During the course of the week I unexpectedly found myself in the emergency room with my wife. During our conversation with one of the specialists she turned and said ‘knowledge is power’ in regards to finding what needed to be treated then creating a plan to resolve the issue. Those three words rang in my head for a few days as it struck within me a deep place of meaning.
This idea holds true in every field of endeavor including art and maybe especially art for that matter. Over the years it has been both my observation and experience that the majority of artists and others as well, are in the process of ‘winging it’ as opposed to learning and investigating, then creating a road map to where they might want to go. One reason that I took the time and effort to write a book on the subject of the commerce of art was just that. To make available examples of actual experiences and ideas and principles over many years that if considered can lead to knowledge is power.
Once you have reached a place of making consistent and for the sake of a better word, interesting work, then the ways and means of interacting with the public becomes critical to opening doors of opportunity and making a plan that you can live with and execute. This is where ‘knowledge is power’ comes into play. Is it possible to learn what aspects of a portfolio/presentation is critical in communicating the essence of what you do to those who can help further your career? Might you be your own worse enemy when it comes to this? Can you learn how to open doors of communication with potential business partners where each mutually benefits from ongoing relationships? Or do you get in your own way during this process? Can we discover the methods of actually being able to accommodate ongoing acquisitions of your work to provide both capital for your business as well as living expenses? Or is this something that others have convinced you is impossible to do?
Art really does demand effort in relation to ‘learning’ how to put yourself in positions of opportunity both in the present and going into the future with the hope of longevity. One of the first things to take an honest look at is ‘where exactly do I want to go with my art and how do I get there and where am I right in this very moment? If knowledge is power then getting that knowledge should be priority wherever you can get it. The interesting dynamic that we have before us in the modern world is that we no longer need to spend 20 years learning on our own. We have universal resources on all subjects that if we apply ourselves will yield rewards and benefits in relative short periods of time.
Yes becoming an expert will take years but becoming proficient can happen quicker today than in any other time in history. The knowledge is out there. Make the effort to find answers where you are weak or uncertain and amazing things will come as this path unfolds for each of us who pursue knowledge with passion and determination. I would suggest, ride on the back of giants whenever you can. The road gets much easier when we do.