About Artists

September 27, 2019

New Ways Of Seeing

Artists, the most talented, intriguing and complicated humans on the planet. Throughout the ages an artist’s ability to create has fascinated us mere mortals. So, I thought I would share some insight into just what makes artists so interesting and important to our world.

*DISCLAIMER – I am not an artist. I am an art historian and have worked with artists for over a decade in my roles in the commercial art world. So, don’t worry, this isn’t a biography!

My job gives me a behind the curtain peek at the lives of artists and the world they live in which has taught me a lot. Here are three insights that I feel are especially interesting…


The Original Individual

I have met with countless artists throughout my time as a curator and a consultant. Some I have worked closely with to put together exhibitions and guide them through the art world maze. Others I have met through attending shows and lectures. While each one I have encountered shares a common and innate need to create this is where the similarities end and the fascinating diversity begins. Like tributaries of a river each artist branches off and travels in his/her own direction, carving a unique path through the art landscape. No two work at the same pace, approach themes the same way or even use a medium alike. The result is constant stream of ideas, comments and statements expressed through art which is unapologetically individual.

artist at work

Note To Selflessness

This individuality also means that an artist has to surrender to vulnerability. Each piece created contains a little piece of themselves that they selflessly share with us, the viewer. An artist has a very special strength in conviction to repeatedly release control of their unique perspective to an audience’s interpretation. It’s a particularly unusual aspect of the job of an artist that we don’t always remember when we’re so captivated by our own reaction to the work.

Art Is Big Business

This quote popped up on Instagram stories last week and it struck me that the word entrepreneur could easily be exchanged for artist. The similarities between the two are many. Both are driven to achieve a vision that challenges the norm. Both have a shared level of self-motivation to work tirelessly to follow that vision. For both, creativity plays a very large part. Artists aren’t often viewed as entrepreneurs. Perhaps that’s because of the environment in which they work is unlike the corporate setting one would expect to find an entrepreneur. Perhaps it’s the recreational aspect of where the product of their hard work appears. It’s fair to say though that artists should be considered as such considering the important role their endeavours play in our society, culture, health and happiness.

Are you an artist? Would you like to know more about how the commercial art sector in Ireland works? Check out 2020 Creative Careers or book an appointment at one of the Winter Creative Careers Clinics HERE

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  1. Really inspiring Sheelah..makes me want to go out and hunt for something unique!

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