Survival of the Artsy-est or Strategist?


Alper and Wassall (2006) analyze the ‘persistence’ of artists in their choice of art as a vocation, finding “the more experience [one has] the greater the likelihood of persisting as an artist” (p. 8). Gaining experience in the field, however, seems challenging due to the precarious nature and competitive pressures of the labor market. Menger’s impressive approach suggests we consider the artist as an “Imperfect Bayesian actor,” who engages in “gathering information, learning by doing, [and] revising … skills, expectations and conceptions.” As Menger continues, the aim of the artist should be to “build networks in order to widen [one’s] range of work experiences, and to give new psychic and emotional foods, in a word, as self-actualizing, without knowing who exactly [one] is and what exactly [one] is able to do or to express in [one’s] work” (p. 252). The reflection of the nebulous environment of the field seems to be reflected in the artist’s own self-actualization, where the artist’s evolutionary response to this dynamic process is to continue to learn, and to try to strengthen continuously.

The Internet can now be seen to offer new tools for the artists in their difficult path. The article “How you can use Kickstarter to help promote your art career” gives information about the website, Kickstarter, which provides an opportunity for exposure and funding of artwork. Pursuant to the article, the website has become “one of the most popular places for artists, musicians, and writers to raise funds for their project and promote their work and talent.” It is a tool allowing anyone with a creative idea to search for funding. In order to take advantage of these tools, however, the artist must also know strategies for their use. The article suggests certain points for better use of Kickstarter, such as 1.) Start with fully-fleshed out plan, 2.) Think of creative ways to tell the story of your project, and 3.) If your project doesn’t get funded, don’t get discouraged, it was probably still worth it.

Even though the Internet seems to open new doors for artist’s self-promotion, it seems to have its own set of rules, of which artists must also be aware. Another facet to the evolutionary process, considering the three recommendations of the article, is that artists have to know the Web’s rules along with the ‘rules’ of art, and never give up…

The article can be found at:

Muge Fazlioglu


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