It's been over a year since Marketing Mondays started. I wasn't sure I could sustain 52 weeks' worth of ideas, but here we are seven MM posts into the new year and there are plenty more topics to consider and some to revisit.
Artist Karen Schifano suggested I revisit the topic of success. I first posted on the topic in June last year, but now that readership is way up (1600+ of you every Monday!) this seemed like a worthy topic to revisit.
The paradigm for success looks something like this:
Get a BFA.
Get an MFA.
Set up a studio in a large city, preferably New York.
Tap that font of inspiration to make art every day.
Exhibit in group shows.
Get a solo in a non-profit or small commercial gallery.
Receive some blogger attention.
Apply for and receive a Pollock-Krasner grant or other award that marks you as an up-and-comer.
Move from being an assistant to having an intern.
Have a solo show there.
Sell out the show.
Receive a great review in one of the print publications we all read.
Be the subject of a raging debate on one of the art blogs.
Have your dealer take your work to the art fairs, where big-name collectors wrangle for the opportunity to acquire it.
Hire assistants (no more pesky interns).
See your big-ass dealer sell your work for a six figures (maybe more).
Move to a larger studio. Make that a much larger studio.
If you're teaching, get tenure.
Apply for and receive a Guggenheim (because you really need the money).
Make the cover of Art in America.
Better still, hit the trifecta, AiA, Art Forum and Modern Painters.
Soar into another level with a MoMA retrospective.
Receive a MacArthur "genius" grant.
Renovate your loft after you buy the building it's in.
Get a second studio in another place--Greece, St. Maarten, Berlin, Rio--your choice.
Have your assistants do the work.
See your work be the subject of multiple monographs by high-profile art historians or critics.
See your work included in the art history books.
Watch your work go for seven figures and your bank account bulge.
Die happy and rich.
(Did I miss anything?)
Working two part-time jobs with no benefits.
Working a full-time job with benefits but not enough time to make art.
Making art but getting little attention.
Getting some attention but making no sales.
Making sales but never getting into the good collections or seeing your career advance critically.
Sleeping on a futon when you're 35 and all your non-artist friends are buying homes.
Not living and working in New York; it's an easier life, but it's not New York.
Not having a tenure-track teaching job, but struggling to patch together some adjunct teaching.
Not getting the adjunct teaching jobs.
Not getting the Pollock Krasner, Guggenheim or MacArthur.
Not getting on the cover of Art in America.
Not getting reviewed in Art in America.
Not getting retirement benefits because you never put in enough hours at any one job to be vested.
Dying with a studio full of art that gets thrown out when the landlord comes to clean out the space.
OK, somewhere between those two extremes is the career that most of us have, neither big-ass blue-chip nor its black-and-blue opposite.
And that's the topic of today's Marketing Mondays: How do you define success for you?
. Or is it something else--integrating art and life in a bucolic setting? Teaching, raising a family and showing every couple of years in a regional co-op gallery? Finding a way to combine your art and your politics? Working nine-to-five so that you can be free to outside of the gallery-go-round?
. Whatever it is, how close have you come to that ideal?
. Has your ideal of success changed during the course of your career? .