|Artwork by Keith Arnatt|
Sadly and much to my surprise the group soon split into those who would be Teachers and those who would be full time, practicing Artists. This made me sad for many reasons. I had started to form some great bonds with other students who were not studying Education and it seemed they were encouraged by other students not to associate with the "Teacher Sell Outs"...their words, not mine. Also I found myself questioning my worthiness to continue being or even considering myself an Artist. I knew that I had submitted my portfolio like everyone else in that building and had been successfully accepted into the University after sitting through my hour long interview with the head of the Visual Arts Department, but yet it seemed to be an uneven playing field after all.
I have no doubt you have heard the phrase 'Those who can, do and those who can't, teach'. Well it seemed to be brought up more often than not throughout my first year at University, I guess all of us were thinking it and worrying about the judgment of our choices. For me teaching was a practical career choice which I had no idea would turn out to be a perfect fit! I desperately wanted to be an Artist...and certainly I still want for that. But when push came to shove I chose to tack on that Education Degree to ensure I would get a paying job and be capable of paying Mr Howard back his generous HECS student loan. Of course it was 3 years into my course before I actually got the chance to be in a classroom as a teacher and luckily for me I LOVED IT!!! Unfortunately for some of my fellow peers, this was not the case and some ended up changing their degrees so close to the finishing line.
|Thank you Capstick13 on Flickr for this pic.|
So I know fully well I will be labelled as Commercial ( which I guess fits, but damn it sounds so harsh...like Commercial Music....ick!) if I keep on selling works at a rate of knots. Which leads to another dark, hidden secret of the Art World. Did you know it's apparently bad to sell so much work if you want to be considered a serious artist??? According to some this is apparently the case...arghhhhh!!! Also one should never include airy fairy experiences on one's professional artist C.V. if they want Galleries to take them serious, so don't hang your work in cafe's and retail spaces. Oh yeah and don't post your work on Facebook or other Social Media sites too much, because people will copy your work or republish it as their own!!! Amazingly this is the kind of advice I have been given or have read or even overheard in conversation and I have done everything 'they' supposedly tell you not to do and so far I'm pretty satisfied with the way it's all turning out.
As for the labels and labeling I say....BRING IT ON!! Do your worse, I sincerely invite you. But if I could choose one label it would have to be 'Prolific'. Here are 6 reasons why (I like even numbers):
1. It has the word 'Pro' in it and that can't be bad right? Well especially not if I want to be taken serious as a SERIOUS Arteeeeest Darling :)
2. Many Great Artists were described as 'Prolific' and I plan on being described as a 'Great Artist' too!!! (Why stop at one label??)
3. 'Prolific' rhymes with 'Terrific'...which I also aspire to be...on a daily basis.
4. It's a crap load better than 'Commercial'!
5. It would set the bar high and keep my daily motivation on the up!
6. Who could question your practice if you made Art consistently, passionately and honestly...???
So there's my thoughts about 'Art Politics', Labels and turning it into Motivation. I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and views too.