A bear walks into a bar -
Bear: "Can I get a rum and ........................... coke?"
Bartender: "What's with the big pause?"
Bear: "I was born with them."
You may be wondering what's with the big pause since the last blog post. My reasons are varied and somewhat dull. I had a bad cold for a week and a half; I've had so many little jobs in my head to do that I couldn't settle properly on any of them and the blog got pushed to the bottom. Also I've been wanting to write about my house move saga last year; buying the studio; the studio opening event and answering my own questions for the Feral Freelancers. I've done none of these as they feel big to write about so in the mean time I'm writing this as a touch base with everyone. I'm also aware that I would always be writing on the past and would never catch up to the present.
I've been thinking a lot about the art world; it's problematic operating systems and how to create a viable business while also living the best artist life. As research I've bought a few 'How to succeed in the art world' type books recently, it seems to be the new thing mostly written by curators. I've not read all them fully so this is observations based on skimming through. They still seem to be based around the usual business advice and strategies and firmly attached to the existing art world rules.
The problem I have with trying to fit an artistic practice into a straight business model is that the compulsion to make is rarely taken into account and talking about contemporary art as a product makes me want to back away from the S.W.A.T. analysis. The compulsion to create and the intrinsic motivation that drives artistic practice is a significant factor that sets art apart from other business models. Contemporary art is not solely a product to be commodified, it is also a form of creative expression; a mental health tool and means of communication when words can't be found.
Many artists including myself, make work as a response to experiences and emotions, seeking to provoke thought, challenge norms, or explore new perspectives. Unfortunately for artists we also need to consider the practical shit that sustains out creative practice. Finding the balance between the practical tasks and safeguarding the integrity and authentic artistic expression is where I fall down.
So right now I'm looking to navigate a way of building a financially sustainable art practice that aligns with my own unique story and ways of working. I'd be interested in collaborating with a businessy person on creating an artists guide to business that is a bit different to the norm in the language used and approaches taken. I can't shake the feeling that there must be a better way to operate..