Sunday, July 1, 2012

Statically Insignificant

That’s what you are if you are outside the 18 – 40 prime age target. Advertisers don’t give a hoot about you or your opinions. They know that you’ve actually had a chance to find out what you like and probably won’t change no matter how many times Charlie Sheen says you should.

But what does that have to do with your art?

Well it might just reflect what you chose to create and what you want to present and why some shows and some galleries won’t take your work.

But I’m brilliant! I hear you say and I can agree with you, I’ve seen your work, but you know what? That just doesn’t matter.

See the guys who sell art want the same dollars the guys flacking CDs or downloads or the latest American Pie movie and they just don’t care about you.

It’s the selling part you see, they want those bucks and the young and brainless are much more likely to part with their money than is someone who has actually had to work to earn it.

So what does that mean?

It means that you artist ole pal have a choice, you can buckle under and try like the devil to make art that the show sponsors and gallery owners can sell or you can do the work which calls to you and you alone.

Trying to catch the trend is a lot like sticking an ice pick in a marble, I suppose you can do it but the effort isn’t worth the trouble and boy are you going to get in trouble when the Long Sufferin’ comes homes and sees all of those holes you put in the counter top.

See trends and fads are just that, they build up like storm clouds, rumble for a while and then dump their rain and wind and blow away. By the time you figure out what trend to jump on it will be long gone and you’ll have a whole trunk full of stuff which is so out of date you won’t be able to wrap it in Christmas paper and leave it unlocked in downtown L.A. to get rid of it.

Okay, so here’s a confession, I like Pink. No, not that this is a GP rate blog, I meant Pink the singer, you know Alicia Moore.

Now Pink has made a career out of being so outrageous that every parent within eyeshot or earshot cringes and hides under the bed when the kids bring home one of her CDs. But when you look at what she does in her personal life instead of what she does when she is cranking up the publicity machine, she is the most conventional of folks so square and straight-arrowish she’d make the Brady Bunch look like Girls Gone Wild.

So what? Well, here’s what, if you tried to catch the trend Pink makes, you’d be doing just what she wants and has spent a lot of time and effort to get the media to tell you she does, when in fact she is home, in her fuzzy slippers talking goo-goos to her baby and doing her Donna Reed impression.

No, it’s a good thing and I am impressed that she is clever enough to get the machine to do her work.

And that is the way you ought to think about trends. If you make them, then it is okay to chase them. If you didn’t don’t.

What about those gallery folks? Let’s be honest, some of them look just like us and they talk just like us and they act just like us and they aren’t. They are after all is said and done merchants. So take care when you try to please them and catch their eye, they want that buck a lot more than they’ll tell you. Better to have them court you because you have created a trend than to try and catch up with what they want.

You know I believe in showing. It is the best way to get your work noticed and get those gallery owners to court you and a handful of ribbons will do that for you, but don’t use that as a substitute for having a vision of your own. Ya gotta know what it is you want to show to keep any integrity for yourself.

Guys, this is the start of the Independence Day Celebration and I want you to take that as a solemn duty and vow, starting today, this week, the first day of the new month I want you to swear to be independent of all outside influences and to listen to the quiet small voice you hold within.

Yes, it is the one that your mother told you wouldn’t let you rest if you took that candy bar from the store and didn’t pay for it and sometimes it gets called a conscience but really it’s the voice you let the shouting all around you drowned out. It’s there but you have to be quiet to hear it.

And I want you to hear it this year and to listen instead of trying to shut it up. It will let you know if you are doing the right thing or just chasing your tail. And you do know how silly the dog looks when he chases his tale, right?

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