How much?

I would rather have a conversation on how to than how much with emerging artists. The art world is tough and it is cut throat. As with everything else, we give our dues and then reap the benefits in the later years.  I have come across a lot of emerging talent in my profession. Barring a few, the only conversations or questions I have had, is about money. How much and how quickly. Frankly, the kind of financial rewards most expect, leads me to believe that our fresh graduates are not in touch with reality and real world art market conditions. If expectations are way off, they generally leads to disenchantment and negativity.

I would love to interact with young artists on how to take art to the next level, to learn more, to show art the best possible way, to be more creative, take criticism. Once as an artist, you get the basics, continue to evolve and improve, the money will follow. It is a big mistake to put the cart before the horse. Money is important. But to get the amounts an artist thinks he or she deserves will happen at a later stage in life. It might sound a bit preachy, but this has been my real life experience. Selling and marketing yourself is equally important. There is no sure shot formula. Planning and prioritizing is key.

Without guidance and a reality check it is easy to live in a make belief world. Even the advice that is given now days is non existent or substandard to say the least. Institutions need to focus on the real world and prepare artists accordingly. Which sadly, is not being done. Senior artists, reps, mentor’s and galleries just don’t have the time or the inkling to step in and teach. The onus is on the artist to focus and prepare. With meager resources available, it is tough for many. But it has to be done. Avoiding the ‘starving artist’ syndrome, persevering and then growing is absolutely necessary.

Success is fleeting and failure has a habit of catching you when you least expect it. No one can guarantee anything, least of all success.  If things are done in the right way and order, with a plan, then the odds can change in your favor. Financial success will follow. The focus should be on creating good work and showing it. Meeting people, networking, connecting, understanding the market, and figuring out the pricing.  Working and generating multiple revenue streams is another route many artists take. Understanding and listening to people who matter, including peers, galleries, reps, curator’s and critics is of critical importance. Do the basics right, good things will surely happen.