need some definition here.
Some people feel that an artist’s career can include
teaching art or doing design work for a greetings
card company or a swimming pool contractor.
If you just want a full time job in a somewhat creative
field, then I would say go for it. But if being a full time
artist means selling your work is your only income -
then you better be rich or financially supported by
someone else. The alternative to that is doing anything
anyone asks for enough money to eat while you write
grants and sponsorships forms in all your spare time.
Most creative people, especially artists need to have a
real job and paint in their spare time. That may not be
the high status, romantic notion of the life of a struggling
artist but it’s a necessity. Gauguin, Van Gogh, Renoir,
Picasso et al had summer jobs, alternative careers, or
supportive families who took the very long shot on their
careers. Most artists, even very good artists, unhappily
lose money year after year. If you want to create art
at the very highest level that you are capable of
producing, then I recommend that you be realistic
from the very beginning. You must learn to appreciate
art by studying it. You must learn your techniques by
emulating the artists that are closest to your own
aspirations, an apprenticeship may be better than
an art degree for this. Then you must begin to
differentiate yourself from those favorite artists with
the strongest, most personal style that you are
capable of developing. Never be ashamed of your
sincere and hard work. Never be afraid to
change if it helps you to improve in your own opinion.
Listen only to people who you feel strengthen your
work. If you do this you will have the strength of
purpose to ignore fads, trends, quick money, stupid
advice and manipulation long enough to develop yourself
into a powerful artist, whether or not you get recognition
by a superficial media or a self-interested art
establishment. This may sound like Rudyard
Kipling’s poem, ‘If’ - I hope that it does.
Could you suggest some websites that artists might find useful?
Websites are really good for getting a quick look
at a broad selection of art. And you can usually
send a contact message to the artist, writer or
gallerist for questions or to make suggestions.
I use my website to serve as a portfolio for anyone
interested in seeing images of my recent work - http://abstractpainting-bannister.com . I seldom
make direct sales from that website although I
have sold a few every year over the years that way.
Most artists find that a website helps them
communicate with viewers, potential buyers, galleries
and other artists worldwide. The internet has
made a lot of things possible that were not available
to artists of even ten years ago. My favorite galleries
often have good websites - an example of that
would be Stephen Haller at http://www.stephenhaller.com/ .