PDA

View Full Version : Success in art


painterskeys
02-10-2004, 03:46 AM
Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Letter
Archives: http://www.painterskeys.com/letters/


Success in art by Robert Genn

Hardly an hour goes by without an email that uses the word "success." I've come to realize it means a lot of different things to different artists. Some consider simply feeling good about themselves to be the mark of success. Many get the good feeling just by producing a decent watercolour. Others think that success is wrapped up in something like a Porsche 911 Turbo.

For me a '38 Bentley is all I need--just kidding. But it does have something to do with self-vindication and self-actualization. In my case it was a matter of trying to get what these days is called "a life." I wanted to do something that I could live in. I observed clock-watchers who sold out short in what I considered to be unpleasant jobs. I wanted a mind-bending challenge that held my interest and fired me out of bed like a rocket. I didn't want compromise. Preferably I wanted everything I did to be my own thing. The idea of signing my name on things always appealed to me. I wanted to make a contribution and I wanted to enhance the lives of others as well as that of my family. All these wants were a tough order for a person who was known to be inadequate.

Then the problem of talent reared its ugly head. I found out that talent is what you make of what you have left after the other stuff fails. I also liked the type of work because it seemed like play. I was willing to work hard at play--lack of concentration at dull activities made sure of that. And I wasn't cut out for shopping. Shopping's a time-waster and a money-loser. I'm sorry, but staying out of stores is the thing. (I'm not talking about your regular tofu stores.) Non-spending is the path to security. That's how I got an idea about success. Success means having freedom. Freedom to follow your nose. You need freedom in order to create, and you need creativity in order to pay the price for your freedom.

Success may be a sticky business, difficult to pin down. I'm an authority on failure. Failure happens when you lose track of your chosen process.

PS: "Self-trust is the first secret to success." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) "No horse gets anywhere until it is harnessed. No stream drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined." (Harry Emerson Fosdick)

Esoterica: "Is creativity a motive to reach success or is success a motive to create? In what way did success influence your art? Do you need success to exist as an artist? Does success inevitably include recognition? Could a successful artist be claimed as a complete artist?"

Eugene Veszely
02-10-2004, 09:19 AM
Success means having freedom. Freedom to follow your nose.

That is all I ever wanted...

Ron van den Boogaard
02-10-2004, 10:29 AM
Hear, hear

but a 38 Bentley? I'd rather go for the 32 Bentley Blower or if it has to be new I'll take an Aston Martin DB9 anytime.

Staying out of stores is sane advice, but living across the road from an arts supplies stores makes that a tough one.

Get them coming, I'm sure these newsletters are helpfull to a lot of the folk here.

painterskeys
02-10-2004, 06:43 PM
I'd rather go for the 32 Bentley Blower or if it has to be new I'll take an Aston Martin DB9 anytime.


...don't forget the 2004 Bentley Conntinental GT... ;)

Keith Russell
02-10-2004, 09:32 PM
Is creativity a motive to reach success or is success a motive to create?

Neither. Creativity exists; the motivation to apply it must come from elsewhere. 'Success' has nothing to do with creativity, or motivation, IMO.

In what way did success influence your art?

Not sure I've had what could be called 'success', yet.

Do you need success to exist as an artist?

Apparently not; we'll see how long I can hold out.

Does success inevitably include recognition?

That's a semantics issue; it depends on how one defines 'success'.

Could a successful artist be claimed as a complete artist?

I don't see why not, but success is not necessarily completion...

K

Ron van den Boogaard
02-11-2004, 07:22 AM
...don't forget the 2004 Bentley Conntinental GT... ;)
Seems like a great car indeed. I just fall for the esthetics of the Astons and the few that I have been lucky enough for a spin were terrific cars (DB5, 6 & 12)

But they're just the perks of succes. Don't really matter.

Success btw has the implicit tendency to be such a broad sense that the word itself can cloud the issue. Is success sales, recognition or just being satisfied the piece you just finished. and if it is recognition, than who by?
This can become a very confusing thread.

Eugene Veszely
02-12-2004, 08:37 AM
I just want the money...you can have the fame ;)

painterskeys
02-12-2004, 07:29 PM
thanks for the valuable input. just thought i let everyone know what other artists had to say about this topic:

http://www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/success.asp

Ron van den Boogaard
02-13-2004, 07:19 AM
I just want the money...you can have the fame ;)
As money is a by-product of recognition, this seems a tough one to pull off.

Eugene Veszely
02-13-2004, 09:38 AM
I was half serious :)

Keith Russell
02-13-2004, 10:49 PM
As money is a by-product of recognition, this seems a tough one to pull off.

Not necessarily.

One can work for rich, famous people (doctors and lawyers do it all the time) and yet never become famous themselves.

K

Eugene Veszely
02-14-2004, 08:51 AM
Good point Keith...

Ron van den Boogaard
02-16-2004, 10:38 AM
OK. that is a point. If one goes into the nitpickng that would stll mean having a reputation within a small group of people. Which you could call fame. Etc.
But it hardly seem worthwhile getting into the lttle details of that one.

Ron van den Boogaard
02-16-2004, 10:41 AM
...don't forget the 2004 Bentley Conntinental GT... ;)
Was Lucky enough to take the Lotus Elise 111R (190 bhp) for a spi this weekend. this must be the best car i have ever driven. So if there perks to success, i sure like to have this one.

painterskeys
02-24-2004, 04:56 PM
speaking of success in art, here is some further related reading I thought valuable:

Secrets of success, June 12, 2001
letter written by Robert Genn, followed by artists' opinions and questions.
http://www.painterskeys.com/clicks.asp?n=secretsofsuccess.htm

How to do it, October 18, 2002
letter written by Robert Genn, followed by artists' opinions and questions.
http://www.painterskeys.com/clicks.asp?n=howto.htm