[One of my favorite early ones. Laminated. February 1998, NYNY. Funny, it was drawn on the back of this business card a certain girl gave me. She and I never saw each other again after that evening, in spite of what transpired in the back of the taxi.]
The thing about working as an artist is that you never realize how much of the work is on top of making the actual art. I was remembering how when I started out, I would visit the studios of more established artists and couldn’t begin to grasp how they ran the show. It’s taken years to slowly put each piece in place. Every day there’s new problems to solve, but if you can solve them in a way that sticks— so that from now on that issue is covered, eventually you come up with an efficient system for supporting the most important work you do, which is the art.
I guess this is pretty much true with all businesses, no? It’s not the thing you make and sell that is the problem, it’s the thousands of other things that spring up around it…
I’m starting to think that writing about a lot of issues that artists have to deal with, would be interesting to a lot of other people, besides just other artists.
Artists– successful ones, anyway– have to create stuff out of thin air, then somehow find a way to sell it at a profit.
The Art Purists will be horrified to hear this, but yeah, you really do need the mind of entrepreneur and a marketer to be able to do that.
“Artists cannot market” is complete crap. Warhol was GREAT at marketing. As was Picasso and countless other “Blue Chips”. Of course, they’d often take the “anti-marketing” stance as a form of marketing themselves. And their patrons lapped it up.
The way artists market themselves is by having a great story, by having a “Myth”. Telling anecdotal stories about Warhol, Pollack, Basquiat, Van Gogh is both (A) fun and (B) has a mythical dimension… if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have had movies made about them. The art feeds the myth. The myth feeds the art.