Your Homework on Becoming an Artist

Art has always been both transformative and reflective of the world. The slew of artists, who have created, are creating and will be creating, is astounding. However, never before has their job been so difficult and confusing.

This may be an unpopular opinion. After all, most of us have probably heard about the decline of modern arts, as they no longer seek to emulate techniques of the Renaissance. Even ordinary sunglasses can be perceived as art, as evidenced by the prank in the San Francisco Museum.

It is true that in the today’s world almost everybody gets to create something, be it a cool Instagram post or an intricate art installation. However, it is critical to understand that the flood of new artists may be huge, but there are few standouts. And those really talented artists have to work extra hard nowadays as thanks to technology, the possibilities are immense, but the public is hard to impress.

When I went to art school, I often wished somebody would do my homework for me. There were so many ways of artistic expression and so little time to implement all of them. Every day this problem is just being compounded as the technological advances never cease. So, how do you make sense of this abundance and find your own niche?

Learn Tech

Many artists nowadays experiment with Photoshop, 3D Printers and augmented reality software to make their art more appealing to a regular Joe Schmoe technophile. It’s important to stay on top of the latest techniques and developments in technology in addition to the art form you choose.

Even if you find out that this type of art is not your element, at least you will get a better understanding of the modern trends and your place within them. You will be more successful in seeking your own path now that you know what the world values.

You may either transform your artistic approach to suit the needs of a wider audience or challenge the trends with your own vision. Whatever you choose at first, stop and look around. Ask yourself what’s already on the table, what can make you a living and what can bring you accolades. Without at least basic knowledge of modern tech, those questions are very likely to be left unanswered.

Experiment with Materials

Even if you are a fan of every artist’s Holy Trinity (watercolor, oil and acrylic paints), it is worth taking a look at less conventional supplies. Many artists are widely acclaimed due to their original decisions. For example, Damian Hirst used insects to cover the Belgian palace ceiling. Cai Guo-Qiang utilized gunpowder explosions in his art.

However, it is important that your experiments are done not just for the sake of novelty. If you want to be remembered for centuries to come, you need to transplant your personality into your creations. Fireworks are fun and entertaining when they last, but afterwards it’s just dust and darkness. Damian Hirst used green beetles to ruminate on the Belgian colonial past. Cai Cuo-Qiang’s powder is representative of his childhood. This is what makes their work meaningful and insightful.

Resorting to raw canvasses instead of paper or aluminum surfaces can also make your art more memorable and intriguing. However, no matter how much you want to impress, do not persist in the activity which is uncomfortable and alien to you. It is better to remain a good artist painting oil than a mediocre one dabbling unsuccessfully in silk screening.

Find Your Fans

There is no need to display your creations in galleries anymore. If you do not want to be a stereotypical starving artist, utilize the power of the Internet. There you not only can start a successful crowd funding campaign to help yourself with daring ideas, but also sell your paintings to art enthusiasts all over the world.

Exposure on the Internet can actually lead to appreciation or at least awareness of your existence among the critics. So, stop complaining about modern art’s decline and get on the Internet. Fame and fortune may await you.

No Imitations

True art is original, even when today’s world is often fake. Remember the Dutch woman who pretended to have a vacation on social networks? Or the eyeglasses incident I mentioned earlier? The public is easy to fool, but time preserves no husks.

You may want to copy or even steal, but nothing will come out of it in the end. Just like you cannot step in the same river twice, somebody’s success cannot be repeated even if you use the same settings. Your copy will be like a flash photograph of a Scotchlite Reflective fabric – only slightly reminiscent of the original.

So, the only way to become an artist is to become aware. Aware of yourself, your surroundings and opportunities. Aware of what you can bring to this world that is interesting and original. Aware of the possible repercussions of your choices.

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The press release and the photographs are courtesy of the gallery and the artists.

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