Artist Nick Cave rocks my world!
I went to hear Cave speak last week at the Denver Art Museum and am fired up for his show here next summer. Make plans to visit Denver in the summer of 2013! I'll put together an Art Biz Blog meetup for anyone who makes the trip.
I took two pages of notes during the dialogue. Watch this video about Cave and his Soundsuits and then read what got me so excited about him.
1. Live Your Art
Cave's studio discipline is phenomenal. His studio manager testified that he works from 8 a.m. to midnight every day.
But Cave doesn't think of it as work.
To him, there is no distinction between art and life. He said, “I can't turn it off.”
Are you living your art?
2. Activate Your Art
This is related to the above.
Cave's Soundsuits are activated when worn in performance, but that can't always occur. So he tries to think of how they can exude energy when exhibited. He said he asks the question of his exhibits: “How do you keep the space active after the opening?”
I was intrigued by this idea further when I learned of his online SoundSuitShop.
What happens after your opening reception? Does the exhibit slowly fade? Or do you find ways to maintain the interest level?
Cave didn't stand up at a podium and speak. Instead, he sat down in conversations with Sonnet Hanson, master teacher for modern & contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, his studio manager, Cheryl Pope, and his publications designer, Bob Faust.
I've never before heard of an art rock star traveling with his designer. I'm going to have more to say about this in the future because the implications are astounding.
Cave also seeks a high degree of collaboration with community. He said his work brings people together who hadn't been together before. He “highlights their potential.” He seeks to bring out the best in them and what they can do together.
How do you collaborate?
Cave said he has to grow with every project. Otherwise, he's not interested.
What would it be like if every project you took on was a step forward? Even if it included a step back?
Cave's team spends approximately 70-80% of their time preparing material for his Soundsuits before putting them together!
This commitment to material is admirable and, at the same time, enviable.
Where in your art or business could you use more preparation?
6. Set The Bar High
Numerous times throughout the talk, Cave revealed how high his expectations are – of himself and of those around him.
Cave wants everyone around him to excel and to be the best at what they do. In turn, he wants to help bring out their gifts.
Are your expectations high enough?