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So you Say you are an Artist

Do you have what it takes?

I’m not going to attempt to convince you that you aren’t an “Artist”. Instead it is my belief that I am obligated to encourage or inspire your creativity in any way possible. However, it is important for all to realize that, the lifestyle of an Artist is not necessary for everyone. You must be able to hone your ability to explore and learn on your own, to understand the math, chemistry, history and social sciences that are all in some way linked to this vocation. Might I also put emphasis on the word “vocation”. While developing your analytical skills and patience to heighten your sensitivity in all media, you will have to humble yourself to the rapid growth, changing environment and all the bureaucratic ordures associated with in the Art world.

Redefining the term “Starving Artist” you possess the ability to and will have to work just about any job first to make a living. As much as the fortunate might lead you to believe, “It’s not about the money”. You will be in constant turmoil over the fact that you are not doing what you were intended to do in your lifetime until you eventually find an outlet for your creativity. In other words, you will be starving for the opportunity to utilize your gifted talents unless you’d rather starve than not earn a living selling your art. Very noble however, not always an intelligent choice.

There are many individuals who possess the mechanical abilities to create art and there are many that have been able to coerce the public into believing they have a gift. According to films on You Tube even an elephant can learn to paint. I think of the term “artist” the same as though he or she were a musician.Many  individuals can sing in a choir but not everyone can “create” music that will motivate, inspire or provoke emotion. Honestly, I have no right to judge but I can attest that a “natural” or gifted artist knows at an early age the difference both with in himself and of his fellow artists. There is a confusing force with in that compels you, that you can not escape. There is nothing you can do to undo this matrix of your own existence that follows you persistently, uninvited. Above all as any artist will tell you must continue to nurture your gift by creating from this addiction that drives you through out your entire life. So if you have gotten this far on this page and you truly understand what I’m saying , it’s time to turn your life around by committing yourself to the life of an artist and get to work.

As much as your competition would have you believe there are no set rules as a  professional except to create the highest quality archive piece you can. Other than signature prospectors, no one has a serious interest in inferior craftsmanship.For more realistic reasons, if you expect your creative efforts to be recognized for what they are, you must except the possibility that your work may be of no value to the public until after your life has expired. You must create work that will allow opportunities for it to be appreciated for centuries beyond your time.

Visualizing the cogent effect your work on individuals and in society, you will at some time realize that it is much more important for you to utilize your “gift” for some higher intended purpose other than to satisfy your personal needs or wallet.

Portrait of the Artist at His Easel-Rembrandt van Rijn

“Portrait of the Artist at His Easel”
Rembrandt  van Rijn
Oil on canvas           1660

You must make the decision early in your career as to whether to give in and cater to the public by just panting pretty pictures or to express and share your visions as you encounter them. At times this becomes a burdensome allegiance since your patience, faith and determination will be under consistent examination and criticism. This is a “do it alone” experience. Not that your loved ones and your best of friends don’t support you. This is a heart felt experience for them as well. They may very well at times be the most understanding of your entire audience but their appreciation (not unappreciated) is generally biased. Your critiques and galleries may not be anywhere near as sensitive or express any appreciative involvement in your work other than how it can benefit them.

Critiques and galleries follow vogues, which are created by Artists. All they are interested in is “what’s selling”. Ever notice how historically some big names in Art were ridiculed by critics until their popularity proved successful? At that point in time, who cares what amount of clout the critic’s opinion conveys? Quoted from a popular comedian, Rosie O’Donnell in her early days of stand up “Have you ever noticed how an Art critic, after viewing an Artist’s work, wastes an incredible amount of time and words attempting to re-express something the Artist has already said?”  On the topic, truthfully I have yet to hear a more ingenious just observation.

Don’t allow the terms of sale for work to be dictated by sales professionals. Since public opinion about art is so vastly different, you must develop the “Take it or Leave it” attitude in regards to their criticism. If you want to know the truth about your Art, all you have to do is show it. Once critics start talking, the effect of your expression is reduced to their creative genius at work which, may or may not even have anything to do with what your painting is even about. Be perceptive to the viewer’s first reaction and better yet how many of them and how long they appear to be examining your work. Eventually you will begin to realize that, if your work wasn’t any good no one would take the time to look at it in the first place. The individual who truly understands and appreciates your work understands its value and generally won’t talk about anything but buying it.

Take some time to acknowledge the lives of past Artists. In appreciation for their accomplishments and in conjunction with their life struggles, you may find a parody, identifying with no one else’s life but your own. Above all, you may then realize that if you truly possess creative talent, that there have been many Artist’s before and will be many more after you. It will be up to you how you eventually document your place in time.


Vincent Van Gogh

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“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.” …. Woodrow Wilson.

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Why Art Cannot Be


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