What kind of attitudes—inherent or cultivated—can help you succeed as an artist? And what kind of attitudes can help you fail? Hilary Harkness outlines a few here:
It’s a time-honored joke: M.F.A. actually stands for Mother F%#king Attitude. I’ve had that outlook, and it’s seen me through some rough and dispiriting times as an artist. But looking back on my early career, I’ve come to realize it’s not an attitude that will sustain you, and even in the best of times, it can be detrimental to your artistic practice. I had a close brush with being expelled from Yale’s MFA program when I painted Professor Mel Bochner being ravished by a female bull with a dildo strapped to her udder.
Funny? Yes. But with time, I’ve come to regret having hurt his feelings. The goal most of us share is to feel good about our practice, connect with other arts professionals, and get our work out there for people to enjoy. So what is the right mindset to cultivate to enable your success and fulfillment as an artist? Here are four techniques that may help.