Competing With A Billion Other Artists In The World 🎨

bob

Member
Messages
99
it seems like everybody & their brother ( or sister ) is an artist .

artists have different reasons for what they do , different definitions of SUCCESS .

what's YOUR definition of success ?
what are your art dreams , your goals .
what & how far are you willing to go to reach them ?

being an artist can be tough if you want to be taken seriously as a professional artist with OR without an art degree & let's be honest it doesn't hurt to have connections in the art world to give you a little boost if your lucky enough to have them .

I am not one of those people 😊
I am a proud self-taught artist & I make no bones about my disgust of art world snobbery & shenanigans .

I'd love to be known/famous as an artist ,
even if it was just for one painting 🎨 what the music world might call a 1-hit wonder .

an artist is juggling many balls in the air ... painting , promoting yourself , protecting your artwork , etc , etc

trying to make a name for yourself is tough in a world where it seems everybody is a wanna-be artist with access to the internet , you've got to somehow rise above the crowd & stand out somehow ... someway .
 

bob

Member
Messages
99
your competing with artists represented in galleries ,
your competing for dollars against an untold number of artists on the internet who are both degreed & non-degreed art majors , professional artists & amateur artists .

personally I think you've got to be a little bit insane to be an artist .... which I am .
 

bob

Member
Messages
99
honestly , I'm not the guy who is going to be happy cranking out art & selling them at county fairs , swap-meets / flea markets , etc .
& I'm not taking a cheap shot at anyone who likes doing this type of thing ... it's just not me .

I'm aiming for something bigger , regional &/or national recognition .... I want people to know who I am , that I was here in the world for awhile & left my mark in the art world & I personally could care less if art critics & whoever liked my work or not .
 

E.J.H.

Well-known member
Messages
695
I am not competing with anyone. My definition of succes is "hey I really enjoyed making a thing, and it even looks looks kinda nice"...
I don´t aspire to make a name for my self or make money from my art (nothing against it mind you, I´ll happily take your money).
I like an idea I ran across on YT, every artist has at least an audience of one, and that is the most important one; yourself...
As for "leaving your mark on the world", time erases everything, nothing matters when the universe has died its heat death...:ROFLMAO:
 

bob

Member
Messages
99
I am not competing with anyone. My definition of success is "hey I really enjoyed making a thing, and it even looks looks kinda nice"...
I don´t aspire to make a name for my self or make money from my art (nothing against it mind you, I´ll happily take your money).
that's cool , nothing wrong with being a " hobbyist " artist .
some artists have higher aspirations , bigger goals & I'm one of them .
 
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triss

Well-known member
Messages
307
I don't know many people who went into arts/performance industries with the aspiration to have an under-the-radar career with little recognition. And yet...

For me, those who kept doing what they loved and remained involved at amateur/local level had a more profound impact than any big names.
 

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
520
Being honest with myself (and you), I have to admit to wanting some appreciation as an artist. I get a lot from friends and family and other viewers, and I enjoy what I do myself most times, but I would also love the shot at being recognized at a higher level. By higher I am not ascribing greatness or moral value to a larger audience or a professional critic; I just mean a greater degree of appreciation from a more sophisticated audience. A pat on the head or a slap on the back is always nice, but a standing ovation is quite another thing to most of us.

I've been in a couple of shows and showed well, I believe as do others. I would appreciate being chosen in a juried show to a larger audience. And a solo show chosen by a gallery would put me over the moon. I'll bet most "amateur" artists would like that too. It says you have arrived, for whatever that is worth to you personally.

To have one painting seen as a one-hit wonder, one glimmer of greatness, maybe even genius, would be extraordinary in every sense of that word, and believe me, it would make me feel wonderful. Ain't likely to happen, folks.

Sometimes I think that a collector offering me serious money for one of my paintings would at least be another form of validation. I'm fortunate in that I do not have to sell my work. And my tiny forays into that have left me leery of staking my ego and my bank account on that one.
 

Artyczar

Moderator
Messages
9,462
This might be long.

My idea of success is to make art that I'm happy/satisfied with. That is in the process department. For the business aspect, I'd just like to make enough wherewithal to sustain making more art. That is all I've ever wanted. That hasn't even necessarily required huge monetary means. Sometimes, especially in the past, it could have been trade or some other means. As long as I was/am able to sustain this lifestyle and not have to do something I did not want to do.

I have, and have had, aspirations to show in galleries and museums and I have, and do. I have wanted to gain recognition from prestigious foundations, etc. I have, and that is all well and good, but I have found that fulfillment is seriously fleeting. I've not applied for as many grants since getting those past awards because I found those were not "important" things in life and I have reassessed my goals to align with what I have said above.

