This painting (acrylic on canvas 24′ x36′) illustrates how the art-world functions. Many are called, only few are chosen.
A variety of pages where artists post are filled with delusional pep-talk. The latest example was a debuting writer who got ecstatic about her first rejection letter from a publisher. She saw it as a proof that the publishers started to notice her and many of the people congratulated her with that amazing feat. When I pointed out that it was most likely an automatically generated message (after 200 + rejections I know how they look like), I got the whole page over me for being “negative”.
Another one proudly posted: “I just got my first ever paycheck from Medium. It’s for 8 cents.
And I’m genuinely PUMPED … Proof that you should keep going. Proof that you should believe in yourself. Proof that your best is yet to come. 🥳”
I wrote: “You wouldn´t be an artist when you aren´t a dreamer”. She answered: “I wouldn´t be an artists if I wasn´t a doer”.
Great, keep making art, but it´s a thorny path for those dreaming of fame and fortunes. Many are called, but only few are chosen. It all depends how successful you are in branding yourself. Those can sell an aquarium filled with formaldehyde, put a dead shark into it, call it “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” and sell it for one million to an art dealer who on his turn sells it for 12 million USD to a banker. This is a true story: the artist´s name is Damien Hirst, the art dealer was Saatchi, and the banker´s name Steven A. Cohen.
The average artists get excited when they receive 8 cents from Medium or a rejection letter of a publisher. Or that their work is selected for an exposition as long they´re willing to pay a hefty contribution.
I gave up my dreams for fame and fortune and start to see my artistic activity more as a path towards personal growth. I consider that time is my most precious commodity and don´t want to waste any of it anymore in probably vain efforts to promote my art. I create and put it in the window where it has to stand on its own. On an occasion I will boost a post about my art on FB for 10 USD, but leave it to that. And it´s on Saatchi and Amazon: mostly ignored.
It sells, it doesn’t sell: I do no longer care. Time spent on self-promotion is time taken from personal growth. Money and fame can come and go, time not. Which doesn´t mean that I don´t crave some recognition of my works, but this feeling is subordinate to my creative drive to grow as a person. “Art is Business” is a slogan that doesn´t resonate with me anymore. It sounds a little like: Politics is Business, Religion is Business, Justice is Business, Love is Business, Healthcare is Business, Education is Business, etc… The ultimate one: economists who state, “Business is War”. Maybe business is also genocide?