"Artists everywhere work hard to sabotage their careers, compromise their reputations, make sure they never get shows, and maintain art world statures of consummate anonymity. In order to help streamline the process of failure, and as a public service to all artists who cherish oblivion, I hereby offer the most expedient means of attaining and solidifying lifelong positions among the ranks of the unknown. So are you ready to go nowhere? Excellent. Here's all you have to do............." (Alan Bamberger)There's an excellent article by Alan Bamberger , an art consultant on Artbusiness.com called How Not To Succeed in the Art World. He identifies a long list of things you need to do if you're really going to be successful - at sabotaging your chances of 'making it' as an artist!
There's no requirement for everybody who makes art to also try and 'make it' as an artist. However just in case you'd like to - or maybe have been wondering why you aren't - I recommend you take a deep breath and read the whole article and then tot up how many you're guilty of or at least have thought about...........
I have to confess I smiled my way through most of it as I know from more than one art forum that the 'actions' which Bamberger has captured so well in this article really are the way some artists behave. However, don't worry unduly if you find you've done any of the things listed, you're far from being the only person who's ever done whatever it is you've done!
Over the years I've managed to learn or work out why most of the actions on the list have to be avoided if you want business success in the art world. However, while some are obvious to anybody with a bit of common sense, I think it's more than likely that some of the others are maybe less so - particularly to those people who have only had limited exposure to the way the business world works in general. After all the art business is a business and business 'rules' apply to most of it.
So - do you need to change your ways?
- if you've never ever committed any of these art business 'faux pas', this article is going to give you a nice warm feeling. So give yourself a big pat on the back and you can then go back to your very busy life as a successful artist!
- if you find you've been doing things wrong then I suggest you increase your awareness of what it takes to be successful.
- Read around the subject of the art business and find out what it takes for an artist to be successful.
- Listen to the advice of successful artists and people in art forums with a bit more experience of the art business (or even just business)
- Work on creating good relationships within the art business world.
One of the links I've included is to artbusiness.com and the articles written with the artist in mind - which I've also listed below.
If anybody has an art business link that they would like to recommend, please use the comments function and identify it along with the reason why you found it useful.
- My squidoo lens - The Art Business - Resources for Artists
- Artbusiness.com - articles for artists