One of the first questions I ask aspiring artists is, “What is it that you want?” Invariably the answer has to do with wealth and fame. Heroes named include Damian Hirst and Andy Warhol.

And then I sigh, collect myself, and try to explain that when your focus is on wealth and fame you are getting your validation from outside of yourself, your values are being formed by others. By the media, for crap’s sake. Have you seen the media these days?

This is your life and your work, why would you place its validation in the hands of a soul-less machine?

The best artists have a strong inner core of ethics and values and they are motivated by a developed sense self-directedness.

This is what it is to be an artist; to find one’s own voice and not cater to the trend of the month. As artists, we need to have better goals.


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