Rule No. 5: Survive With Your Head Down

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My indelibly brilliant friend, Globe and Mail business reporter Tim Kiladze, pointed me towards this week's New York Magazine article titled How to Make it in the Art World. While I'm still making my way through the dense copy, I did latch to a particular quote by one of my favorite artists, Alex Katz. He proposed:

"It's hard for young artists. You're an adult at 18, but for a painter it takes longer. You don't really get it together until 35 or 45. In the 1950s you had seven or eight years to experiment. But now you have to sell your first show and your second show and get a third show. And if you don't, you're a failure."

While he speaks from the fine art perspective, the sentiment holds true for any genre of art. And I can't begin to tell you how much this little piece of insight resonated with me. I lived by rule no. 5 all year, trying to survive with my head down, trying to keep all my doubts at bay, feeling like everyone was ahead of me. Comparing myself to my McGill commerce peers and their 6 figure salaries felt like a full-time career in itself. But what I realize and accept, as I finally raise my head up high, WAY high, is that the only timeline that matters is mine.

It's your life, it's your trajectory, compare yourself to no one, and measure yourself against only you. It's your dream, give it everything, and hope for the best. And now I've had my head up too long and it's time to get back to work, night class looms, and deadlines are ticking away.

See you on the other side!!

Much love,
Meag xx

1 comment:

  1. So true! Great post. I've always been comparing my artwork to see how it measures up to other people and recently I've learnt that you can't do that.

    Exactly as you said "compare yourself to no one."

    :) Thanks!



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