Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Myartspace Advice for Emerging Artists

I’ve been thinking about what has accomplished with the Art Space Talk series of interviews that I‘ve conducted. Since October of 2006 I have conducted over 400 interviews in person, by phone, and by email with emerging and established artists. I’ve been told that myartspace has one of the largest-- if not the largest-- collections of artist interviews online at this time. I take great joy in the fact that these interviews have made an impact.

The impact is obvious if one observes the details. For example, in the last year I’ve observed other online art communities attempt to emulate the success that myartspace has had by conducting interviews of their own. Needless to say, they have a lot of catching up to do. However, what pleases me most is the fact that dozens of art students have contacted me to let me know that they have used specific myartspace interviews for their research papers. At the end of the day that is what matters to me-- art education.

The myartspace interviews contain information that emerging artists can learn from. By reading the myartspace interview series young artists can obtain advice from world renowned artists. Below are some quotes from past interviews I’ve conducted for myartspace that I think might be helpful to emerging artists:

“Fine Art is not a career - commercial art is. You may be so talented that no one will buy your work until after you're dead, like Vincent van Gogh. Focus on things that happened to you that you can't figure out.” -- James Rosenquist

“The internet has extended the possibility of making art to more people, and particularly of enabling it to be seen by others. I am sure the internet is having a profound impact on art, particularly those who have grown up with it, but making good art will remain as difficult (and as easy) as it ever was. Having a lasting impact may become more not less difficult.” -- Michael Craig-Martin

“Don't look for art outside yourself,- you can only find it within yourself.- and most likely,- you are already stepping on it!” -- Julian Stanczak

“I can only say that one has to be very single minded, if not obstinate and think that just doing the work is important though one does really need some encouragement. However one usually has something one needs, to express which gives one great satisfaction and there is a pleasure of knowing other artists.” -- Sylvia Sleigh

“You exploiting you... and going against your inner voice... your gut feeling, your instinct. No matter what is being denied or offered, the true you knows better. You have to learn to hear it.” -- William T. Wiley

“focus on what you are interested in. Then go see as much of that kind of painting you can find. Museums and galleries can be a place to learn and obviously you should read and inform yourself. Continue to educate yourself and paint as much as you can. I think that is what artists have always done.” -- Thornton Willis

“I guess if I had advice for any potential students of any art school that would be to make a lot of friends - interact and try to spend time with the most creative, constructive people you can find as these friendships could really matter later on.” -- Christian Schumann

“My students have almost all made networking sites part of their daily life. I seriously wonder where they find the time. Young artists have great opportunities to see what is out there, to form connections and communities and to promote themselves.” -- Holly Hughes

“Play with fashion if you wish, but don't be a slave to it - it can change and leave you behind. Also it is freeing to have another way of making a living so you are not dependent on the market.” -- Janet Fish

“Everybody uses labels: they give you a handle on things – an over-simplified handle, sure, but without labels, without ads, without words, the world would be an indistinguishable mass, a blur. You can hope, maybe, that people ascribe so many labels to you that none wins out…” -- Vito Acconci

“Draw and paint everyday. Create a unique body of work. Study what is important and make your art about the most important thing. Read Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. Honor your visions by noting them whenever you have them. Always carry a sketchbook and enter in it daily. Create a website for your work and print a postcard and a business card and give them out. Write an artist's statement -- over and over again. Learn to talk about your work so that it inspires others. Go to galleries and meet other artists. A certain amount of solitude is necessary but don't be isolated. Study the masters. Immerse yourself and become obsessed with your art and art in general.” -- Alex Grey

“Activist art gets a bad reputation; art is political in nature. You cannot separate the two. Even if you decide not to do political art, that is itself a political act according to Adorno. Which comes first, art or politics? I think art becomes the reflection and the record of time…but life is politics, and usually art imitates life, except occasionally when life imitates art.” -- Wafaa Bilal

“Sites like Myartspace, PAM, and Lumen Eclipse are amazing resources for artists, curators, critics, and traditional gallerists. If not actual gate keepers, these sites maintain a level of criticality in the work they show and in their programming that keeps them vital. Few museums, even those with deep pockets and a commitment to collecting video, can rival the breath of some of these sites. That being said, I'm not a fan of more is better. Unlike most web 2.0 sites like YouTube and MySpace, where quantity doesn't always equal quality, the above mentioned sites maintain a focus. I don't believe that the medium is always the message and that just because it's a video and uploaded somewhere it's worth watching.” -- Janet Biggs

