What I Meant Was-
Sometimes, the art scene just gets me down.Early on, there was an intimidation factor. I was a country girl who somehow got turned on to Abstract Expressionism, and I was hungry for more. I felt conspicuous in galleries, and I didn't understand the banter, and none of my friends were into it. Love of art, painting in particular, propelled me over the hurdle.Then there was the inkling, uncomfortable, pestering feeling that none of it mattered. "Truth" and "beauty" were bantered about with nary a nod toward the blind romance necessary to sustain what felt like a conceit. After a 10-year journey, I've finally made my peace with that. (Art does matter. How that epiphany came to me in a hospital room doorway in the middle of the night is a story for another time.)But man oh man, do I still get sick of the Scene.The who's who, the posing, the cultivated weirdness, the inaccessible and oftentimes irrelevant goals of various art crowds. The institutional bloodsucking. The lack of heart. The laziness. The whining. My god, the whining.1. Money should fall from the sky. 2. They don't get it. (It's them, not me.) 3. I never get a show. 4. The commoners don't appreciate my art. 5. I have to work a job to make ends meet. 6. The newspaper didn't rain praise upon me.Of course, not all artists or art patrons are guilty (some are too busy working hard doing what they do), but moaning has become so endemic that I can't help but wonder if they're teaching Commercial Martyrdom 101 in art school these days. I know at times life is particularly chock full of hard knocks-for everyone. But why so much Strum und Drang coming from the art sector? Are some artists misguided into believing that, say, accountants are living the dream they've always had? In some ways, I do believe schools are partially to blame for the dearth of perspective. Taught about art history's greats and led to believe, because it improves the financial streams, that anyone can be a paradigm-shifting artist, many students come out of the insular art school womb to discover that the culture is indifferent. It's a shock to the system many graduates face, but the ego-building in fine art programs makes those BFAs particularly vulnerable.Not that I'm a wise old sage or anything, but I have learned a thing or two. In the interest of holiday giving, I'd like to share with you, dear reader, these obvious nuggets of experience: If they don't "get it," ask yourself why. (Are they dumb? drugged? or-egads-bored?) Buying art and appreciating art are not synonymous. Everyone has to work a job that entails tasks that don't necessarily make our souls sing. (Get over that one right now.) And, finally: Press releases, emails, phone calls, and face-to-face chats are invaluable. Know your art dealers, museum directors, gallery owners, established artists, and media contacts. I can't stress this enough.Last but not least, money does not fall out of the sky. Making a living making art is hard work, plain and simple.And that, for now, is the last of my whining.