Advice for Artists from Artists

The Times of London recently ran a series called The Times Art School, in which they interview artists, gallery dealers, and curators for advice on being an artist and give a peek at the museum and collecting world.

Here are tips from leading artists.

Hone your personal skills. You can have all the technique and all the originality in the world, but if you're not much fun to be around, nobody will want to work with you. Go to openings if you can, and meet people.–Grayson Perry

Retain some doubt and discomfort. Always be asking: “Is this good? Will this be successful?”–Sue Webster

Be patient. Young people often have bigger expectations now and it's probably unrealistic. Success happens to people at different times of their lives.–Michael Landy

Be true to yourself, and resist pleasing the market. It's easy now to make things that look like art, but actually making art is a totally different thing.–Anya Gallaccio

Don't pursue being artist unless it's the only way you can express yourself creatively. If you can be a designer or an illustrator, or something else then do that instead, because being an artist is not an easy life. It's a last resort.–Susan Hiller

It doesn't matter whether you're 20 or 50. Get a website and keep making work – if it's good, it will find a place.–David Shrigley

I believe the most important thing is to be truthful to what you want to do, to your work, no matter what, no matter which obstacles you encounter on your way.–Doris Salcedo

People who really want to go to art school should go – it doesn't matter whether they're good or bad. You take your A levels at 17 or 18, and the art education you get to that level is not really similar to what you get at art school. Afterwards, hang out with lots of other artists, go and work in an exhibition context, and something will turn up.–Jonathan Monk


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4 thoughts on “Advice for Artists from Artists”

  1. Some good advice on this post taken from the Times in London. The point most relevant to myself is “Be true to yourself, and resist pleasing the market”…so many artist cater there artwork to fashionable trends or to the buyers of particular galleries. I think Susan Hillers point is more about making a living as an artist rather than creating in general. I will stick your blog on my Blogroll me thinks 🙂 BobbyM

  2. Hi Alyson, Just a reminder that International Artist Day is coming up on Oct 25th again. Thank you for last year. Things are moving along fantastic now. Hope all is well sincerely Chris MacClure

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