Enough With the Victim Mentality, Artists.Posted: April 17, 2012
My most recent Facebook update:
Since becoming more active in the art “industry,” I’ve noticed that it’s easier to feel threatened or be jealous of other artist’s work rather than be inspired by it. I’m guilty of it too. We all know being an Artist these days is hard, but I truly think that if we can all help each other out, we can bring about some real change to how we (and our art) is perceived.
I read this article by Alan Bamberger recently, regarding Artists’ reaction to Thomas Kinkade’s untimely death: http://www.artbusiness.com/art-artists-bigotry-hate-and-thomas-kinkade.html
I have a few thoughts on this, but many of the facets can be illustrated by the 65 comment/small novellas (and counting) responses to Alan’s FB status. The reactions range from rage to disillusionment, replete with snarkiness mangled with an air of superiority. All I could think was: Come on people, get over yourselves.
Please excuse my moment of hegemony on the soapbox for a second, and to my friends who thrive on negativity, forgive me for being slightly well-adjusted. To my own shock and horror, I actually think some ideas from Fred Kofman’s Conscious Business- How to Build Value Through Values are relevant here. This little red book was crammed down our throats at Google, and talks about taking control and becoming a player vs. a victim as an entrepreneur. It actually pains me a little to reference a business book and use corporate jargon I would love to soon forget, but hear me out- this stuff is applicable to Art, I promise.
Artists = Entrepreneurs
Like Entrepreneurs, Artists have to take a blind faith into uncertainty. Entrepreneurs are innovative, inventive, and have the vision and passion to create. As I see start ups in Silicon Valley create companies at lightning speed, iterate, and then sell their vision to bigger corporations for a gazillion dollars, I have to wonder why artists can’t work together to do the same. I mean, Instagram and Pinterest are ART applications! Let’s get some real artists on this bad bay, and we can get some truly beautiful work out there.
And Artists, instead of tearing each other down and arguing amongst ourselves to determine who’s art is better and is more artistic than another, isn’t there something we can do together to make the art industry more relevant? There has to be a way to grow the pie. In any case, I hope I don’t change my mind about this when I’m a hugely famous artist or something, but go ahead and slap me if I do. You have my permission.