Tips for the Artistic

by B. Amundson

Art Geek: Kev Monko

See also Field Guide to artists of the United States

Recent polls indicate that there are approximately 12 million working artists in the United States, or roughly 5% of the population. These polls also reveal that, of the remaining 95% of the population involved in more banal pursuits such as test pilot or 7-11 clerk, over 75% would rather pursue a career as Artist.

There are many reasons for this. One is that the term "Artist" carries such romantic connotations, with images of insight, indulgence, and bohemian romps with unadorned models immediately springing to mind. Another is that artists actually increase their reputation and salability by behaving in a manner that would cause normal, less-gifted people to lose their jobs and credibility.

Now I can already hear many of you asking, "Just how do I become one of these highly Artistic Individuals anyway?" That's a good question. You don't just draw Winky or The Pirate on a cocktail napkin and wait for truckloads of money to roll in like the old days. No, becoming the contemporary Artistic Individual can be a complex and frustrating matter, ridden with paradox and contradiction. In some cases, you may even be expected to indulge in unique thought and original creation, although this remains the exception rather than the rule.

I've personally reaped the benefits of being an Artistic Perceptive Fellow for over a dozen years now, so I thought it would be wonderfully selfless of me to offer some of my expertise to you neophyte creative ones out there. Remember, there are no set rules on the road to a truly Artistic Lifestyle, so please think of this humble primer as a series of stylistic signposts and nothing more.

Be sensitive at all costs

I can't stress this enough. Artists are supposed to be creative, and the best way to manifest this creativity is to appear sensitive all the time. Remember, as a Sensitive Individual, you can see things others cannot. You are full of depth and can perceive the essence of objects in terms of light, texture, chroma, and value. Because of this, you are capable of achieving extreme transcendental highs just by looking at normal stuff like deer, sunsets, and gnarled wood. Use this to your advantage. If worse comes to worst, you may actually have to paint or sculpt these things, but if you play your cards right, that shouldn't be necessary. Your blissed-out state will be mistaken as Artistic Integrity.

You are capable of achieving extreme transcendental highs just by looking at ... gnarled wood.

There is a down-side to sensitivity, however. Because you're so perceptive, you're also very attuned to all the world's suffering, tragedies, bummers, and meaninglessness. This can lead to serious depression but can also work on your behalf because the Real Artist is supposed to

Be Temperamental

Creative people are moody. This is because they spend so much time dwelling on deep things. The Introspective Funk is accepted, even encouraged in Artists, because this is where ideas and focused intensity come from.

Be tempermental ... which should involve much storming in and out, yelling, and a great deal of gesticulation.

One should never be moody and introspective alone, however. Always do it in public, preferably over a cup of cappucino or a glass of red wine, so people don't forget how deep you actually are. Make sure you alter this with an occasional acrimonious outburst, which should involve much storming in and out, yelling, and a great deal of gesticulation. This will make people believe you are deeply passionate and very, very Artistic in temperament, which is always a good thing. During these outbursts, don't forget to

Blame Others for Your Lack of Success

Remember, the Real Artist isn't unsuccessful, just misunderstood. Good scapegoats include power-hungry Capitalists, materialistic yuppies with specially designed charge cards, the desensitizing nature of network television, and anyone who happens to be emotionally involved with you at the time. Whine about how people don't understand the "real you."

To exhibit artwork constitutes "selling out." Don't "compromise to the lackeys of commercialism."

As a sensitive, Artistic Type, you don't need to know about superficial topics like sports, politics, and current events. They're for normal people. Instead, always make sure the topic of conversation remains firmly on you, the Artist, and your triumphs and tribulations. These should include your desperate lack of money because...

People Expect Their Artists to be Poor

The term "Starving Artist" has a ring of authenticity and depth to it that "Real Estate Developer" or "Tax Accountant" can never attain. Therefore, even if you have loads of trust funds, a tidy but impressive stock portfolio, and spend summers with Daddy in Newport, don't let on. People who truly appreciate Art want their Artists poor, bohemian, and generally miserable. In fact, the term "bohemian" is derived from an obscure Czech dialect and literally means "one who garners respect and admiration for living like an animal."

Bohemian means, literally, "one who garners respect and admiration for living like an animal."

Bohemians feed exclusively at opening receptions and are often sighted sporting berets, which for some reason is still an accepted form of Artistic recognition. Bohemians are poor because, like all True Creatives, they have no readily employable skills at their disposal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because in many cases work can irreversibly hurt an Artist's inspiration. Some naive types think they can survive by showing and selling their creations, but the Real Artist knows that the cardinal rule of creativity is...

Never Exhibit Your Work

To exhibit artwork constitutes "selling out," a sin of venality right up there with sloth, gluttony, and lusting in the heart. Hundreds of hot-blooded seminar hours are spent on this topic, and the general conclusion is that to exhibit artwork is to "compromise to the lackeys of commercialism" and that gallery owners "feed off the gorged carcasses of the Creative." In other words, something the Sensitive Individual is better off avoiding altogether. Lastly --

Always Remember Which Side of the Brain to Use

This is important. It's the right side. THE RIGHT SIDE!!! Accidental use of the left side of the brain could cause irreversible damage, with the Artistic One suddenly immersed in a successful career as a junk bond salesman or bank vice president, which is unacceptable under any circumstance.

Go to the B. Amundson's Expresso Tilt page.

Check out Art on a Stick for more of B. Amundson's drawings and comics.

Send email to B. Amundson

View the the Expresso Tilt Guestbook.

[TiltHome] [GipperIssue] [EarlyMadness] [No.5] [No.6] [No.7] [No.8] [No.9] [No.10]
PenisPage] [PeoplePage] [FeaturedWriters] [StoryCollection] [ExpressoPoems] [TheFunnies]