‘I work until enough of my life has flowed into its body’ Happy birthday to the French sculptor’….
New York magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz gave a speech at the the Expo Chicago fair this year and gave these pieces of advice for artists. “Art is about experience. Nobody listens to a song and says, ‘I don’t understand that.’”
1. Go to an art school that doesn’t cost too much. Those who go to Yale and Columbia might get a nine-month career bump right after graduation, but you’ll all be back on the same level in a year, and you won’t be in as much debt.
2. Envy will eat you alive.
3. Stay up late with each other after all the professors go to sleep. Support one another.
4. You can’t think your way through an art problem. As John Cage said, “Work comes from work.”
5. Follow your obsessions. If you love the Cubs that much, maybe they need to be in your work.
6. Don’t take other people’s ideas of skill. Do brain surgery with an axe.
7. Don’t define success by money, but by time.
8. Do not let rejection define you.
9. Don’t worry about getting enough sleep. Worry about your work.
10. Be delusional. It’s okay to tell yourself you’re a genius sometimes.
The points have been paraphrased by Julia Halperin, ArtInfo.
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” – Isaac Asimov
There’s a great story in David Bayles and Ted Orland’s Art and Fear. Here it is:
“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work in the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B” and so on. Those being graded on “quality,” however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busy turning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”
“Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work.” – David Bayles and Ted Orland