Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Fail as an Artist

Sometime in the past two weeks I found another great art site via Twitter. This one is call Artsy Shark, A Site for Emerging Artists. Founded by Carolyn Edlund the site is jam crammed with great articles, insights and advice for artists striking out for a serious career in the arts.

Edlund is not only committed to helping artists with advice, she also has a Featured Artist section to help bring visibility to work she deems worthy of a broader audience.

On December 29 Edlund posted a Top 10 list of the best articles from Artsy Shark in 2010. Included in the list were articles on How to Sell Your Work to Art Publishers, Vision and Strategy for Artists, How to License Your Work to Manufacturers, and more. The article How to Fail was listed as number eight. The best part, though, is the list of additional comments at the end.

Edlund's work here is commendable to the Nth degree. If you are not familiar with Artsy Shark, and you are a working artist on the emerging end of the scale, visit today and bookmark it. My guess is that you may just make Artsy Shark a partner for life... or at least a resource for enter 2011 with greater confidence.

And now...

How to Fail as an Artist
In the spirit of Ben Stein’s How to Ruin Your Life, the following is a starter list on how not to succeed in your art career. How many can you add?

•Believe in the myth of the starving artist
•Take all of your own portfolio shots (preferably out-of-focus with poor lighting)
•Write a rambling, vague artist statement that no one can understand so that you appear to be intelligent and unfathomable
•Wait until the last minute to send in applications
•Don’t return phone calls
•Ignore visitors at gallery shows – remain aloof and mysterious!
•Leave your last blog entry of November, 2008 as your most recent contribution
•Vastly underprice your work
•Vastly overprice your work
•Refuse to volunteer
•Avoid business or networking events like the plague
•Don’t take any continuing art or business education classes
•Neglect to update your website with current work
•Find excuses why your work won’t sell, and use them often
•Apologize for your art – say that you are “not really” an artist
•Who needs marketing? You’re not a salesperson!
•Blame others for misunderstanding your work
•Maintain a messy and disorganized studio
•Embrace rejection – convince yourself you are a failure
•Ignore deadlines
•Give up

If you check out the article itself, it includes links to links to other feature articles related to many of these points, and a host of excellent comments.

Keep on keepin' on.
Top right: Innocence, by ed newman

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