About 21 minutes into the movie Seth Godin begins to talk about how the industry is dead. This struck me as something not only very true, but something that instead of maybe discouraging me like it may to others, it gave me hope. The kind of hope that is going to keep me writing on this blog and creating art that makes me happy and posting it on my site. For those of you who have not seen the movie yet or do not know who Set Godin is, he’s an author. Have I read any of his stuff?… no, but he seems interesting. (I need to read more). He starts off by simply stating he wrote about book called “Unleashing the Idea Virus” about ideas and how they spread and how good ideas get noticed. He went to his publisher in New York and said “here’s my new book. You can publish it. But I want it out right away. And I want to post it online for free.” After being denied free online publication and saying it could be out in a year, he went ahead and posted his book online anyway. After 5+ million downloads, he started getting emails saying people did not want to read on the computer. So, he published the book himself and started selling it on Amazon for $40.00. He didn’t do this for money, he says, but he did it to make a point. That point was clearly made. The industry is dead. No longer do you have to a part of a higher system to get noticed, or in this case, get paid.

So, relating all this to something that matters to me… keep blogging and keep writing. I come across at least 2 blogs a week that have thousands to millions of hits a day and are getting noticed world wide. I plan to keep writing and keep posting ideas and findings that matter to me in the hopes that someone will come along and agree, or disagree, but just care enough to spread the word and my good findings.
Good ideas spread and the power is now in our hands.

With that all said, these times can be depressing for any young artist because of how easy it is to simply put your video, your song, your voice, your painting, your short story online. Yea, technology has made this a time where there are no boundaries to creating something amazing. But who’s going to hear it instead of you, and maybe your Mom and Dad, when there are millions of people out there doing the exact same thing. This amazing something you’ve created has now become lost in the midst of all the crap. Everyone is an artist now a days, and yes it makes me excited that I don’t need to know people who know people who can get me into some sort of industry that will get me noticed. But it is frustrating that when you think you have a good idea or a good finding that you want everyone to see, the only people who are seeing it are the bored teenagers procrastinating homework at home who happen to be on stumbleupon. Not that this is completely a bad thing, but at the rate they’re stumbling through those pages, who’s going to really give a shit about what you wrote 2 weeks ago on that really amazing documentary you just watched. Maybe I should post a picture of a cat.
Like I’ve said before, people are all about instant satisfaction. I’m guilty most times too.

What I think:
Consistency at what you do and passion are probably the most important things I can think of to make your blog, or your song, or your movie get noticed. I see artists everywhere who have their masters in sculpture and installation and they don’t even have some sort of hub where they can show off their work.  We live in a world where you need to combine your creativity with technology (the internet, our most reliable source for everything, in this case) and become public. Even people who did an undergrad in art  or music just to get an undergraduate degree for the sake of their parents and then move on to become an entrepreneur or whatever, the idea of getting your name noticed somehow through writing or blogging or “vlogging” will help that much more when it comes time to start your business. People will be like “oh ya that dude! I came across his blog once!” and that’s all it takes for the people to start talking. Passion is what will drive your consistency. You have to write on a regular basis, create on a regular basis, and you have to find other people. Collaborate, write e-mails to other artists, submit your work into any other blog or website or magazine you can find, just network and promote what it is you’re saying or want to say. This is why I love twitter. It’s a perfect spot to find people who are like you and have the same interests, see what they do and ride on the positive energy. I think you all get the gist of what I’m saying.

Don’t let this sea of maybe-half-talented artists discourage you from creating. Just work harder.

dear artists,

Living in Toronto for the first time, yea, it’s definitely something new. Although the transit system is way better than back home in Ottawa, there are still some things you have to know. For instance, I had no idea when buying a student TTC (transit) pass, not only do I have to present my Student photo ID, but I also have to have a TTC photo ID, which evidently I did not have. This was gingerly pointed out to me by a somewhat nice streetcar driver on my way to school as he asked me to rummage through my bag in the midst of 50+ hustling people to show him my ID.
Getting on with it, after a long day of going to and from the subway station trying to get my ID (forgetting my student timetable the first time) I was excited to make my way west to a gallery that had a potential job opportunity. I had been emailing this lady for a while about a unique gallery affiliated with my school. After sending my resume in for a position as their blogger, or a gallery assistant, she invited me to an event. This was tonight. As an eager-to-learn first year art student, I was obviously perky and excited to go and introduce myself. I approached her with kind words and told her who I was. Not only was eye contact not made, but she didn’t take the time to take her hand off the wine bottle she was shuffling ever so slightly to the right to shake my hand. I don’t know why she seemed to be so concerned about the wine because there were approximately 5 people in the gallery, 4 of them being the featured artists. She was short and timid with her words, and didn’t have much to say other than the fact that she loved her space. As a newcomer to Toronto I would think that someone who has a young space as her own would be not only willing but excited to show people around and to get to know what she does. After about a whole 6 words were shared…I left.
Not only was it her, but the whole vibe of the place was quite pretentious as in the… I’m an upper year/graduate art student don’t look at me, kind of way. It was just because of the people. The art was nice, the layout was great, the location was perfect. And it even had kind of a warm homey feeling as a student gallery should have.

I don’t know what these people are trying to prove. I know art is about expressing yourself through your medium, but if your art is hanging on a wall exposed to the public, it doesn’t mean you have to literally hide behind it. Talk to people. Interact with people. People will like your art more if they like you as a person as well. If you own a gallery, make it exciting! I don’t understand why a gallery has to be so god damn intimidating when you walk in. For all the non-artists out there, I can see why walking into a private gallery is practically torture. The pasty white walls as soon as you walk in with beautifully hung paintings and polished wood floors, and then bam. Right smack in the middle of the gallery is a desk, with two highly professional (looking) artists or curators glaring right at you as you walk in. And WHY is it that you always have to approach them. Every. Single. Time. No, we don’t want the sale associate coming up to talk to us, but yes, we want the interesting artist that you are to come and talk to us. Share some interesting facts, talk about things. All in all just be a welcoming person. Or else I’m going to leave.

I just want to open my own gallery.

@ the AGO

32 works by Chagall and eight works by Kandinsky

Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde: Masterpieces from the 
Collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris

October 18, 2011 to January 15, 2012

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