Arts, culture, ideas & expression of a few wild art monkeys living in an arts loft in Jersey City.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let em worry. Be an Artist anyway.

Lets face it, if you want to worry your friends and family, piss off your folks and disappoint people in general-drop everything and become an artist. Whether you decide to become a photographer that refuses to shoot weddings, a painter, sculptor or musician; you're gonna make people worry. You have to accept their worries are based on their fears, their preconceptions, perspective and their assumptions on your abilities. None of these things actually have any baring on whether you will succeed at becoming a successful artist though. Not one bit.

First off lets define success, because the term Artist is so vague and malleable. Synonyms of the term success are achievement, fame and triumph. A common definition of success is the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. Even this definition is too vague, so you have to define the word further for yourself using that skeleton. Success as an artist obviously has many levels leading towards national recognition, freedom and wealth. For me the first real level to aspire towards is freedom. Recognition may be the stepping stone towards that freedom, but working towards recognition can blur why we choose art in the first place. I prefer working towards freedom, because freedom is what is going to allow you to make that art.

Freedom can be - only having to work 3 days a week to get your bills paid, or freedom can be having art pay those bills. What we do with that freedom is where discipline comes in. I won't go on record and say I'm all that disciplined, but what I can say is I have manufactured an environment that supports the way in which my particular style of discipline flourishes. That's my freedom. When something fails, or my freedom wanes- I know it's my fault and up to me to change. Getting excited about discipline is way easier when you know it's that discipline that affords you your freedom. It's like having a savings account for "time". You might say-"but time stands still for noone, you can't have a savings account for time". Well you're right, but stop being so picky. What I'm saying is; the work you put in towards discipline now IS what provides that freedom. Sometimes you spend that freedom right away and sometimes you don't even have an ounce of it until you've been working at your discipline for years. I've only personally been handling my freedom efficiently for the last few years. In the past I squandered it and mismanaged not only my $, but I also mismanaged ALOT of my time, and time is money and money pays the bills.............oh wait, but artists don't care about money.

So lets talk about that quickly. MONEY: Fuck money or whether you like it or not. It makes the world go round and you can't pay people in art until your on the Jasper Johns, Picasso level. So quit rebelling against everything you suck at and just let it be what it is. You must create a means that will regularly bring in a minimum amount of cash to pay your bills, whatever they may be. Bottom line; make sure you have enough $$ to handle the basic human needs like food, water, shelter as well as phone, internet, utilities, laundry, transportation and recreation or you will be one of those MISERABLE artists that blame the world for their problems and lets face we don't need another one of those. ...SOoooOOoooo. Ya got yer basics covered..I'm talking the minimum. If you can barter your way into those things great, just be sure to have them covered because if you don't YOU are limiting your freedom. YOUUU... Not an outside unseen force, not your boss, not your daddy or Mercury in retrograde, YOU. Once you have those basics covered you have an idea of what sort of TIME you have to play with. Thing about TIME is it's in a loving relationship with SPACE, so you should think that way too. What sort of space do you have to work in? This is important because if your current space limits your work, you end up limiting your freedom. Limitations can be inspiring for sure, but make sure your not making excuses for why you cant work because of the size of your space or you will be yet again limiting your own freedom.

If your basics are covered, you got yer time/space figured out, so then whats left to worry about?? Nothing. From this point on it's you and your art and what you want out of it. If you have the discipline to get these things in order then you can muster up more discipline to focus your goals if success is what your after. Your friends and family may still worry about you, but with the main concerns out of the way your now able to pursue your dream without all the typical collateral damage that comes with brushing off responsibilities to chase fame and fortune. You can play all you want, spend days thinking and brainstorming, walk through a park, visit other artists studios, go to a museum or whatever inspires you. Bottom line is success is freedom first, wealth later. Work towards that and let the worriers worry, and the doubter doubt. It's what they were gonna do anyhow.

No comments:

Post a Comment