How to become a successful artist…?
Jens Lennartsson
524

I think that a middle road exists. If I drag the blood and guts out of my soul and put it on canvas but no one wants to look at it, what have I accomplished other than a bit of artistic masturbation? The path I chose for my career some forty years ago was to find a way in which my art could be totally my own, but also something that people were willing and eager to buy. We have choices. We can create art that we know people want — and make a living doing it, all the while “moonlighting” by doing art for only ourselves. Or we can do the art that we want and personally need to do and convince people with money that they want and need it too. Or we can co both. I submit that saleable art is not necessarily bad art, and that it is better to play to the crowd and make art that sells if that allows you to do art full time, rather than producing a body of work destined for a storage unit rather than gallery walls — and financing that folly by working some non-art day job. I chose a middle path and have had a full-time career as an artist for forty-five years. In my view, by doing otherwise, I would have set myself up to fail.

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