Monday, February 9, 2009

I Still Don't Want to Be an Island

I have blogged on numerous occasions about competition in art. Recently, a well-known artist posted some advice to critical mass regarding informing others of opportunities, revealing that he felt many artists keep this info. to themselves because they have probably worked hard to make their own connections in the community. I must say that I personally find this unfortunate, because I still strongly believe that the art community is strengthened when we collaborate and cooperate for the betterment of all involved.

However, the artist giving advice was doing just that - trying to strengthen the art community by strengthening those in it. The advice itself was very good and provided a lot of insights, as the author went on to say that you should never expect a free ride and should expect to do the leg work to get where you want to be. It is something that word of mouth and foot work have a lot to do with. Other excellent points included how imperative it is for artists to approach endeavors and opportunities professionally and to take responsibility for themselves, make their own connections and foster their own relationships.

I agree entirely that we artists each need to come into our own and make our own ways. We better understand what is expected of us, our work and our professional practice when we forge our own paths. But I still prefer not to think myself an island and to reach out to my comrades with advice when I can do so. In this case, I directed the artist seeking advice to several local organizations that may help to serve his needs and foster a better understanding of how to approach opportunities on his own. He still has to do the leg work and establish his own contacts and reputation, but now he has some more resources to do so.

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