“don’t be fussy about the shows you are asked to be in, although still aim for bigger and better shows. The more exhibitions you are in the more likely you will be offered venues that are more prestigious and you will get a better deal.” -- Derek Ogbourne

“Other than "Breathe," "Be open," and "Look and Paint,"… I had a list of "10 dos" which I suggested that my students at the academy adhere to daily.
1. Hydrate (drink a gallon of pure water a day)
2. Eat Right (eat three well balanced meals)
3. Be Physical (exercise ,walk, or play a sport,regularly)
4. Study (learn all you can about your primary interests)
5. Make some money(work. be responsible,not greedy.You have to eat and pay the rent)
6. Make Art (believe in it, develop it and enjoy it.)
7. Meditate or Pray.(find and practice a spiritual discipline)
8. Sleep (8 hours a night to recharge and dream)
9. Love (develop a few close honest friendships)
10. Know Thyself (Be clear. write. decide when an issue is your own or when it is someone else's)” -- Bo Bartlett

“Make art all the time-- and really all the time. You won’t grow unless you do, and the art won’t make itself. If you have a TV-- get rid of it. When you feel you are ready figure out whatever field it is you would like be involved in and approach them. They don’t know about you so you need to let them know who you are. If you are trying to get involved in the galleries pick up this book "Taking the Leap" it's an insider's guide to exhibiting and selling your art by Cay Lang. Don’t let criticism get you down. The art world can be really overwhelming at times. You definitely need to work really hard at it. If one place turns you down keep moving on to the next place and just keep on hitting it and don’t ever lose site on why you make art. Your art is who you are. The most important thing is to just believe in yourself.” -- David Stoupakis

“Work as much as you can. Elevate your craft as much as you can. Expand your visual vocabulary as much as possible. Don’t base your research solely on computer generated information. Active engagement with the real world is the best source for concepts and imagery. Having and being able to articulate a great idea, is the best way to get exposure. Competency in business, packing/freighting, computer software and writing wouldn’t hurt either!” Valerie Hird

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor


Anonymous said...

What I would like to see, and would be the best art instruction book of all time, is collect quotes and interviews from great artists of the past. Present them in a simple way as possible, few comments, just enough to keep it flowing and readable, but not too slick. Rawness is a huge virtue in creative art. All other art school books could be destroyed, all those by art teachers, you know what i think about them.

And you could periodically run quotes on here, thsoe by Cezanne, interviews with Matisse, quick lead and link to Gauguin's Noa Noa. THAT woudl help immensely, leaving out those of the present. Many have dead end ideas, time sorts out those that create living works, and those that are just "In".

I have always looked for and bought books with the best reproductions, and on the bargain table. Thsoe with the fewest commentaries, which can go on endlessly ane completely wrongheaded, got a huge coffee table Michalangelo book like that as a gift from my Aunt, sweet woman, really.

But I read for commentaries by the artist himself, and any others he knew that may be quoted. THATS who I respect, and cuts to the chase, no interest in endless wordplay and self promotion through marketing. Thats a contemporary concept, and one can learn greatly from this practice. Can you do it? I have tried looking up quotes, there are some sites with them but very few actual quotes, would take alot of research, but would be greatr. I'd buy it.

Anonymous said...

it IS a book. It is called Artists on Art. There are no women in it and it only goes up to mid-twentieth century. Starts with cennini and ends with orozco. good stuff from matisse in there. It is all directly from the artists, mostly quotes from letters and other writings. no other commentary except brief introductions for each artist. good read to go along w/ your art history... we did in our class.

Anonymous said...

it IS a book. It is called Artists on Art. There are no women in it and it only goes up to mid-twentieth century. Starts with cennini and ends with orozco. good stuff from matisse in there. It is all directly from the artists, mostly quotes from letters and other writings. no other commentary except brief introductions for each artist. good read to go along w/ your art history... we did in our class.

Anonymous said...

Damn, thought I had an idea for a change. Actually, think I saw it before in a library, i guess I am plagiarizing again. Or just old, been a coupla decades since I hung in art libraries, but have a nice collection off the bargain table and estate sales at home. Remember all the books always being on the shelve however, never checked out, and no one else reading them. Some things never change.

Should be required reading then, could replace all art teachers, why talk to a nag when you got thoroughbreds in you hands.

But should have long versions of everythng they have on as many asare in MoMA and the Met as they can find, the Louvre too, need to break it up for each period. Hs to be alot, its usually sprinkled in as true gems amongst the muckitymuck of art criticism.