the appreciation of art. We want to see the joy in peoples faces when they look at our works. I actually like to see people disgusted sometimes. I get a kick out of it. Our focus is about "Creating to Inspire". Inspire what? Love, Change, Appreciation, Education, Unity, Energy, and so on....the list is endless. So if our world is exclusive this will not happen. If we have restrictions on who has the right of passage? then who is fit to be the judge? Show me that person.  

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