Monday, July 18, 2011

Ass Kissing Your Way Through Art School? Then What?

The above is from an engaging site on this very topic, Art Workers Won't Kiss Ass
I learned a long time ago in the 70's when I was very involved in the politics of feminism and art while attending NSCAD , that I didn't want to ever ass kiss my way through art school in order to be successful. That said, it is my belief that practical business/ commerce knowledge and skills are vital to all artists to increase one's ability to sell your art work.

More often than not, our work is undervalued. As artists we don't need to contribute to this by short selling ourselves and perpetuating the sterotype of the starving and long suffering artist that lives in a garret, who have to sell our souls to the devil, and ass kiss to get ahead!

As an artist, that has returned to university to complete my BFA, I am painfully aware of how students are not given the business skills regarding, marketing and selling their work without loosing one's personal integrity.

This was even more so the situation in my early years as an art student. It is still prevalent, but fortunately today art students have the opportunity more than ever 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 while in art school.

Studying and understanding how to market yourself as an artist, I would dare to say is percieved 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 personas in which we are percieved as never needing or wanting to seriously consider the material or monetary in terms of our art practice or careers.

This is not a moral highground nor should it be. I am certain no artist wants or chooses poverty as their lot in life, loosing an ear or maddness in order to be an artist! Making art is work, hard work, but it also doesn't mean we are destined for a life of poverty. We want, need and deserve to expect to be remunerated for our work.

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