Pearls from artists* # 426October 28, 2020
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
You are talented and creative. You rarely block and when you do block you know how to move yourself along. Your moods are not incapacitating and you haven’t stepped over into madness. Your personality is sufficiently integrated that your necessary arrogance doesn’t prevent you from having successful relationships. Your nonconformity hasn’t made you a pariah, and your skepticism hasn’t bred in you a nihilistic darkness. You work happily in isolation but can also move into the world and have a life. You have, in short, met the challenges posed so far.
Are you home free? Unfortunately not. The next challenges you face are as great as any posed so far. They are the multiple challenges of doing the business of art: making money, developing a career, acknowledging and making the most of your limited opportunities, living with compromise, dealing with mass taste and commercialism, negotiating the marketplace, and making personal sense of the mechanics and metaphysics of the business environment of art.
Many an artist grows bitter in this difficult arena. Many an artist flounders. Only the rare artist sits himself down to examine these matters, for they are painful to consider. But you have no choice but to examine them. If you are an artist, you want an audience. And if you want an audience, you must do business.
Eric Maisel in A Life in the Arts: Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Creative and Performing Artists
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