For decades, artists were labeled as the broke, dreamful, somewhat narcissistic objects of the society. Those who played too much and worked too little. Those who fancied recreation over creation, procrastination over completion. Now the time has come to redeem the artistry society. Make way for The Modern Artist.
Enter the era of smart working
Technology has blessed humanity in many ways. From surgical robots to electric cars, to practical contraptions that grind spaghetti out of zucchini. Is this real life, Zuck?
Artists, as usual, may have taken a little bit more than the average joe to adapt and adopt. Some of us are the slower worms, and that is all fine. Long live the worm.
Don’t get me wrong though—vintage is cool. Wearing leather satchels and gold framed rounded glasses are a wardrobe essential, sold. But whether you’re attempting to live the life of a midcentury bobblehead sculptor: embrace the tech, you definitely must. Said Yoda never.
You see, the tendencies are clear. Social media is gaining traction by the nanosecond. New, better, faster, stronger technologies are opening the doors to new economic landscapes. The birth of a new kind of worker, the “digital nomad”, shifted the corporate scene for good by enabling us to work from our living room’s couch—or kitchen floor whilst scratching the cat with one hand hitting “Send reply” with the other. What a bliss.
You artist, have no excuse anymore
Big questions will arise. Insecurities start drilling into one’s mind like Woody Woodpecker on performance drugs.
Is it possible to make money as an artist in 2020? You may ask yourself. Can I start yesterday? Paradoxical, but yes. Will it take a good while to get the systems up, platforms in place, and the wind blowing in the right direction? Take my word. Is it going to be worth it? I’ll let you answer that yourself.
Us artists have no excuses left in our repertoire. The opportunities are attainable like never before. Platforms to promote, showcase, share, or sell your work are right there at hand's reach. There hasn't been a better time to be us.
Business and art, like bread and butter
Well first off let me clarify, by Modern Artist [MA, for short] I’m not referring to any of the historical figures. Those who actually preceded the movement back in the late 19th and mid 20th century. Icons like Van Gogh, Monet, Degas—and all the rest that slipped through the cracks of my lousy Wikipedia research.
I’m talking about a reloaded, revolutionized, reformatted version of the artist archetype. One that understands the healthy codependency between art and business. One that weeds out the self-pity, nurtures their mental soil, and plants a garden of possibilities.
To master the art of being a MA, redundant as it sounds, one must first understand a set of principles.
I created this set of principles, or affirmations, based upon personality traits, some of which I identified on myself—others amongst the successful people I follow. The entrepreneurs, the Hall of Famers, the hard workers, and everyday heroes. They don't necessarily respond to millions in their accounts, yet they strive to make the world a better place.
No to dogmas, yes to dogs
I by no means am claiming that you should live by these, enforce them, start a cult, or crucify a wild panda as an offering. Please no. Dogmas are wrong. Nonetheless, I do believe in the transformative power within a robust mindset. That is our goal here.
Artists need it. Arguably more than other professionals. Think of Jeff Bezos, think of Michael Jordan, think of Elon Musk. They’re all highly performance artists in their own medium. Wonder what do they have in common when their crafts are drastically different? Their mindset functions like clockwork.
- Maybe you—like me—are fine not being responsible for setting up the first Martian exhibition.
- Maybe you—like me—are just fine knowing that what you do every day is exactly what you want to be doing. And that makes you content.
- Maybe you—just like I did—are looking to make your art profitable. So you can once and for all cut loose from that exhausting 9 to 5 that’s draining your creative Jamba Juices.
Well then, these are some of the keys to those doors.
Please take into consideration I’m not a trained psychologist. Nor a medium, nor Nostradamus, nor a certified motivational coach, nor seeking to come across as any of the above. I’m an ordinary artist looking to help out through my personal experiences. With a dash of humor along the way!
The 10 Principles of the Modern Artist:
- Don't victimize yourself
- Care for your mind, body, and soul
- Work always with passion in one hand, and patience in the other
- Don't copy, plagiarize, or appropriate other's work
- Create every day—something—anything
- Avoid judgment or disdain
- Your creative time is holy, treat it like such
- Cheer for other artists' successes [and your own too!]
- Break free from your comfort zone
- Listen to your gut feeling, it never fails
Meditate on these daily, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Modern Artist.