I think this includes aspects of my career as an artist. In my own eyes, and in the eyes of those I have successfully convinced through my relentless media releases and PR campaigns, I am highly successful on most levels. In the meantime life goes on and different things become important in a career; sometimes this can mean total shifts in emphasis and direction.
There are also times where we as artists feel we may have undermined our success by standing in the way of opportunities in some way, or that on reflection we may have preferred to approach one process or another in a vastly different way. Whatever the case, we experience challenges in our art careers for one reason only and that is to learn, develop and grow not only as an artist but also as a person.
You will find through reading this it will become clear why when you walk through that door the first time, whether it be a gallery, an agent or a potential client, plan to walk through that door twelve times. This will develop your character to the point that after you hear a years worth of no’s you will still stay inspired because you have learnt from them by remembering it’s how you end something how it begins.
I have learnt to market myself and I have learnt how to write press releases. I have developed a sound business sense and have made successful investments that have worked well for me. I have also made mistakes and learnt from them. I have realized there are certain secrets in all forms of work including the art business.
That question was this: how am I going to make a living out of my career as an artist?
I’ve been very cautious to use materials in a way that for me is honest. My intention is to make something beautiful out of these objects. My intention is not to be out there waving my finger at people. The message is there. I am wanting to make something beautiful using a difficult medium. Especially with beach plastic, which waves an environmental red flag, because someone had to throw it there or it’s washing ashore.
People have expressed to me an awareness that manifests after seeing my found object artwork. When they walk the beach they feel awakened by possibilities.
In many ways because there is much less plastics on the beaches around where I live these days, I have also naturally moved on. I began working with recycled plastic bags, painting seascapes of the beaches I walked so many years collecting rubbish off and lately, working with recycled dead trees.
So in one sense yes, in my case consumption has encouraged artistic expression. I am not the only one, there are many more like me who are making successful comments on today’s consumerist society in various ways and mediums.
This also has correlation with mankind today on some levels, as we see that those people who live reasonably affluent lives, are generally more inclined to appreciate art and are more likely the kind of people who do not wish to live without art. It seems all through history it has been like this, with the more wealthy elements in our society appreciating and fostering artistic endeavours.
Your work in the studio is something completely different. The success that you have with the work that you create in your studio will stand alone by itself, you will either have successful breakthroughs which will make your work stand out or not; only time will tell. However, to get your work out there into galleries, in front of the general public and collectors, will need you to in some way, develop a systematic approach and to develop a systematic approach you will need an action plan.