If Anyone Can Do It, What's the Point?

"To fight the unbeatable foe."

The Man of La Mancha

"Somebody asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks, you make a pet out of it."

Charles Bukowski


I watched a terrific talk by the artist, Paul Klein (Click on name for video) on how to succeed as an artist. The information was practical and very encouraging. There are hundreds of opportunities now to join online courses which will explain to amateur artists how they might become professional (paid) artists.

These courses are, for the most part, also practical and encouraging. I would recommend them for anybody who would like to know how to move ahead in their art careers.

The romantic idea that you will be discovered in your garrett or studio by some keen, investigative curator is...romantic. I was going to write 'very very slim' or 'next to impossible' but settled instead for romantic.

Therein lies my problem. The practical approach to the art world by all intents and purposes feels formulaic and I want the fucking romance

You may indeed google numerous battle plans.

But, Mama, I don't wanna be a soldier.


Formulaic is not what I do.

I don't want no 'Hitch' tellin me how to bag a date.

I have an affliction. I take lessons. I make the moves. And even when successful I am inevitably drawn back into trusting the 'random chance or nothing' mode.

It's a fairy tale, I know that


"I am only trying to do what I can't do."

Lucien Freud

Now, the best 'How to be a Success' courses will make sure you understand that being 'unique', being 'different' is your strength and this strength should be used when 'creating' new ways in which you can promote yourself.

So it doesn't have to be formulaic, right?

"But it still feels formulaic," he whines.

If you really want to challenge expectations and notions of art you could begin by not advertising your own work. Not trying to sell it. No price tags. No artist statements. No proposals. No agents. No exhibitions. No performances. No strategies.

That would challenge my expecations of the art world.

But where does that leave you?

When asked what is the secret to success Woody Allen said,

"Show up."


Do all the stuff without doing it. Stop caring about the result. Make the things you choose to do, things which actually excite you.

Zvlášť Collective recently sent a proposal to a gallery. We had two nights to think of a group show idea. We had previously sent two painstakingly constructed proposals there which were turned down. We opted for 'Untitled'. We wrote in plain English that we like the space and didn't have a group show idea yet. That was basically the proposal. I can tell you, it felt so good to conceive it, write it and send it.

My 'Success' advice would sound like surfing instructor Koonu's advice to beginner Peter Brenner laying on his board on the beach in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Koonu -

I want you to ignore your instincts. I'm gonna be your instincts. Koonu will be your instincts.

Don't do anything. Don't try to surf, don't do it.

The less you do the more you do.

Let's see you pop up. Pop it up.

That's not it at all.

Do less. Get down.

Try less. Do it again.

Pop up.

No. Too slow. Do less.

Pop up.

Pop up.

You're doing too much.

Do less. Pop down.

Pop up now.

Stop. Get down.

Get down there.

Remember, don't do anything.

Nothing. Pop up.

Well, you....No, you gotta do more than that.

'Cause you're just laying right out.

It looks like you're boogie-boarding.

Just do it. Feel it. Pop up.

Yeah. That wasn't quite it,

but we're gonna figure it out, out there.

Lets go surfing, come on.

Everybody's learning how, come on and...

(Koonu sings) The weather outside is weather...

[Click anywhere on quote for original movie clip]

And so...

Keep it contradictory, keep it romantic or you are just working in crafts.


Hope you enjoyed all that. Follow me on Instagram, like me on Facebook and feel free to say 'Hi' to me on either one of those or even on the contact page of this very website.

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I am committed to making this blog as snappy, fun, experimental and accessible as I can. If any of what I post, paint, paste or print resonates with you, please forward to friends and colleagues with wild abandon!

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