Thursday, January 13, 2011

I don't need to loose my ear!

Self Portrait With Bandaged Ear by Vincent van Gogh
Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh

It is my belief that practical business/ commerce knowledge and skills are vital to all artists to aquire.

More often than not, our work is undervalued। As artists we don't need to contribute to this by short selling ourselves or over pricing and perpetuating the stereotype of the starving and long suffering artist that lives in a garret!

As an artist, that has returned to university to complete my Bachelor of Fine Art, I am painfully aware of how students are not given the business skills regarding, marketing and selling their work etc.

This was even more so the situation in my early years as an art student at NSCAD in the 70s. Today in art school it is still prevalent, but fortunately art students have the opportunity to access commerce related information if they seek it out, and Professors encourage and reinforce the importance of having commerce as part of your education in art school.

Studying and understanding how to market yourself as an artist, I would dare to say is perceived as diametrical to what it means to be an artist, to the point of being a sacrilege. This is also a myth, making us victims of our own persona's in which we are perceived as never needing or wanting to seriously consider the material or monetary in terms of our practice or careers.

This is not a moral high ground nor should it be. I am certain no artist wants or chooses poverty as their lot in life, loosing an ear or madness in order to be an artist! Please, hang on to your ears!

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