Future generations have no idea what your intent was in making a piece of art. You have to spell it out if it isn’t obvious. If you want your work preserved in a museum one day, make a conservator happy. Keep notes about your working materials, techniques, and intent.
In order to project a professional image as an artist, you must be able to define yourself and your art in a sea of untold numbers of artists. To do this, you must first find your style.
What is Artistic Style?
“Style” is a word we use freely and without much thought. But what does it mean? In her book Living With Art, Rita Gilbert writes that “style is a characteristic or group of characteristics that we can identify as constant, recurring, or coherent.” She goes on to say, “Artistic style is the sum of constant, recurring or coherent traits identified with a certain individual or group.”
An artist’s style is not good or bad. It just IS. The execution might be criticized, the colors might be perceived as ugly, or the composition seen as weak, but the style is
I wrote my book in 15 minutes a day. Honest! When I felt disconnected with the content, my coach advised me to “check in” with my book every day. I promised just 15 minutes a day. It worked! In a minute I’m going to show you how you can use the 15-minute trick for yourself. But first, a little background.
“How am I supposed to make art, promote it, take care of my family, exercise, and stay sane?!”
I hear this complaint—and it is a complaint—a lot. In other words, I’m being asked how to juggle all of the tasks in one’s life—or at least all of the tasks that someone WISHES they could fit in.
John Sartin, Pendant. Sterling /copper Mokume Gane, Sterling silver, 14k gold Akoya pearl. ©The Artist
Here’s the fact: You can’t do it
Don’t let size or space be an issue when you make your art. Make your art it as big as it needs to be in order to hold your ideas and dreams. If it’s good enough, it will find a home. If you have to borrow a truck to haul it, you’ll do that, too.
What would you do (as an artist) when a client wants to buy a painting, for a few thousand dollars, but requires one of the minor details be changed? Would you alter the painting or not?
When I’m asked “Where do I start?” I can cite 4 steps that an artist should take in the beginning of a career. Step #1 is to be completely devoted to your studio practice.
The disciplined practice of making art is mandatory. Everything else is optional–even (gasp!) marketing.
Catch me in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week for a keynote address to the Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council.
Visit the beautiful Rocky Mountains AND ramp up your online marketing–May 2-3, 2009!
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When times are good, artists make art. When times are bad, artists make art. When time stands still, artists will continue making art.
Artists who are true to themselves do not make art for the marketplace, but for themselves–to start a dialogue with their viewers, their fans, and the world. They make art because they have something to say that is best said not with words, but through a creative act. They make art because they have to. The marketing stuff can come later.
Janet Checker, San Blase Panama. Oil, 48 x 24 inches. From the “Women of the Americas” series. ©The Artist
Through this newsletter and the Art Biz Blog, I give you ideas for promoting your art and building your business. Too many ideas. You can’t possibly implement these ideas as fast as I generate them. And