Monday, April 12, 2010

Emerging artist conspiracy?

Randal Stringer writes in a recent post HERE that if you're an artist 'emerging' after the age window of 25 - 31 "Galleries won't look at your work, exhibitions won't even consider you an option. By this rule you just don't exist. Even if it's possible that you're as good as an old world master, best to give up."

I'm glad I didn't know that when I got stuck in a bit less than four years ago at age 39!
It's almost enough to stop a person from trying!

I tried to post a reply to his post in his comments section, but it was too long and got rejected.
So I'm posting it here instead. Here's what I said........

"Well I guess if my story goes completely counter to your argument, that should be good news and very encouraging for others contemplating making the leap.

I turned to sculpture in 2006 at age 39, and have been casting in bronze and selling online and through galleries since then.

I just got accepted for the fourth time into the National Sculpture Society's annual show (won 'people's choice' last year), I'm waiting to hear if I get accepted for the fourth time into the Society of Animal Artists annual show, I'll be attending Loveland's Sculpture in the Park show for the fourth time this year, I joined the Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society after being invited (having won awards in their annual shows) and have been featured in Southwest Art and Western Art Collector magazines.

Seems I'm living proof you can skip the 'emerging artist' process.
One minute I didn't exist (as a sculptor), next minute I'm all over the place!

No I didn't have any gallery affiliations by virtue of being considered a fine artist before sculpting.
I draw storyboards for advertising agencies and production companies, which I'd say is a fine art when it's done well. But none of those contacts had any bearing on my sculpture career.

I made stuff, I entered stuff, I cast stuff, I approached loads of galleries, in that order, and I admit I got very lucky at each step of the way.
But I'm living proof it's possible to emerge from nowhere at around age 40, so that's a good thing I'd say.
I don't know if it will all be over in a flash, or if momentum will take me further, but I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

Having said all that, I haven't quit my day job and I don't do as well from sculpting as I do from drawing storyboards, but casting in bronze is a lot more expensive than sharpening pencils!

So I'd say if you believe you've got what it takes (whatever your art may be) give it your best shot, but don't quit your day job!"

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille


Anonymous said...

Steve you are such an eloquent B !--and that pretty much tells it like it is! People need encouragement from them that 'can' and 'do'--Your post is up on the website and did get posted-so your words weren't wasted.Mil

Mad Bush Farm said...

Way to go Steve! Me I just avoid the 'Emerging Artist' thing and get on with it anyway. I do my art for fun and enjoy the work of other talented folks such as yourself. Hope you haven't been trying to get yourself in trouble with more of those cute roostery things you once blogged about. Your work speaks for itself. Damned right it's awesome. Keep it coming.

Deborah Paris said...

Hmmmm. I guess I'm another one of those exceptions to this "rule" (and I did quit my day job without a safety net!). I haven't read the post but I can think of many others as well- in fact, I think there are many professional artists who have made fine art their second career.

Jim Serrett said...

When I first graduated school it was a major mission to get in a big name gallery. Did endless cattle calls and knocking on doors, it was and is very time consuming.
I finally was accepted by a very prominent gallery. I left them a few years later because of my need to find my direction with my work.
But think anyone new to that scene can get frustrated easily.

Today I think galleries are much easier to access and never have I felt any discrimination due to age.
Plus today there are endless avenues to reach a market outside of the normal gallery arena.

So honesty, just sounds like sour grapes and a lot of immature assumptions from your friend Stringer.

Although he had a few pieces on his site I liked, the digital work was pretty run of the mill.
Hmmm, maybe thats the problem?

Anonymous said...

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Steve sculpts critters said...

Nice to hear from you all!
Thanks for weighing in.

Jonathan said...

I really think that people who spout out stuff like that are more times than not, by far, simply just failed artists- rationalizing failure.

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."
-  Charles Horton Cooley