Words of Advice for Young Artists #1

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2005 No Comments

If you could only give one piece of advice to a young artist what would it be?

“Start at the top and work your way down” – Marc Alperstein.

“Just keep going, it’s not the best who wins, it’s the most persistent” – Lindon Parker

“There are a few pieces of advice that I think might have made my pursuit (and still very much pursuing) of a career as an artist a little smoother than it has been, and these are pretty basic but important things:

1. Have a sound knowledge of your chosen medium.

2. Go overseas and spend time looking, making and studying work in a situation without the pressure of selling work.

3. Work bloody hard

4. Be ready for the isolation that can happen when preparing for shows (my dog is my link to sanity in the studio), and having a good CD collection comes in handy about now!

5. Your peers are an important network – the support, advice and friendship of other artists- who can understand what you are going through and provide critical feedback is a big bonus.

These are only a few practical and fairly obvious tips, but they have made my life easier” – Anwen Keeling.

“Consider your other [career] options and pursue one of those” – Gail Hastings.

“Just do the work; it is about longevity and creating a whole body of work over time” – Judy Darragh.

“Don’t shit in the nest” – Clare Firth-Smith.

Where possible do only one thing at a time – Lucas Ihlein.

Found taped to a telegraph pole outside Tim Olsen Gallery.

“One of my art teacher’s Inge King told me never to get married, which at 18 I had no idea what she was on about. I married at 23 and now almost 40 I think I know what she meant. Brad Buckley told me never to marry another artist, and well, I did that too, so really I didn’t listen anyhow, ‘cause I was young and an artist. Another art teacher told me to stop falling in love. Maria Gazzard told me to never expect things will be done for you. That it is purely up to “ourselves” to make things work. This I still hold on to. So now the tables have turned and I am to offer advice? Young artist, always tackle the fear” – Sarah Parker.

“You have a blank piece of paper and it’s up to you what do or don’t with it” – Christian Capurro.

“All the best things in life happen through other artists” – Julian Dashper.

“Bend your mind with discipline and focus”– Bunny Star.

“Lie, beg, cheat and steal” – McLean Edwards.

“Don’t rush it. Be in for the long haul, so plan accordingly. In other words, work out if you want to be in a band that splits up when you are 30 or still playing at 70” – David Noonan.

“Please make sure you document your work properly and then store this documentation in a safe place” – Sean Cordiero.

“You can either be creative with your life, or worry about what people think of you” – Lucia McCarthy.

“If you’re starting out, try volunteering at an artist run initiative and expand your network from there” – Vicki Papageorgopoulos.

“Discover your “master eye”. To find out which is your master eye, point at an object a room’s length away, both eyes open. Now close your left eye. If your finger is still pointing directly at the object, your right eye is your “master eye”. This is true of most people. However, if your finger is no longer pointing exactly on target, your left may be your “master eye”. Check this by repeating the experiment and this time closing your right eye. If your finger is now still pointing at the object you sighted with both eyes open, your left eye is “the master”. Because a shotgun has only one sight, at the tip of the barrel, it is impossible to aim it correctly if you have the gun to your wrong shoulder in relation to your “master eye”. It takes some people years to find this out, but don’t give up. The ability to use a shotgun skillfully latter in life is essential. Thank you for listening” – Nigel Milsom.

“Keep your HSC artwork – if you can get past the initial cringe, it’s sure to give you kicks later on. Nothing tops teen expressionism” – Soda_Jerk.

“Making work and having a career are separate. Make the work YOU want to make, and the career will follow” – Debora Warner.

“Liquid Nails” – What.

“Try and make money unimportant. Resenting not having any is a waste of energy and will turn you into a tight arse” – Laresa Kosloff.

“Never allow yourself to be photographed while moving a Nixon” – Tony Schwensen.

“Have an alternative source of income BEFORE you become an artist – get some rich parents, give up a lucrative career in IT or advertising, or have a cushy job in the public service, but have some money to keep you going because it’s too depressing having a low-paid mcjob and trying to establish an art career” – Rodney Love.

“Cutting straight to the point, an artist without money resembles moggy in the park. Is this the aspiration beating in the breast of creative souls? Perhaps not. But the reality of creating artwork is that it belongs in the realms of commercialism. Not the creative spirit though, so the quest of the artist must be to produce an income to support the commercial aspect of art production while preserving an untainted perspective of life through peripheral focus. It’s easy, find a job that pays well enough to cover the bills and buy the paint, make babies when your still in your twenties, spend every waking minute summing up life and don’t forget to keep a journal so that when the kids leave home in your forties you can really remember what it was like to be young and revisit your creations with the experience of it all” – Lindon Langdon.

“Meet your deadlines” – Emil Goh.

“See the original, train outside your language, know more than the curator, fear less than the gallerist, talk and read” – A. D. S. Donaldson

“Look between things and you’ll see, the journey is the destination” – Gaël Hiétin.

“Take high quality photographs of your work. Word of mouth is a good thing, but wont get you a spread in a magazine” – Brendan Lee.

“If I were to give just one piece of advice to a young artist it would be to work your arse off. Get into the studio early, leave late. Make new work constantly. Don’t wait until you have a show coming, always have something on the go. You only really feel like an artist when you are producing art. Being constantly involved in the process of making art keeps your hand in. It keeps your mind attuned to the task of realising your ideas into a physical works of art. The concept is obviously the core of any artwork but all artworks are physically produced whether it is painting, video, installation, etc. The process of making the work is about how you engineer that idea. You are more likely to have major breakthroughs when your line of thought isn’t being interrupted. If you are constantly making new work you will have continuity of thought in the development of your art making process, that’s why it’s better to work a little each day than one or two days a week. You will also need to have actual physical work so that when an opportunity comes, such as a visit from a curator, an invitation to be part of an exhibition, or if you want to enter an art prize which requires recent work, you will always have something new to show” – Tony Lloyd.

“Don’t let your peers down. Be easy to work with. Spot me a fifty. Be thorough in your research – know your references. Buy me a beer. Don’t be so earnest all the time. Be serious in your conviction. Buy me another beer. Go to galleries, a lot, seriously. It seems a lot of people don’t. Of course, read The Art Life ” – Christopher Hanrahan.

“Stay away from the commercial galleries for as long as possible and be skeptical of the hype. Truncated careers are the norm in the art world, so if you realize early that it will all probably come to nothing you’ve got a better chance of making a contribution. It’s the careerists who run out of steam and the junkies who get hooked on Government money. The best antidote to John MacDonald and the MCA is collectivization, in the same way that Conceptual art and performance are the best antidote to Ricky Swallow. Live out of the country for long periods but in the shakeout make it happen here” – Mike Parr.

“Go on your own trip” – Alicia Frankovich.

The Art Life

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