“The Business of Being an Artist” by Daniel Grant

That book made me laugh at least dozen times…but it wasn’t quite healthy laughter… Having fired all my cynicism, ironical dialectics and simply disgust at it, I haven’t managed to neutralize its horrifying power of neat ruthlessness and its just perfect capability to disillusion (even from the illusions that haven’t been born yet).

The book (you can read a limited preview here) “does exactly what it says on a tin” – it instructs every image-producer how to make a successful (read: money – generating) business out of being an artist. Some chunks like this one: I always tell artists that they should research the market and have a marketing plan in place before they create for the market…There is no use creating something for which there is no market (p. 83) – simply stunned me. And I’ve started to ask questions: Are those people mad or just lost their way, or is it me – still a baby in the woods – who refuses to comply with reality? And what is art they all talk about? Do they really mean art and being an artist as I mean it? Because it sounds pretty schizophrenic to me (from the point of view I’m in at this very moment of my “career”) – to be cold as fish and “smart” as a rat and keeping all that freshness, childish-ness and unconsciously-powered personality of a genuine artist.

Reading books like this one (as I wouldn’t underestimate the experience of reading and becoming aware, being challenged in a sense) would make an elephant feeling quite vulnerable and helpless. My only self- convincing defense is to treat with a balanced distance what they claim as a status quo, anyway no one can be really sure what is an illusion, made-up fact and self-proclaimed truth on this very world…


About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

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