Being an artist is not an easy life

A great article in the London Times here, explores how leading British artists got started.

Grayson Perry
Grayson’s tip Hone your personal skills. You can have all the technique and all the originality in the world, but if you’re not much fun to be around, nobody will want to work with you. Go to openings if you can, and meet people.

Tim Webster and Sue Noble
Sue’s tip Retain some doubt and discomfort. Always be asking: “Is this good? Will this be successful?”

Michael Landy
Michael’s tip Be patient. Young people often have bigger expectations now and it’s probably unrealistic. Success happens to people at different times of their lives.

Anya Gallaccio
Anya’s tip Be true to yourself, and resist pleasing the market. It’s easy now to make things that look like art, but actually making art is a totally different thing.

Susan Hiller
Susan’s tip Don’t pursue being artist unless it’s the only way you can express yourself creatively. If you can be a designer or an illustrator, or something else then do that instead, because being an artist is not an easy life. It’s a last resort.

David Shrigley
David’s tips It doesn’t matter whether you’re 20 or 50. Get a website and keep making work – if it’s good, it will find a place.

Doris Salcedo, sculptor
Doris’s tips I believe the most important thing is to be truthful to what you want to do, to your work, no matter what, no matter which obstacles you encounter on your way.

Jonathan Monk
Jonathan’s tip: People who really want to go to art school should go – it doesn’t matter whether they’re good or bad. You take your A levels at 17 or 18, and the art education you get to that level is not really similar to what you get at art school. Afterwards, hang out with lots of other artists, go and work in an exhibition context, and something will turn up.

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