The most important things for survival as an emerging artist, in order of importance, are:
- Make drop dead stunning art. Make art that just stops people in their tracks. The competition is T O U G H. To survive your work has to be the best of the best of the best. The definition for a good work of art is: "Technical expertise itself adequate to produce an emotional impact." So make sure you have exceptional technique, but that you do not concentrate so much on technique that you do not get your communication out. It's the technique that gets people looking and interested and it's the message that makes a work of art have the true power of art.
When I started out it was more or less a hobby to make some extra cash on the side. Sure I loved to work with my hands and with wood. I was already restoring antiques and re-selling them on the side. I knew how to use a lathe from wood shop back in high school, (I thought I did, but really didn’t)
When I first started selling my work, just simple wood bowls and platters by today’s standards they probably look amateurish and not well made. But at the time they were the best that I could do. This was and still is an important message to learn and keep with. Always do your best work that you can do at the present moment.
As you keep on pursuing your craft, your technical skills will and should get better, enabling you to create better work.
As you get more confident, your work will become easier though fore your artistic skills will flow more. Just remember to be the best of the best of the best will require some time. It takes 10,000 hours to learn a skill to be at the top of the game. In perspective, that would be a full time job for the next 5 years learning. Still want to be the best?
This is my first in a series of building and operating an art business, please provide feedback so we can get a dialogue going. I will post more insights in a few days. You can also follow my blog at www.derekbencomomauiartist.com