What does it mean to be a rookie in the visual art field in Romania? (I)

I wanted to write an article or more about what you have to do to start a career in art, in Romania, for a long time. Since now I have the opportunity to do so, I thought I should start. In my opinion, if you want to start this journey you need to work around three categories: passion and talent, work and courage and a flexible, responsible spirit.  I’ll start with passion and talent, by also integrating those things in diverse contexts.

Just because people declare other people artists because they make pictures (not photographs) and splash some colors here and there saying they’ve made a painting, doesn’t mean that the artist title given is correctly. It’s actually the same mistake people make when they write your, meaning you are, just that when it comes to art, it is a lot more complex problem.

As far as you haven’t remained in history, you are not truly an artist, you are a creator and from my point of view, arrogant people who destroy the already weak art industry in Romania, because they think “everyone can be an artist” and that “everything can be art” should not even be considered creators. Why? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but, in you don’t love art like the girlfriend of your dreams for who you would sacrifice everything, because she brings out the best in you and vice versa, if you can’t live without loving art and creating something but rather try to get into the art field because it’s cool, you don’t deserve any kind of title other than superficial! Not everyone can be an artist! If you are a “summer hit”, it doesn’t mean you’re an artist. It means that you produced something from which you had a limited success!

Being passionate about art and creating nonstop every single day, is also not an excuse if you don’t have talent (you can call yourself then, an art lover). When I say talent, I don’t mean that you need only to have a good hand and that’s it. When I say talent, I mean: building a skilled hand, an unique vision and as much creative ideas as possible! Ideas which don’t have to respect any law, honest ideas, not copies, not remakes, ideas which reflect your uniqueness. Because, if you are just like other thousands of people in this world who know how to draw and that’s it, you won’t remain in history, you won’t become an artist. Ideas are bulletproof, are immortal!

School doesn’t make you an artist! School should prepare you to be ready to become one, school should teach you techniques which will help you develop your own style. Techniques which will help you express those good ideas from your mind and heart into creation, without them being altered by professors, maybe only guided!

Shortly put, if you pretend you’re “an artist” by copying ideas and concepts and styles, without developing your own uniqueness as a human being and then, only then as a creator, if you don’t work, if you are not willing to evolve, if you do it just because it’s awesome and because you like how interesting you seem, you have no right to be a part of the art field! Because you are really just being disrespectful to people who really have something to show and say.

Now, if you are passioned and talented, you surely observed how wrong is the “artist life” viewed. Most people think that just because you don’t have a boss and an 8-6 program (or more), you have an easy life. People think it’s easy to be an artist if you have talent, because what the hell, you do whatever you want right?

When you have a complete liberty in your professional life it’s extremely hard. It’s extremely hard especially if you are a beginner, because you have to make from nothing, something from which you can make a living! Romanians generally do not appreciate art that’s more authentic than flowers and cute stuff, because Romanians don’t have culture and a lot of them can’t even afford to have one!

Because of this, you have to be more than just the painter, photographer and/or illustrator. You have to be the one who sells, your PR, manager, the one who promotes you, the one who manages events and builds your image. You have to be your own small industry, business. Creation is just the beginning. After you’ve finished a project and even outside of projects, you must always be sure that people find out who you are, because that’s the only way for you to meet people with who you can work.

It’s not like when you go to a company to give an interview and maybe get hired. After you’ve built an online image (or during) you step forward, with courage, you have to attract opportunities, you have to believe in what you do and go out to drink tons of coffees and beers with random people, to show them what you do and who you are, with the hopes that you will start collaborating with them. If you are passioned and talented, it’s not that hard actually.

No matter your personality, even if you are introverted and unsure, even if you feel uncomfortable to expose yourself, you must at least pretend that you are okay with exposure and people and social interractions. You have to learn people skills, you have to communicate. You need to be hard to forget in a good way and that because sadly, we live in a world when the brand matters more than the quality of the product. Therefore, if you create some amazing stuff but don’t create a strong image, a strong brand for you, you will get nowhere. Sounds awful right? Well, it is, this is one of the many reasons of why it’s hard to be a rookie in this field. Other reasons would be, the lack of money, but that depends on you, on what you do and the fact that when things start going well, you will be like “OMG I have so much to do, I want to do them all! What do I do?! Oh god, what if I don’t have enough time? What if I am not good enough? What if I can’t handle things? How do I do all these things without neglecting my personal life?” Yes, you never ever have to neglect your personal life: your sleep, your fun, your relaxation and whatever else. If you don’t keep personal and career in an equilibrium, you will either get nowhere or crash.

Bottom line, if you think to start going this way, if you are passioned and talented, you need a flow not a routine. You have to learn how to handle your time, you have to be selfish and courageous. If you are not your own army, your own pillar, your own anything really, you will not make it. There will always be exceptions, but fi you aren’t lucky, you will be on your own and luck is harder to reach than being on your own. Plus that when you’re a rookie, you are pretty bad. You’re bad compared to what you can become and because you have so much to learn.
Therefore, don’t be arrogant, courage and self-confidence don’t mean arrogance. They mean get over obstacles and learn nonstop.

Until part two is out, you can find me on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram

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Bucharest-based artist. Psychedelic photographer, brain-scratching writer / poetess and priestess of the macabre.

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