554. July 28…Let’s make art…and Money…OK????

“Plugged In” ©2011, Robert Redus

“All my life as an artist I have asked myself: What pushes me continually to make sculpture? I have found the answer. art is an action against death. It is a denial of death.” Jacques Lipchitz

there is a great deal that goes along with being an artist…much more than all of the stuff that separates us as brush holders…paint slingers…rock chippers…image makers and idea builders…we have to have a sense of belief…belief that what we do is as valuable and as important to the world…and maybe only the world around us…as anything else that anyone else does on the planet…

it is funny to think that here in the United States…artists are often viewed as something of a less contributing portion of the population…and though we are the initiators of all of the visual apparatus that stimulate and excite…anger and generate opposition…we do it quietly and behind doors of studios…in relative isolation…we are the geniuses of the machine…

we’ve yet to be acknowledged and readily accepted as these geniuses…but we are…

I’d like to see a shift in the way it’s all done…instead of snarling teeth on the front of jet fighter planes…perhaps the entire plane could be painted like a really loud Hawaiian shirt…and the bombs they drop could be painted like birds…or fish…made from really soft pillows….and be filled with Skittles….or beef jerky…it’s just an idea…

nevertheless…we are the segment that has the ideas that might appear slightly unconventional…perhaps a bit sketchy…maybe even unrealistic…but that too is a particular part of the fiber that makes us…exactly what we are…

without art…there really is nothing…but space filled with a lot of unnecessary noise…and conversation…that is in itself the beauty of art…it makes its own noise…it creates its own visuals…sounds…scents…experiences…events and memories…

defining yourself as an artist is like defining your religion…believe what you want and if it’s working keep believing it…and too defining what your success looks like as an artist…(see defining religion)…


to make a living as an artist requires a  much different mindset…one greatly different than the creation process…if producing art for you is a hobby…then…hobby onward…yet if you use the word “Professional” with the word “Artist” and both are in the same sentence referring to yourself…that makes a different ending…one that you have to think about building….

Things you must know about Art:

1.  Know your level of skill, ability, craft and art thoroughly.
2.  Your artwork does not sell itself.
3.  Artwork that is not shown can not sell.
4.  Your artwork must be critiqued by knowledgeable, honest critique.
5.  Get more education from higher skilled artists.
6.  Your ego doesn’t help make your artwork.
Things you must know about being a Professional artist:
  1. Understand and get, “Art is Business” and money is a normal function of business.
  2. Learn everything you can about marketing. 
  3. Became an expert at sales.
  4. Develop an “elevator” conversation about your work (about 30 seconds).
  5. Learn to accept criticism and rejection for what it is. 
  6. Network and align yourself with other artists/business people who have similar goals.
  7. Have postcards, business cards, portfolios of your work available all of the time. 
  8. Develop a “Gallery Fit” list. And send out portfolios to the Galleries that fit. 
  9. Show your work as often as possible. 
  10. And if anyone of these you cannot or will not do, prepare to find and pay someone who can and will.

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” – Miguel de Cervantes



  1. Hey Robert.
    I enjoyed this piece, from the first quote that art is a denial of death, to the last, about attempting the absurd… and all your thoughts in between.
    If I could be so bold, I would take it farther. Life, lived to its fullest, is “performance art”. It’s the dance, the painting, the writing, the family, the building, the gardening, the dressing… and all the other activities that “Life IN Matter” has the privilege to engage in… if it so chooses. Of course, it doesn’t have to. It can sit upon the earth, or, it can dance.
    We create art, plant trees and have babies to deny death. Of course it’s absurd because we can never win. But, in the attempt, we realize the point of “Life IN Matter” isn’t to win or, somehow, really become immortal. Frankinstien, Dracula and plastic flowers are immortal… and they are all monsters. The point IS the “performance” that, if it were not to end, itself would become an abomination.
    Sell your work, by all means, but never lose track of the fact that “The Play IS the thing”. Marketing anything creative is always problematic. I have heard it said that life is like a can of mixed nuts. The more vigorously the can is shaken, the greater the tendency for the biggest nuts to rise to the top. My advice…… SHAKE the can!
    Be well Robert, It’s another glorious morning here at the foot of The Blue Ridge.


  2. Thank you Mrs. N…nice to see you…

    I do agree that the “Play” and “Performance” has indeed got to be most important when hovering around the porch light of art…and the problematic issues of sales on the creative side do tend to make the endeavor a bit like quicksand….

    I am starting on a new adventure in selling both my paintings and jewelry…so can shaking is going to be a must and a regular event…that being said….there are 18 routes to summit on Everest…and each has perils that have killed a few people….in the words of the Buddha….”It is better to travel well than arrive” ….

    likewise…be well…and enjoy the beauty…


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