Andy Mouse - Keith Haring
Us artist have it so good.
In art school, we live in creative hives.
We can follow sparks of imagination to see where they lead, which is always to something else. We can record traffic and make it music, print our own art money like Andy Warhol---invite an audience to the forest for an outdoor, nature symphony - like John Cage --and---we get to take classes where we stare at nudes and draw them. It’s a good life.
...and then we graduate and leave the paradise.
So many of us wonder what we’ll do with our degrees. Will we be able to get a job? make a living? are we destined to work in restaurants? What will we do?
There are many who give us artists a hard time. They think artists aren’t realist, that we don’t understand the real world. Many think being a doctor, lawyer, accountant, nurse is the rational, sensible way to go.
For people who want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, nurse ---it is indeed a good idea to pursue those professions. For those of us who think putting paint on a canvas is heaven, composing a photo and writing a novel are the things that make a life meaningful ---don’t be swayed into becoming someone you aren’t - don’t disrespect your own talents.
The Museum of Modern Art helped raise me.
I grew up in Queens - in NYC ---my friends and I would take the F train to 53rd street and go hang out at the museum --or we’d head all the way to the the tip of Manhattan to hang out at the Cloisters - where we’d examine the Unicorn tapestries.
Art is the foundation I stand on. It is because I saw a Claus Oldenberg exhibit at MoMA, when I was in 8th grade ---and that my grandfather was in the fabric biz, that I’m an artist in business.
I seemed perfectly possible to pursue my dreams and make a living.
I’m here to urge you to go into business.
Small biz - micro biz, art biz is what makes capitalism fun! We are the verve meisters.
Go into business - become part of the world of commerce. Figure out how to make some money from your art.
Learn how to write a proposal, write an invoice and reel in the job. It’s exciting to be involved in
the mainstream conversation.
As Andy Warhol said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.
©Jennifer Smith 2016 - Artist in the Material World