MOWE, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – When it comes to creating contemporary art, visual artists nowadays have the greatest amount of creative freedom in the art studio.
There are, however, many unwritten rules in the art world that must be followed in order to establish a career as a visual artist.
If you don’t adhere to these guidelines, you won’t be taken seriously as a visual artist. How one can become an insider if the inside information is not available to them is the dilemma that is keeping so many gifted artists from succeeding.
As a result, I want to break this habit and provide important career guidance for visual artists and give them the confidence they need to advance their careers in the art world. I do this as a visual artist and a fan of contemporary art.
I will be sharing with you specific actions or steps to take and things to avoid or how to do them the right way, which will have an immediate impact on your chances for success as a visual artist, rather than ingredients to succeed as an artist such as willpower, talent, perseverance, or discipline.
As a matter of fact, I’m happy to share with you the first of a series of blogs in which I examine and talk about the most prevalent and significant errors that visual artists make that prevent them from succeeding as professionals.
I’ll get right to the most useful advice for becoming noticeable as a visual artist. Our first error, which is having no recognizability and no visual signature in our works, is likely the most obvious fault from this list, yet it is far more difficult to address or rectify than one might assume.
To put it another way, there is a lot of competition in the art industry. Making art is among the most enjoyable activities, and many people undertake it as a pastime. So many people are trying to make a living as visual artists.
Additionally, art is a timeless commodity, which means that once a painting or photograph has been made, it may last for hundreds or even thousands of years.
There are consequently more paintings and photographs than there are available walls to put them on, more visual artists than there are galleries to show their work in, and more artworks than there are art collectors.
Therefore, you want to be instantly recognizable. From a visual perspective, this is one of the most typical mistakes: there is no visual recognizability, no distinctive visual language, and no technique.
It might seem obvious, but great visual artists don’t need to sign their names on the bottom of a canvas to claim ownership of their creations, and we don’t need a card to identify the artist of a picture or photograph to know who they were.
For instance, when we see a painting by Bruce Onobrakpeya, we can instantly tell that it is his work because of the bronzed line relief, plastocast (resin) relief, plastograph, metal foil etching, and relief print he uses to portray it.
Similarly, we don’t have to guess who the artist is whenever we see “adire and batik textiles” used as visual motifs in artworks based on Yoruba history because we already know it’s Nike Davies-Okundaye (Chief Nike), who is being radical and personal.
These artists have found success because they stand out, and they stand out because they have aggressively pursued their distinctive characteristics, signatures, visual languages, personal techniques, and themes and topics.
As a visual artist, I can attest that this is the main quality that galleries and collectors seek out when they are looking for new talent. Therefore, I cannot understate the significance of this at this time.
I strongly urge you to spend some time considering your current works: what are your primary subjects, what method do you apply, and what repeated motifs run throughout your artistic practice?
Focus on one or two elements and look for what sets you apart from other visual artists or how you can stand out based on these questions and this particular viewpoint. Even better, be who you truly are rather than trying to fit in with everyone else.
Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more on the series.