Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Career Artist

I recently commented on another artist's blog regarding the importance of PR in "the career-mode" of being an artist. It brings up a lot of personal questions in regards to how I prefer to present myself and how much painting time I am comfortable trading in order to do what needs to be done to promote sales of my work.

For me making art is purely about the process. I use the painting process to explore concepts in philosophy, psychology, literature and history as they relate to the common person in an extraordinary environment. So when does the attitude of sales impede upon that process and how often? Obviously, selling work does not constitute a “sell-out” of the artist. I’d say a good 50% of my time is spent on PR. By “PR” I mean - letters and portfolios to galleries/museums; scanning the periodicals and websites for exhibition opportunities; working on the website; shooting and editing images of my paintings; and designing and printing brochures, etc.

On the other hand, I have always believed that manipulating the work towards a known market is a betrayal of oneself. My career and life would be a lot easier if I just painted clich├ęd scenes, but after a period of time – I don’t think I would paint at all. I need the sales to survive, but I also need the originality and layered-themes to urge me on to produce more work. I’m the both the best and worst kind of artist – because I have an ego that’s only interested in making history. - DN

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