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Advice From 10 Female Artists On How To Make It In The Art World
Art-girl power!
Art Girls Jungle 17 May 2020

When it comes to your art world career who better to take advice from than an artist? And, not just any old artist, some of the world’s most famous female artists, because who runs the world? …

Image of Yoko Ono via the Rolling Stone Magazine

Image of Yoko Ono via the Rolling Stone Magazine

1.USE YOUR PAIN / YOKO ONO 
In March Yoko Ono tweeted, ‘Don’t get rid of negative emotion, but use it …. Like the salt in your food.’

2. STAND BEHIND YOUR WORK / APRIL GORNIK
American landscape artist has some advice for those of you who don’t like to show off. ‘Don’t pretend that you’re not proud of your work.’

3. GET A DAY JOB YOU DON’T HATE / JANE HAMMOND
The contemporary artist from New York has some decent advice for anyone who is hating on their job. ‘Find something to do that will make you some money, that can support your art, and that you can become good at so you can make a decent wage and that you don’t actually hate.’ she said.

4. BE BOLD / ANDREA ZITTEL 
Californian artist Andrea Zittel, who specialises in installations and sculpture said ‘You have to learn to feel confident about the prospect of failing because it’s so inevitable.’

Agnes Martin LA times
Agnes Martin via the LA times

5. FIND YOUR INSPIRATION / AGNES MARTIN 
‘Inspiration is the beginning the middle and the end.’ according to abstract artist Agnes Martin.

Diana Arbus via Washington Post

Diane Arbus via Washington Post

6. LOOK AT THINGS YOU LOVE / DIANE ARBUS 
20th century photographer Diane Arbus said during a lecture in New York City in 1970, ‘I like to put things in and around my bed all the time. Pictures of mine I like and other things, and I change it every month or so. There’s something funny subliminal thing that happens. It isn’t just looking at it. It’s looking at it when you’re not looking at it. It really begins to act on your in a funny way.’

Tracey Emin via Royal Academy of the Arts

Tracey Emin via Royal Academy of the Arts

7. KEEP A VISUAL DIARY / TRACEY EMIN 
When Corina Ross, aged 15 asked the British artist for advice on being an artist via the Tate website, Tracey answered. ‘Take drawing very seriously and take photo’s of things that you like. Keep a visual diary. And if you have trouble getting the right qualifications to get in university or art school, go to as many evening classes as possible.’

yayoi kusama art space

Yayoi Kusuma via Artspace

8. BE YOUR OWN MUSE / YAYOI KUSUAMA 
When YAYOI Kusama spoke to the Louisiana Channel back in 2015 she turned the tables and argued that advice should come from other people and you should be your own inspiration. ‘I am not an art teacher to you.’

w magazine jenny holzer

Jenny Holzer via W Magazine

9 FIND YOUR MEDIUM / JENNY HOLZER 
When Jenny Holzer spoke to Dazed magazine, she advised aspiring artists to find the medium. ‘I went to language because I tried to be a painter and was awful, so I thought ok I will write. Language lets one communicate and that can be useful. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a start. It’s a traditional vehicle, I find it useful and sometimes evocative, especially when I use text by other people. I like offering a huge amount of content for people’s enjoyment, fear, passing.”

cindy sherman via galerie magazine

Cindy Sherman via Galerie

10. FOLLOW THESE TOP THREE TIPS / CINDY SHERMAN 
When Cindy spoke with the Tate she offered three pieces of advice on how to make it as an artist.
1. Try to forget everything you learned about making art.
2. Find a group of like-minded artists or creative people to hang out with.
3. Take chances with what you do, make things that no one but you will ever see, unless it turns out so good you want to share it.

Text by Peigi Mackillop

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