I do not think there is such a thing as having a one-off painting that makes you "famous" like a hit song. There are art stars, and that is very rare. And those are trends and come and go. Being a career artist is a lot more valuable in my opinion. If you are a Damian Hirst, you can only go "up" and have to "out-do" yourself every time. How? How many opportunities do you have to evolve like that or be original? I personally like to grow and evolve and experiment among many peers and a community of artists in the cultural landscape.

The gallery scene is pretty cut-throat in some instances. The trick is to get with the right gallerist that you can trust. And that may not be easy to get comfortable with. The relationship is like a marriage, so you pick them like you would a partner, or any kind of business partner who you can grow with. I wouldn't want to be with a money-hungry, greed-gallery that is all about your current popularity that would drop me on a dime if I didn't sell out a show, which is the case with those super high-end, million-dollar venues. Very few of their artists become wildly popular. The rest are blown off to fend for themselves.

I too am self-taught and have to compete with MFA'ers from Yale and all that who have huge connections. It is not easy, but all you can do is your best and keep making art that makes you happy. All that's really important is the work you make.

Bob: You can edit your posts for up to 90 minutes after you post, so you don't have to make multiple ones. You can say everything you need to in one single post. ;)
 

ZenDruid

Well-known member
Messages
676
that's cool , nothing wrong with being a " hobbyist " artist .
some artists have higher aspirations , bigger goals & I'm one of them .
That's cool. But until you make it so big you don't have time to start a thread like this on a small forum, you're a "hobbyist". Nothing wrong with that, I like being a hobbyist on a forum like this with a lot of well educated and skilled artists.

I think we're all looking for recognition, acceptance, approval and admiration. Nothing wrong with that, we'd die without it.

To make it financially you have to treat this like a business, create a style that resonates with the public, galleries and art collectors, something new that they want. And be able to repeat that style over and over. One artist like that who comes to mind is Peter Max. He capitalized on the psychedelic art of the 60s and 70s, his work was everywhere, even ashtrays and postage stamps. There's still an online Peter Max Store website. Not my style, but he was successful. Was he happy? Today at 84 he's under financial guardianship like Britney Spears.

I like making art for personal satisfaction. I do one-off pieces, I don't like to repeat myself, I like to explore and experiment. I would be happy to sell my work, but I would also be happy to give it away to anybody who really liked it - but that tends to devalue it and send it eventually to a landfill.

Good interesting thread.
 

bob

Member
Messages
99
That's cool. But until you make it so big you don't have time to start a thread like this on a small forum, you're a "hobbyist".
sound's like ZD took the " hobbyist" artist thing a little too personal .
I wasn't taking a cheap shot at anyone . some artists like to paint just for fun & recreation & there's nothing wrong with that , others like myself want more & that's o.k too .
 

ZenDruid

Well-known member
Messages
676
"Hobbyist" sounds trivializing, "amateur" in the true sense of the word is better. Amateurs can be every bit as dedicated as a professional, maybe more so. I'm retired and older than Grandma Moses so I don't expect any chance at a professional art career until after I'm dead and rediscovered. Or reincarnated. Don't worry what I think, get your mindset back to painting. :)
 

AES

hi
Messages
208
what's YOUR definition of success ?
what are your art dreams , your goals .
what & how far are you willing to go to reach them ?
Right now my definition of success is "if a stranger saw this, they'd think I paid a good chunk of money for it". I don't really know what that looks like yet, but I like to think I'll know it when I see it.

Once I'm there I might try to sell, just to see if I can.
 

AES

hi
Messages
208
there are 3 types of artists

* Hobbyist
* Amateur
* Professional
Pro and amature can have the exact same skill and even recognition. The only difference is one gets paid and the other doesn't. I'm an amateur mechanic. I can take a car apart and put it back together again, but I don't make a living doing that, so I'm not "really" a mechanic.

That's how I understand it, anyway.
 

AES

hi
Messages
208
I suppose "peofessional" can have different meanings in different fields though. If you're showing in some top gallery, I imagine that's "pro level" even if you keep your day job.
 
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OleKobe

Well-known member
Messages
269
Love em or hate em, I'm reminded of the Grateful Dead. They found a niche, developed a unique style, loved what they did, and worked at it tirelessly. They put their music out there and it resonated with enough people and recognition came naturally. If they set out specifically to gain recognition, they probably would've missed their mark.
 
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