How to become an artist
You are young. You are creative. You like to do things by yourself, to reinvent, to modify, to combine, to create new stuff, to find and play with new ideas. But what is your job title? You don’t know? Are you becoming an artist?
I’ve also been through this long period of incertitude when everything was fine ’til somebody came to ask me what I do in life. And yes, it’s fucking difficult to say if you don’t have a second one of those-nobody-gets-it-but-it-sounds-cool job title up your sleeve. And no, I was not going to say I’m an artist back at that time.
My method to pass over this embarrassing question was to explain to people what I like to do. You know, like using simple words and then starting to take pictures of my work and name it. Just organizing my work into folders and looking at it from above, started to speak to me alone. Anyway, I still didn’t know how it’s called. In the meantime friends started to say I’m an artist. Others put me already in a category saying I’m a visual artist. I just kept saying I’m a connectionist.
In reality, nobody knows what an artist is. Even my teacher of contemporary art didn’t know exactly. I guess everyone has its own way to describe it. Austin Kleonou, for example taught artist is not something that is. It is something you become. And he wrote a book about this.
Before you get his personal method “Fake it ’til you make it”, I will quote a small paragraph with one of his tips for becoming an artist.
“Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.”