This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY and Art Fag City. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
In the first part of this series I focused on how artists need to change their attitude in regard to success -- and rid themselves of some of the conditioned attitudes concerning how success in art is interpreted. That said, I realize that many creative individuals have the odds stacked against them. After all, many of us have been bombarded with suggestions such as, "You can only 'make it' in art if you move to New York City.". I know that with enough hard work an artist can 'make it' -- gain renown and be prosperous -- no matter where he or she lives. The biggest step towards accepting this is to stop the excuses based on the conditioning that has held so many artists back.
One of the biggest problems I've observed happens to be artists giving up on local art opportunities, local art galleries, and local art shows before they have had a chance to explore what is available within their region. I often read about how artists are upset that the regional arts initiative in their state is lacking strength or is non-existent . The complaints are common -- "We don't have what New York has."... "we don't have the reach that NY galleries have."... "There is nothing in this state for artists."... the list goes on. Thus, they submit to conditioned attitudes without giving a second thought to what they could -- with hard work -- establish for themselves and the state that they live in. They don't bother to research the art opportunities that already exist in their area. They allow excuses to dominate their outlook.
With the above in mind -- I have found that some of these same artists sit around dreaming of art exhibits that are states away -- exhibits that will likely never take place -- instead of paying attention to the community around them. Point blank -- why expect your local community to 'get' art if you are not helping them to understand just how powerful -- and meaningful -- art can be? Even the NY art community had a starting point. It is time to stop forgetting that success can be discovered in your own 'backyard' -- and the sense of 'art community' that can be cultivated within your surrounding community. It is time to cast out the excuses and get to work.
Based on some of the attitudes I've came across over the years one would think that art collectors -- and art critics for that matter -- can only be found in New York City. True, NYC does have a stable of high profile art collectors and critics -- but trust me, there are many art collectors, including the wealthy variety, throughout the United States... and for all you know one may live near you. As for art critics, believe it or not most states have at least a couple running around. They may not be internationally known -- or write for a major art publication -- but they can serve your purpose if you can catch their attention. That goes 10 fold if you start to think on terms of regional success in art.
In closing, I firmly believe that artists need to start taking a closer look at their surrounding art community instead of thinking of success in places that we are conditioned to view as the end all, be all of art. New York City -- and other cultural hubs for that matter -- can wait. It is OK to dream big about representation at a NY art gallery -- but the reality is that most likely 'they' don't want you anyway. In that sense, artists have a better chance of making a name for themselves outside of NY. What better place to accomplish that than in your own state? Stop the excuses that hold you back from strengthening the arts in your region. Be a doer... not a waiter.
Take care, Stay true,