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Making It in the Art World
I am writing this book to change the world. Artists are at the forefront of creative tactics that can alter not only how we perceive our lives, but how we live them.
This book is for the professional artist or the artist who wants to learn to be a professional.
If you are an artist, you are a leader. If you are a leader, you must make a stand and tell everyone who you are and why they should listen to you. In this hypercompetitive world, you must be brave, and embrace your genius, or your voice will be silenced by those around you who are not afraid to speak up.
When I grew up in the ’70s, my parents were teachers, and like all the other parents I knew, they worked a lot, bought a house, and made a modest living. I was told to go to college, get a degree, and pursue my interests. But since my interests were art, when I graduated, there were no jobs in the arts except for teaching, and I didn’t want to teach. Also, I wanted more: I wanted to be an artist and live by my own rules.
The New Economy
Let’s look at the economy. In the last century, we have been taught to get a job, go to work, pay the bills, and everything will be all right. The capitalist system needs workers, and schools turned them out. People took jobs they didn’t like and dealt with it until they retired. For the majority of the working class, their life was devoid of realizable dreams, of plans, because no one encouraged it. After coming home from a soul-crushing job, there wasn’t time to pursue what it is you love or even to explore what it is you might love. What is the answer? Fantastic state-sponsored advertising told us the new answer for many was the lottery. Buy a ticket and you can quit your job, then the dream begins. Unfortunately, the lottery made things worse, because now all your dreams are in one basket, and the chance of them coming true is practically zero. It is no wonder we see a rise in antidepressants; life is laid out to be a mediocre exercise in making money, managing stress, and taking care of your family. Now the economy is even worse, and when you get out of college, even getting a mediocre job is very difficult. The competition is growing all the time. So now people go around grousing about how the rich get richer, and all that serves to do is keep them in their place of mediocrity, of not taking risks, and getting a prescription for antidepressants or worse. Don’t play that game; it’s just what the man wants, and it will keep you down and stop you from doing anything creative.
What this new economy needs is innovators. Don’t look for gallery approval, hoping to be taken care of like a pampered pup; those days are long gone. The artists who are really making money, like Damien Hirst, are finding ways to bypass the gallery system. Even graffiti artists like Banksy are finding ways to bring their work to market without a gallery, without a middleman.
Creative Ideas Are Needed
As an artist, you stand on the edge of a new frontier. The world is waiting for your ideas. Companies everywhere are looking for creative ideas, and people all over the globe want to be inspired by something new; they want an example that they can follow and do by themselves. As an artist, it is your job to generate new and creative ideas. Galleries can still be useful, but they are a small part of the game now.
In the middle of one of the worst economies in decades, a website came along called Kickstarter that was launched in April of 2009. The idea was to provide a platform for creative people to show off their ideas and raise money for it. By 2010, Kickstarter was the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world; millions of dollars go through it every month, right into the hands of artists. Where did all that money come from in this terrible economy? From people everywhere who want to see creative ideas and projects like making music, inventions, and artworks be part of this culture.
You are being called upon to lead the next generation! As an artist, you have a big advantage, because you already know how to think creatively, and if you look at the Kickstarter website, you can see that the world values creativity.
Now it is time to make it; now is the time to show the world that you are a leader and have something to offer. Your art, your creative ideas, your willingness to be able to take a risk for what you believe in are all part of the new economy that you must engage unless you want to keep looking for a job that is boring, dull, and will suck the creative life right out of you.
This book will give you tools to pursue your dreams, and the workbook that is included at the end of every chapter is a way for you to make a contract with yourself about realizing those dreams and making a plan for them to happen! You can download the workbook on the link below.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.