The Art of Art: Advice for Emerging Creatives
The name "Memoirs of a Student Leader" can often be a little misleading; we are not solely a community of student government alumni. The definitions of "students" and "leaders" recognized by this site incorporate a wide array of talents, outlooks, and experiences. It's our desire to bring them all together in crafting a singular masterpiece. Our guest this week is no stranger to such tasks. As a true modern day Renaissance man living out his dreams in Italy, Alexander Marco Salazar is a rising force in the art world. Not only are his pieces stunningly brilliant, but they capture the stories experiences of his subjects that encapsulate the heart beneath the art. Whether you're seeking to get your start in the art world, or simply navigate the rest of life, his advice is powerfully pertinent.
Everyday is an adventure working as a visual artist and piano composer; I have found a career that allows me to fully express myself and that presents new challenges to solve everyday. For three years, I’ve had the privilege to exhibit my artwork internationally in a wide range of venues. However, it wasn’t all roses and pedals starting off; it took a lot of hard work to get where I am today. Here is some advice that helped me grow as an artist and achieve success in the art world:
Michelangelo, Picasso, and Gerhard Richter did not become master artists overnight. Take the time to find your voice, perfect your technique, grow as an individual, and things will fall into place. Over the past three years working as an artist, I’ve faced periods of success and struggle. In those down moments in particular, I’ve questioned whether I should continue to create. Don’t give up so easily! It is these times of struggle that allow you to grow as an artist.
Never stop learning
- Throughout life you are in perpetual transformation. You are never the same person, and your artwork should reflect upon that. Never stop learning, never stop trying to be a better artist, never think that you have reached your peak. The moment you think there is nothing more to explore is the moment your artwork becomes stagnant and eventually irrelevant.
Share your work and ideas on social media
- A great way to spread your ideas and share your name with the world is through social media. Make a Facebook art page, post your progress on Instagram. It is a simple way to get more exposure, sell your work, and get those oh-so-important connections.
Connections, connections, connections
- One of the most important tools to get your artwork in museums and galleries are your connections. Gallerists and exhibitors are less likely to display your work if they do not know you. All of my major exhibitions have been realized via a friend of a friend. Go to art exhibitions, make friends with other artists, contact that friend of a friend that is an art gallerist. Sooner than later you will have filled your art CV with many interesting venues, and exhibiting your work will perpetually become easier.
Never pay to exhibit
- Finding your first venues to hang your art is challenging, and there are many greedy people in the world who will exploit young artists who are desperate to have an exhibition. Never pay to have an art show! Gallerists should display your work because they genuinely like it. Usually, when you sell your artwork in a gallery, the gallerists will take a percentage of what you sold (more or less 40%), but if they ask for a rental fee for the space, they are just in it for the money, and will not help you advance in the art world.
- Don’t make art simply to sell. Art is a reflection of who you are as a person. Make artwork that pertains to your passions and thoughts; avoid making artwork that you think will sell more. In my experience, the artwork that I believed to be more commercial sold less than my artwork that was more sentimental/personal. Simply be yourself, and your ideas with resonate with those likeminded.
-Alexander Marco Salazar
This post has been edited for grammar. All other content remains the original work of the author.