Allium Series - Prelude
12" x 8", coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I'm one of those people who avoids the early stages of American Idol and only starts watching as they get down to the final twelve - when it starts to get interesting in terms of seeing who is a genuine original, who responds to advice - and whether I can spot who's going to make the final and who is going to win!
I've 'respun' the lessons from Simon, Randy and Paula with a few more comments of my own below - based on the three themes identified by Barney in his post.
- Don't copy the style of other artists. It really only serves to remind people of how you fall short of the standard set by others.
- In the history of art, the first division are all the artists who created a new way of creating art; the second division are all those who come within the 'school of''. If you want to be in the first division you have to be original.
- Learning about how others make their art can help you with making your own art - but only if you take the technical lessons learned and then employ them in a way which is completely individual to you.
- Technical excellence simply isn't enough. Your art also has to make a connection between you and your audience - and connections come through ideas or stories or emotion.
- Great artists are authentic.
- Authenticity comes from telling a story which comes from within you - about things which move you, about experiences you've had, about subject matter which you find fascinating. It's one of the reasons why we've seen the rise of the singer-songwriters and why some of the song choices on American Idol can be so 'wrong'.
- 'Fake' is the reverse of authentic and tends to be associated with doing what you think is popular and what makes money for other people.
- Being authentic enables others to feel the same emotions as you. Being 'fake' can run the risk of making other people want to 'gag'.
- Making connections with your audience comes from making choices about the content or theme which fits with who you really are and what really interests you. Paint what you know from your own perspective. Find out more about what really interests you - and then paint that too. All of this provides content for your artist's statement - and explains why some seem credible while others come across as complete tosh!
- Creating work which resonates with your audience comes through:
- remaking something familiar in your own 'voice' ie making sure that your version is distinctive and not just 'more of the same'
- creating something which is genuinely original that people respond to - which is almost always something which is technically excellent combined with real thought, real knowledge and real emotion.
- How you present yourself to the world and how you do business speaks volumes - and influences whether or not people buy your art. Making yourself accessible and making connections helps people to get to know you. They might even grow to like you!
- Getting 'the look' right for your subject matter and idiom is very important. Paying attention to how work is presented can really help to persuade people that you are 'the real deal'.
- How many times have you been really 'wowed' by your own work once you found the right mat and/or frame for that work?
- How often are your expectations about price about artwork set by the context and the company that it keeps?
- How many times do you buy art when the place it is being sold feels friendly and accessible and attuned to who you are?
- Less is more! If you have a very strong ethos around strong colours and designs make sure that you also find some buyers who share that preference. Just as magnolia walls sell houses in the UK make sure your presentation of your artwork doesn't put people off. Plus always remember that buyers will very often reframe art they buy.
- The frame is 'the dress' - but will that little black number really take you everywhere? It's probably best to try keep up to date with options and trends around presenting art and to understand how these can vary from place to place. For example, the trend in London at the moment seems to be very much around plain, simple, low key frames in muted colours. Ornate and gilded frames just don't fit the contemporary art market around here.
- There's also an issue around how artists dress for private views - but I suspect there's no right answer on that one! What do you think?
Do also go and read Barney's blog where he also expands on these perennial themes - after all they don't change as seasons come and go. If you need any more prompting try the following
I wonder if Simon Cowell collects art?
Seven Savvy Points to Ponder from American Idol
Barney Davey - Art Marketing Lessons from American Idol
- Don't let the critics deter you when you are right, but be smart enough to know when they are right.
- The purest talent isn't always the biggest winner.
- Find a niche large enough to carry your interest and to build a market.
- You can sometimes stumble and fall and still pull through if you retool to come back strong with work that touches your audience.
- If you aren't particularly likable, you have to be interesting, admirable or compelling in some unusual way.
- You can't bore people into success or buying your art.
- If you become successful, use your clout to help worthy causes