Sunday, November 6, 2011

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

This is the first in an ongoing series of posts which answer the question, "What was the best advice given to you as an artist?"

All of the responses are taken from the 100+ interviews archived on

"What was the best advice given to you as an artist?"
    "My high school art teacher, Ron Chagnon, told me “never give up on your art”. He allowed me the freedom to explore my artistic style and helped me better understand some of the influences and direction my work was taking on..." - Matthew Albers (Interview)

"Find the joy in the entire process." - Corey McNally (Interview)

    "This came from my mentor in college, and he heard it from his. He warned me that once I graduated from school and was no longer paying people to do it, that no one would care if I ever made another painting. This really hit home with me, and he’s absolutely right. It’s a hard old world out there for creative minded people, and there is certainly no clear path to professional success as an artist. You can’t just apply for three or four jobs as painter, and choose the one with the best benefits package.

    An artist must be prepared to be ignored and undervalued at every turn. To be successful, you have to believe in the validity of what you are doing, and continuously find your own reasons to keep working. The only way anyone will look or listen is if you make them, and if you don’t have the toughness and motivation to take the knocks, it won’t be long before you’re working as a banker and painting as a hobby, if at all." - Alyssa Wendorf (Interview)

    "Stay true to your own unique expression. Don’t change your style or technique because you think it will sell more or appeal to more people, because people will sense that you are not being genuine. People want to see what is ‘you’." - Kara Hendershot (Interview)

    "One piece leads to the next and so on; all the rest is unimportant. Just focus on the daily practice of making work." - Lynn Speaker (Interview)

1 comment:

Patti Paulson said...

I think the most helpful advice came from Alyssa Wendorf. Reality can hurt, but the same things that hurt us can help us. Using this information to power us, we can toughen ourselves for critics and prepare to brave the cold, real world. Anyone who thinks it will be easy to make a living as an artist has it wrong.