Avoid plexiglas and brush your teeth

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Sometimes people wait for the good ideas, but good ideas aren’t the only things that produce good art. Sometimes, just picking up a bad idea and seeing how it works can produce something of value. So if you’re sitting around waiting for inspiration or a foolproof idea, you’re losing a lot of time.

So many young artists I meet don’t seem to have understood that they’re going to spend their whole lives as artists. They’re in a hurry because they feel that if they’re not a success right out of the gate they’re going to be a lifelong failure. I encourage you to think in a much longer arc, to take it easy and do it for the long haul—not to have a preconceived idea of what success is in relation to a durational framework. Some artists are successful early on, others later.

Sometimes students also have misconceptions about what success is, mistaking the social aspects associated with success for actually making a successful artwork. To have a gallery, to have a big studio, and to make money isn’t necessarily to make good art. Don’t confuse those two things. I encourage you to think more historically and consider what your contribution to art could be, not about what your art practice can bring you in terms of material things.
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Christopher Williams, “Avoid Plexiglas and Brush Your Teeth: Christopher Williams on How to Excel as an Artist”.
In Artspace: http://www.artspace.com/magazine/news_events/book_report/christopher-williams-akademie-x-excerpt-53592

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