AKADEMIE X Lessons in Art + Life

One of the best books I read about Art in a long time is AKADEMIE X Lessons in Art + Life. (The ones from Will Gompertz are first because they are more accessible.)

The book is beautifully designed and illustrated. The text from various artists have different forms, and vary in usefulness and readability. Every article included reading lists and viewing lists. The book as such is an art education on itself.

The struggles of the artist.

One question is, how do you create a way of being in the world that allows new things (ideas, information, people, places) into your life without letting everything in?

The emphasis on an art that is idea-driven is very important in order to maintain diversity in artistic practice and so that art is a tool to produce knowledge about the world.

the whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Artists notice stuff – the way things come together or fall apart, the telling detail or the overlooked ruin, the tell-tale gesture. To be an artist you have to train yourself to pay attention to the world in which you live, constantly looking for clues, always aware of your surroundings.

One thing all artists need to be able to do is to present their ideas confidently to the range of people who come through the studio – peers, curators, writers, collectors.

… spend more time making stuff, less time thinking about it; and do a better job of networking, staying in touch with people who show interest or friendship.

Precise and clear riting skills play a very important role in an artist’s career.

Another thing that I wish had been taught at school was the business side of art.

Keeping a personal journal over the years also plays a very important role in my practice. Many ideas and interesting tidbits of information that I’ve picked up end in the journal

A large part of my time is spent on organizing the production of my work. Organizational and managig skills are extremely important… Artists need to learn to organize and to delegate their works to studio assistents or to fabricators when necessary.

Read! Don’t ignore the history of your art. Don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel.

Don’t fixate on ‘breaking’ onto the scene. If you keep making interesting work, people will notice.

My simplest advice for navigating the art market is never to operate from a place of desperation, and never undervalue yourself.

Good painting is timeless, suggestive and individual.

If you’re working on a project of your own, be happy that your’re on a deadline…

If you’re having a hard time getting the creative juices churning, try starting with what you know… – the objective is to get busy.

Stop making ‘art’ and start making your work.

Be prepared to be unpopular, unclassifiable and perhaps even out-of-date…

… the rest is longevity, endurance and the ability to keep on making work despite the pleasures and pitfalls of other distractions in life.

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