To Give or To Get, Cost, Reward, Opportunity
Ordinary, Extraordinary & Future of Craft

Talent and White Noise. Testing Your Core

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah ThortonworldI just finished reading the book Seven Days in the Art World. It is a real eye-opener! Both depressing and shocking, I would recommend reading this book if you can stand being confronted with the inequity and inequality of the art world vs. the craft world.

I think it is important to view another perspective, but it is very challenging to your core. It's like standing on one leg while lifting weights. If you can survive the set, your balance will be stronger, but it takes practice. (I have more to say, but it will be another post.)

Here are two of my favorite quotes from this book that apply to everyone.

Paul Schimmel, chief curator of the Musuem of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (or MOCA), discusses the concept of talent and what makes a good artist:

"Talent is a double-edged sword. What you are given is not really yours. What you work at, what you struggle for, what you have to take command of -- that often makes for very good art.” Seven Days in the Art World, Chapter title: The CRIT, page 72

The next quote was about writing art criticism but I think it applies to any creative endeavor. It is from the New York Times critic Roberta Smith:

“When you are writing, you have a lot of white noise. Doubt is a central part of intelligence, and doubt is hard to control. What I do is write first and question myself later. After my deadline, I have a little whimper session: I feel bad about something; it could have been better; certain people are going to hate me the next day.” Seven Days in the Art World, Chapter The Magazine, page 172

As a maker it is so hard to shut down the "white noise" and doubt, and yet, it is absolutely necessary to put your blinders on and go forward.

More discussion follows soon.

Below is a short video from the author Sarah Thorton talking about the seven chapters of her book.

Full disclosure: Images and links for this book are affiliate links. I love my local library and did not buy the book, but instead paid for an inter-library loan.

This post was updated on June 17, 2022, to provide current links.