Advice for Artists
In the case of artists in particular, people always seem to have a ton of opinions on what should or shouldn’t be done, whether it’s a sensible or foolish road to go down, or how to achieve success. This advice can come in many forms- good, bad, inspirational or plain bizarre.
We decided to ask some of our artists about some of the advice they’ve received over the years, including ones taken to heart, ones they’re happy they ignored and other nuggets of wisdom they had to share. Here’s what they had to say.
Advice taken to heart
Kailene Piazza: ‘Share your love and impressions of the world around you’
Therese Tucker: The adage ‘you get what you give’ is true. Every time I have experienced substantial growth in myself, my art, and my business is because I invested my time, energy and money into those areas.
Chico Coelho: ‘Listen to your heart, no matter what people say’
Deanna Fainelli: ‘Art requires failure’
Advice to ignore
Therese: I was told that I need to sign on to a gallery to earn a reputation as an artist and get my work seen. I have learned from being a part of a few galleries and also running one as artistic director that unless they are creating online reach as well, you will only be seen by a handful of local people.
Arun Prem: A gallery once told me to create bigger pieces- i took this advice to heart and produced several clunkers that are too big for most spaces and exceed most budgets, not to mention impossible to store and ship.
Kailene: Someone once told me that I had no technique and should go back to school. It broke my heart to hear and I stopped painting for a very long time because of it. I’m glad I ignored it in the end because I learned that my lack of technique was actually what set me apart from other artists!
Stephanie Hardy : I took a business course for artists a few years ago, and at the end of the course we were each assigned a “mentor” of sorts to work directly with us for 6 months. Every time I met with my “mentor” he advised me to marry into money like it was a legitimate bullet point on my business to-do list. It made me sick. Worst advice I’ve ever had and completely unprofessional.
Nuggets of wisdom
Therese: Imagine that the world of potential buyers is like a beach. Being a part of one local gallery is like only having your art on one grain of sand. How will your true audience find you? You need to be on “more of the beach”, if you will. If you have to choose to invest as an artist, I strongly suggest investing in getting your work online.
Deanna: Don’t undervalue your work or work for free
Brian Nash: ‘Sincere encouragement, I think, is far better than any advice anyone can give, because everyone has a different way of getting where they need to go, and I think, they need to find it in themselves’
We’d love to hear your own stories about advice you’ve received (good, bad or bizarre), and what you thought about the ones above!