The Art Spirit

It seems every artist has read this book. It’s been on my shelf since college. 9-11 years.  I haven’t read it.

Well, I’m trying to get into the habit of the Miracle Morning routine. I love it. But I also love laying in bed and looking at Facebook until Gunnar starts insisting my life isn’t all about me.

So anyway, part of the Miracle Morning is reading for 10 minutes. Not just anything, something that will get you to your goals. I’d been reading Worth Every Penny, but this morning, I wanted something else. Enter, The Art Spirit.

Now I finally know why everyone else has already read it. Every paragraph had me saying, “Same.” Every single one I thought, “I need to share this on the blog. Wait, no, this one…  OMG. This one is life.”

Then, I read this one, emphasis, mine:

No matter what may happen on the surface [of society] the brotherhood [of artists] goes steadily on. It is the evolution of man. Let the surface destroy itself, the brotherhood will start it again. For in all cases, no matter how strong the surface institutions become, no matter what laws may be laid down, what patches may be made, all change that is real is due to the brotherhood. (p. 19)

Of course, this probably stood out because of how uncertain the surface seems right now. Art is the root of mankind. It’s the first way we communicated. The highest experience of everything is an art form.

It’s reassuring. In a society that uses artists in everything, yet rarely recognizes them in anything, it’s necessary to be reminded that artistry is it. I don’t just mean painters, although, obviously we’re the best. After Beyonce of course. Steve Jobs was an artist. Martin Luther King Jr. was an artist. Michael Jordan was an artist. Their mediums were just electronics, words, and a basketball.

Sure, we have people who make up the rules, but that’s only because the artists are too busy working.

This isn’t a new concept. Obviously. The copyright is 1923. It’s just one that needs repeating as often as possible.

No matter what happens. We’ve got this.





Don’t Rely On Galleries For New Talent:

Galleries are great and you should definitely support your local galleries, however, they aren’t always the best judge of new talent.
What’s that you say? Of course they are? They know what to look for and can weed out the bad art?

Yes, they may know better than you and can weed out the bad art, but who weeds out the bad galleries?

Just because art is in a gallery doesn’t mean it should be on your wall and vice versa.

A gallery is just one person’s opinion on what is good. The gallery owner.

Yeah, they probably have a better bet of picking out good art, but sometimes, not so much.

Galleries want what they think they can sell. They don’t always want to take risks. They want something that is already established and considered a safe bet.

You may miss a really great artist the gallery turned down. Look at all the great artists who were rejected by galleries of their day: Van Gogh, Manet, Monet.

Thanks to the internet you have a wide range of places to find artists you love. You can go to art fairs and small, local coffee shops and support two businesses at once.

Ask your friends and family if they know any artists. I’m sure they do and you may even like their work.

We’re everywhere.

I found my favorite oil painting in a closed off room of a house I rented. Another favorite was bought from one of my teacher’s at a show in the gallery of another teacher. Some smaller favorites were bought because I joined an artist group on Facebook for a medium I don’t even use.

Google local artists.

Just look around. Galleries are great, but there’s plenty of art out there. Especially for the beginning collector.

I just read some advice to go see your local bands because all the greats were local at some point. The same is true for artists.

With that in mind, make sure the artist is at least ethical and doesn’t undersell any gallery they are in.

I’mma Let The Poor Artist Myth Finish, But…

It’s wrong.

Yes, some of the best artists ever  were poor artists and died penniless, but can we just stop?

Do you know why these people died penniless? They weren’t appreciated. People didn’t recognize genius when it was right in front of them. How could they? That’s part of why it’s genius. No one else can see it without a lot of help. Geniuses are light years ahead of everyone else and as a species of habit and comfort, they have to pull the rest of us, kicking and screaming, into the future.

You and I only know about these destitute artists because they were so brilliant their ideas and works outlasted everyone else generations over.

Or they died penniless because they lived in terrible times or probably didn’t save money when they were in favor. Kind of like star atheletes of today, yet, we value them.

I mean, look at what happened to some of these people.  Here and here. Almost none of those people died poor because their art wasn’t good or didn’t sell. They had real problems.  Wars destroyed their economy or they spent every dime defending themselves for the “crime” of being gay. Come on.  They could have just been bad with money, but that would be true with any career they had.

You don’t hear about the artists who have been paid brilliantly while the greats have withered in despair. But we’ll get to artists’ emotional states in another post, mmkay.

For every Manet who didn’t treat his syphilis (surprisingly, that’s pretty common among those randy painters), there were others you never heard of who made buckets of money. The Kinkade of yesteryear, if you will.  In 500 years, no one will remember Kinkade, but we’ve all seen his mall kiosks.  I mean, I just spelled his name two different ways and neither were correct. If it wasn’t for Google, we’d have already forgotten. Just saying.

It doesn’t help that when you google “most successful artists of all time,” the art and impact is what is tallied and not the income they made when they were alive. That’s absurdly counterinuitive. Should we care about making a difference or making money?

Even when they’ve died penniless though, many have lived a life full of riches and surrounded by royalty. I’m a bit okay with living it up while I’m alive and not having anything to take with me.

So now that have covered that, let’s get into why today is the best time to be an artist.

Every. Single. Thing. You looked at today had an artist involved in the making.

No joke.

You know how we have advertisements shoved in our faces 24/7? Artists helped create those. Storyboard artists help with conceptualizing commercials and tv shows. Websites? Artists, or graphic designers as they are commonly called, created that.  TV shows? Storyboard artists.

Can we have a moment of silence for the artists who create every single form of entertainment we all take for granted every day of our lives? Or how about the artists who create art to hand on the walls of those fictional homes on your favorite show? The costume designers. The make-up artists. The writers. Game developers.

They all fight for our pleasure. They all create for our consumption.

Interior designers, bakers. Your phone had to have someone design the look of it. That’s an artist.

Y’all. We’re everywhere.

We have untold opportunities for careers.

Are we all going to be the next Da Vinci? No. If the last 500 years have anything to say, none of us will be.

We can make a living though.

Please stop taking us for granted and telling artists their jobs are literally worthless. We help make this world worth looking at.

If you buy fine art from artists you know, you’ll help us all. If you buy mass produced prints from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, yes, an artist gets paid a percentage, but your friend who is busting their butt to get off the ground suffers. There will always be people who buy those prints. You won’t always know the artist when you can afford their work.

Can you imagine being the person who bought the first few Picasso’s?

We don’t all want to be Da Vinci. Some of us just want to be appreciated while we are alive.