Finding Balance – Defining Recognition for an Artist

Recognition for an Artist

Artists in the serious business of art often whine about the heavily uneven skew of recognition conferred on their contemporaries. It turns out that the connoisseurs of art mistakenly or otherwise draw a parallel between the amount of time taken to create a specific form of art and the gratitude that must follow. An interesting approach, especially because similar views endorsed by serious proponents of art reveal the hostility that appears to surround this time-led subject. It nearly challenges the brilliance and wisdom of artists who are capable of creating high quality work any faster. Some artists work slowly, others slower and some much slower. The artists in this group may take days, weeks and months to complete a piece of art. However, failing to catch up on quality has no association with the amount of time taken to finish a project.

I feel Art Making is an extremely personal subject. No artist need to conform to a certain dictated time frame to create a piece of art. If an artist is comfortable with ‘shelling out’ piece after piece, it becomes their personal approach of creating artworks that should not be misjudged. Similarly, artists who take months to create a piece of art shouldn’t be afraid either since the audience does not care how long it took to create the art but deeply care about the impact it induced in them. Sculpt, paint or create symphonies – An artist must do whatever he may, on their own terms. This is the way I view this subject.

Having said the above, it is equally interesting to understand the essence of artists who create works of art for the world to savor. I have personally met and followed artists who are passionate about their craft and deeply care about the emotions they evoke in their audiences. Art Recognition is the ultimate form of gratitude that must follow an artist. Needless to say that every artist aspires to be recognized, followed, admired and acknowledged for their works of art. It is however important to understand how each artist defines Recognition? As an artist, how do you know if you’ve received the recognition you are seeking? What does it mean for your art to be recognized? And do you think it is something that you must define for yourself?

Well, some artists feel “recognized” when curators express their desire to exhibit their works of art. This segment of artists’ particularly associates recognition with successfully marketing their art to collectors. They also feel that a steady online and media presence is a successful determinant of recognition. For them, being able to sell their art is the ultimate determinant of success and recognition. With the onset of technology and social media, their tribe is steadily growing that largely defines similar metrics to define success. At this point, it is interesting to delve deeper into their priorities as artists since it determines how they approach the business of art. Art is a coveted commodity and comes at a price. They feel that every professional artist harbors creative ambition and all rewards such as money or fame work strongly as extrinsic motivations. They reject public allegations that misjudge them as greedy artists, out right.

On the other hand, there’s an absolutely distinct segment that describe “being recognized” as an elevated state of being when acknowledged by their contemporaries and serious exponents of art. The only currency that matters to them is “how they feel” since they believe in delivering an emotional experience for the audience. These artists create for the sheer love of creation. While they are at work, they purely focus on the pursuit of excellence. The prospect of an award or critical acclaim is more important for them than any monetary gain that might come from the sale of the work.

I feel that for most artists, motivation must lie in a combination of these factors. Each artist is different and therefore each use different metric to define success and recognition. However, the underlying factor that defines recognition for an artist is largely determined by their personal motivation priorities. If artistic excellence is the overriding priority, marketing and business must be sacrificed to devote more time to work. However, if fame and recognition is the priority, online presence and networking will take precedence over gallery representations or shows. Fortunately, there is no universal definition of success that fits them all.