Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: On Failure and Anonymity

At some point, all art students have to ask themselves what exactly they plan on doing with their degrees. Though the options are relatively limited, I feel that it is more a matter of what area the student is interested in, be it painting, illustration, sculpture, or graphic design and then figuring out a way of shaping some sort of career out of that mold. I agreed with the essay in some areas. For instance, I do believe that many young artists have these aspirations of greatness for themselves; that their art will sell like crazy and will be known worldwide for its unique and utter awesomeness. It's great to be confident, but realistically, hardly anyone will be able to fully support themselves on income obtained from their art alone. Sure it's the dream, but you need to have more than that, so unless you're filthy rich already and don't need to work, I say go for it. Sell some art and relax. However, there are so many jobs out there for artists and I don't just mean in teaching. There are advertising firms for the graphic designer, stage dressing for the interior designer, art therapy for painters or sculptors, commission work, costuming, oh so many possibilities. I think it is a broad generalization to imply that no art school sufficiently readies their students for these opportunities or helps them in ridding the assumption that they can survive on their art alone. In my experience, I have not met a single person who holds with that theory and they all have some idea of a job or two they could do after graduation. I also think my school (Memphis College of Art) does a fine job of helping students figure out a path for them career and future-wise.
       I also did not agree with the passage about professional artists living in constant fear of being targetted and that their success will lead to corruption and they will lose all their convictions and all that. Overall, the essay was alright and raised many good questions, but the arguments were so reaching, almost desperate, with so many over-generalizations that I could not really take many of the points too seriously.

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