October 25 – World Artist Day. Congratulations to all those involved. We even have a gift! 🙂
The popular art critic from New York Jerry Saltz in a column for Vulture, he told what all beginning artists need to know and be able to do if they want to connect their lives with great art.
Step 1: you are an amateur
- First words of advice to those who are just starting out
Lesson 1: Don’t be embarrassed
Art is always a revelation. Sometimes it’s like undressing in public. And there will always be people who will say that this is stupid, too strange, disgusting, and ugly. Don’t dwell on their opinion. Art doesn’t have to be completely understandable to everyone. It doesn’t even have to be good.
Lesson 2: “Tell your own story and you will be interesting” – Louise Bourgeois
Don’t try to fit in with someone else’s idea of what real art should be. Be yourself, create sincerely, and from yourself. But remember that even your individuality is not a guarantee that they will immediately pay attention to you. Start small and earn that attention.
Lesson 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Imitate
We all start as imitators. We take over and borrow something from those who came before us. The main thing is not to blindly copy, but to adapt someone else’s experience for yourself. Repeat, but do it your way. Find your material, your style, bring your own “I” into your work.
Lesson 4: Art is not about comprehensibility. And not even about skill
It’s about process and experience. Do not think that you must be understood correctly. This is not the point of art. Imagination is what you need. Sentimentality and lack of emotionality are your enemies. Love for what you do is your main assistant.
Lesson 5: Work, Work, and Work Again
All my friends, artists and writers, claim that they work even in their sleep. I do that too. And I recommend it to you too. Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up. If you are constantly improving, sooner or later you will get what you are striving for.
Step 2: where to finally start
- Instructions for use
Lesson 6: Start with a pencil
Dance to the music of art: take a pencil and draw whatever you want. Start with lines of any size: try to draw them of different thickness, draw with different hands, on stones, wood, napkins, anywhere. Experiment and feel the return on what you do. Decorate the mug with your drawings and ask those who see it what emotions your object of art evokes in them. And do not think about the correctness of your actions, relax.
Now draw not lines, but an object in front of you. Differently: realistic and abstract. This will give you a sense of space, light, shadow and texture.
Lesson 7: Practice
Draw what you see. If you are on the subway, sketch the hands of a passenger who is sitting next to you or standing nearby. You can paint parts of your face by looking in the mirror. The main thing is to play with the scale and draw. A lot of. Try everything.
Lesson 8: Redefine Skills
Masterpiece and artistic prowess have nothing to do with precision and technical prowess. This is how you see. As soon as you know how to show.What is original is masterpiece…
Lesson 9: “Enclose Thought in Matter” – Roberta Smith
What does it mean? The object should express the idea, and the art should contain emotion. And these ideas and emotions must be understandable.
Here’s an example. In the winter of 1917, 29-year-old Marcel Duchamp bought a urinal from JL Mott Iron Works on Fifth Avenue. Signed it “R. Mutt 1917 “and named the composition” Fountain “. And presented it at the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists.
“Fountain” is the artistic equivalent of the Word in the flesh, an object and an idea at the same time. He says anything can be art. Today it is considered one of the most significant works of art of the twentieth century.
Lesson 10: Find Your Own Voice
If someone tells you that your work is similar to someone else’s and therefore it is time for you to stop, do not listen to him. Do not stop. Keep up the good work. Repeat this a thousand times. If after that someone you trust says that your works are too reminiscent of others, try to find another way.
Lesson 11: Hear the Crazy Voices in Your Head
I have a whole team of enemies, friends, critics, and advisers in my head – they all make comments and give advice. And none of them are cruel. I use music a lot. For example, I decide: “I’ll start this work with a big booze, like Beethoven…” or “This one will go well with Led Zeppelin”.
Outstanding authors of the present and past, favorite performers … These voices will always help when things get tough.
Lesson 12: Know What You Hate
Spoiler alert: It’s almost certainly you.
Make a list of three artists that you absolutely dislike. Add to each of them five things that are especially unpleasant for them. Very often, such lists contain what you yourself have.
Lesson 13: Collect garbage
Andy Warhol said: “I love to work with what others have refused, that they considered unworthy.” Originality and novelty have not disappeared, even if someone convinces that “everything has already happened”. You just need to find them. Forgotten ideas and images that someone rejected can become your discovery.
Step 3: Learn to think like an artist
- This is the funniest and most interesting part.
Lesson 14: Compare Cats and Dogs
Call a dog and it will come up to you and put its head on its knees. Call a cat – and she will come to look at you, but you may not touch you. Cats don’t need direct contact. They do not communicate directly, but abstractly, through something third. Artists are like cats. And they too cannot be tamed.
Lesson 15: Understand Art Is Not Just to Be Looked at
For the last hundred years, art has been presented to us in white, almost sterile rooms with good light. People look at pictures and move on. But art is action! It should evoke feelings!
What work of art made you cry? Remember what caused all these emotions in him. Write it down and post it in your studio.
Lesson 16: Understand the difference between the matter of an object and its content
One of the most important lessons.
