Tips for young artists

Express your self; bus fumes; bands behind bars
By RUDY CHEEKS  |  July 13, 2011

This region of the country is, and always has been, a magnet for artists. If I spent some time thinking about why this is the case, I could probably conjure up a few convincing theories. But that's not my purpose today.

It so happens that, in recent months, I've run into a lot of young artists. Impressed with their commitment and passion (not to mention their work), I feel a certain responsibility to share any small pieces of wisdom I have acquired over the years. Some of this wisdom I attained by doing the exact opposite in my life but, remarkably, I have learned from my mistakes. Here are my tips:

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR A GOOD DISHWASHING JOB. Dishwashing is a good one. Janitorial services are good too. Any job that you can do well while on automatic pilot is a good art job. The merits are obvious: if you have chosen well, you'll be working at a place where there is good food which is either free or available at a big discount and simultaneously you can use your brain to formulate your creative ideas. I can't tell you how many songs I wrote while scouring gazpacho and chili from the bowls at Leo's. It is very nice to have a trust fund but some of us come from Pawtucket. You'd be surprised how many great artists grew up in Pawtucket.

DO NOT TAKE ART COURSES. The famous Providence painter, Dan

Gosch (he painted the iconic murals at Leo's and the large rock star portraits that used to grace the walls at Lupo's and can now be found at the Met in Pawtucket), once told me that after majoring in painting for four years (1966-70) at RISD, it took him at least another four years to "unlearn" what he'd been taught. Sure, you can learn quite a bit about craftsmanship and technique when studying a particular art form, but they can't teach you who you are and how to radiate your "you-ness." You're the only one who can do it and you do that by just doing. If you're a writer, you write, a dancer, you dance, a painter, you paint. That's how you discover who you are. That's how you get good at who you are and what you do. The big danger in taking art classes is that you start emulating your teachers or mentors or heroes. Egon Schiele might get you excited but being "Egon Schiele, Jr." is not as glorious as being the truly original artist, Ms. Josephine Blow. Personally, I purchase only sofa-sized Josephine Blow originals for my homes in Palm Springs and the Hamptons.

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
  Topics: Cool Cool World , Business, Young Adults, The Met,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY RUDY CHEEKS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MY MISBEGOTTEN CREATIVE CAREER  |  August 03, 2011
    Vo Dilanduhs know R.J. Heim, the veteran Channel 10 meteorologist and news reporter, as a charismatic and engaging fellow but, primarily, as a local weatherman.
  •   OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN  |  July 27, 2011
    Dominating the news in the Biggest Little at the end of last week and over the weekend — and rightfully so — was the passing of former Governor Bruce G. Sundlun.
  •   THAT SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT  |  July 20, 2011
    I read myriad newspapers. I also listen to radio and television news reports (with an affinity for the BBC, which has always seemed to know how to do broadcast news).
  •   TIPS FOR YOUNG ARTISTS  |  July 13, 2011
    This region of the country is, and always has been, a magnet for artists. If I spent some time thinking about why this is the case, I could probably conjure up a few convincing theories. But that's not my purpose today.
  •   BUS STOPPED?  |  July 06, 2011
    Last week, the Rhode Island chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFBRI), sent an email blast to folks around the state, which contained the first two paragraphs of a press release issued by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority on June 30:

 See all articles by: RUDY CHEEKS