When you look at a work of art, first pay attention to the material – and then stop seeing it. Try to understand the content of the work. Is it sensual or intellectual? What do you think the author was thinking? Why should this painting or sculpture be in a museum? Why not? Would you like to live with this piece?
Ask yourself questions – and answer them. Compare different pictures with similar subjects, find differences in them …
Lesson 17: Learn to see as much as possible
Critics look like this: they move away, come closer, take a closer look, evaluate the entire exhibition, compare the works with each other, recall the author’s past works, his successes, failures, abilities, and achievements.
Artists look differently: they come as close as possible to the work, study every detail, texture, material, processing, they touch with their hands, examine the edges and look behind the work.
What are they doing? The artists will say: they study how it is done. I will say: they steal. And rightly so! Even bad art teaches no less than good art. Maybe even more.
Lesson 18: All Art is Personal
Because any work of art is created by a person.
There are artists who claim that art should be useful to us. But they need to understand that there are as many ways to be useful as there are works of art themselves.
Lesson 19: All Art Was Once Modern
Do not forget that everything is created for its own time and in response to it. Perhaps this thought will help you to be more open and better understand what you are seeing. Do the same.
Step 4: Enter the art world
- Snake Pit Survival Guide
Lesson 20: Accept that you are likely to have little money
We see these fabulous prices for which paintings are sold, and we think that all artists are bathed in luxury and glamor. Only a few out of many really manage to make money on their work. You may feel underappreciated and unrecognized. It’s sad. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’re not doing this for the glory.
Lesson 21: Defining Success
The most obvious answers are: money, happiness, freedom, recognition, “I do what I want”. But not all successful people are happy. Success and happiness often don’t go together at all.
True happiness is always having time for your favorite pastime.
But you need to live on something. And so you sit in the office all day to make money. You don’t have time to be creative. You start to mope … But you are a creative person – and you will surely find an opportunity to create. Once a week. Two days a week. You can find a part-time job.
And now you are no longer depressed. You have more time for creativity and communication. You are already on your way to success. Now get to work. Or leave the artists.
Lesson 22: It only takes a few people to make a career
One person who really believes in you and helps you promote is the dealer. Five or six collectors who consistently buy your work. Two or three critics of your age who care about your art. And there are only a few curators who would arrange exhibitions with your work.
Lesson 23: Learn to Write
An artist needs to be able to convey his message. Only without pathos. Be simpler, “dumber”. Forget about jargon and abstruse words. Don’t quote the greats. They’re all cool guys, but don’t quote them. Create your own theory. To people who claim to hate or do without theory: This is your theory, you fools!
It’s hard to talk about important things. If you get something bombastic, you better not write at all.
Step 5: How to survive in the art world
- Psychic strategies for dealing with ugliness (inside and out)
Lesson 24: Artists Must Be Vampires
Go to openings, events, and parties where you can communicate with your own kind. It is better to communicate in person, but online is also possible. You will fight and love together, invent new languages, support each other, and share your strength to move on. This is how you can change the world – and your art.
Lesson 25: Learn to Cope with Rejection
Stephen King’s most popular novel, Kerry, has been returned 30 times by publishers. The Beatles turned down Decca Records, where they believed “guitar bands were going out of style.” Manet’s paintings were called vulgar.
It’s important to be receptive to criticism, but build up thick skin so that criticism doesn’t hurt you. Maybe you are ahead of your time, and contemporaries are not yet ready to understand you.
Usually I say to my critics: “You may be right.”
Lesson 26: Make Envy Your Enemy
Envy blinds and interferes with creativity, killing the artist in you. Don’t look at others with envy, but just work and create.
Lesson 27: Having a Family Is Good
Many in the arts, especially women, believe in the rule: family and children harm careers. This is stupid. In a sense, being a parent is like being an artist. Constant chaos and happiness, confusion and a lot of emotions.
Step 6: Get the Galactic Brain
- Jerry’s Cosmic Epigrams
Lesson 28: What You Dislike Is As Important As What You Like
Never say never”! What you didn’t like yesterday, you may like tomorrow.
Lesson 29: Art is a form of knowing yourself
Art is no less and no more important than philosophy, religion, economics or psychology.
Lesson 30: Artists Don’t Know the Meaning of Their Art – Roberta Smith
Remember: everyone will see in your work – in any work – something of their own. Don’t try to prove and impose your vision.
Lesson 31: All Art is Subjective
Each reading of the book can open up something new in it. Every time, looking at the same picture, you can see something that you did not pay attention to before. Works of art are constantly changing, and every time you catch yourself thinking: “How did I not notice this before?”
This is the most amazing property of art: it is static, but it is never the same.
Lesson 32: You Should Value Vulnerability
Your works can reveal the most secret drawers of your life, even if you are “against”. Are you ready for this?
Lesson 33: Let Yourself Rave
Demons are constantly talking to us. They can dissuade you from many creative ideas, insist that you are not good enough and your work is worthless.
And you tell yourself: “No, I’m damn brilliant!”