Three things. Wherever you end up, have an introduction to an/some art critics in that city/country, and immediately go enlist their support to help you enter the art world there. You'll usually get the contact from another art critic e.g. if you're on good terms with one where you are now, then ask her/him if they know any critics where you intend to go. The keyword here is "critic" (not "enter" the artworld - which you'll do anyway).
Secondly, don't leave without doing a show first. Arrive at your new destination with a well-documented package of your work and the exhibition just completed. Your goal should be to convince someone to give you exhibition space for your next series of work (which will be ready in 12 months).
Thirdly, you should have a plan of action (bullet points, milestones and a deadline), and a backup plan in case the first one doesn't work out. Whatever you do - DON'T DRIFT! Keep concentrated on your goal.
And if you don't have a goal - then you're not ready to go yet.
Hello Again Hilary... good to see you're doing well and things are working out there in Belgium. Why not check out Fred Michiels while you're there? (fredmichiels.com - some stuff of his is here on artprocess)
Best wishes for success with your work and career!
So here I am in Paris. No critics, never met one in my life. Certainly not a real one anyway. What do they look like?
I am painting a lot. Perhaps not sticking to the one style at all but a lot. I don't have a plan. I don't know what is possible in fact. What should I aim for?
I know that these questions seem rather naive but then I am. I know nothing about the art world when it comes down to brass tacks. I know dealers and other artists and I act on the advice that I receive but it really doesn't work. So far most have told me to enter art fairs. Not impressed with the results so far and it's very expensive.
No one, not even the critics have suggested that I speak to or look for an art critic to advise me. The only person that has been brave and given me decent advice is an ex-illustrator who is now a publisher and he's been really straight about what he thinks I should do. He has a particular attitude to style though which I think is a reflection of his experience as an illustrator and although I find it suspicious I took his advice with a pinch of salt and added in my own elements. Although it results in a slightly formulaic working method I found it to be deeply satisfying and at the last art fair which I did people commented on the particular painting which I had done that way and suggested that it really suited me.
In Ireland, where I come from, art critics are not people that I would trust. The ones that I have read have seemed deeply shallow and suspiciously condescending towards all but a very few. So what is your definition of an art critic and if you were one, what would you say of my work.
So as not to get hung up too much on the idea of style, I'd like to suggest that you take just one of those latest paintings, and make it the beginning of a series based purely on that one piece, developing whatever theme(s) interest you most about the work.
You should then be in a position to produce a body of works that "evolve" from the chosen painting into something completely different - yet retaining a thread of logic between each stage. Include drawings, 3-dimensional works, music, video, whatever in your research. Keep taking notes, record your ideas, and create a world of your own within this activity. Such is the traditional approach we learn in art school, and what most critics expect to be confronted with when viewing an artist's work.
Then again any critics I've known were much more desperate to become famous than artists I know, so if you're willing to take that route, be aware you're the vehicle the critic wants to ride on, in order to make his name.
By the way, this advice is coming from a confirmed and certified loser painter, to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
I like Hillel's words he wrote someplace where he says if the world ignores us, we must therefore celebrate ourselves. I'm not really sure what he means by this as the path we tend to tread, I think, lies somewhere between the heroic and the ridiculous. As fellow Irishman (and like you, a Paris resident) Samuel Beckett said:
JP, those are wise words from a wise man, I particularly like when you quote Hillel because the conversation sounds so Talmudic. The words attributed to me seem familiar but I can't remember where or in what context I wrote them but I believe they did have to do with what I saw as a bit of a new direction for Art Process.
If some of those ideas could be implemented and people become more interactive on this site Tom might get the critical piece about his work from one of his peers that he's seeking. Take a renewed look at that Art Process New Directions topic. It's time to attempt to change the culture here on AP, at very least give it one last push.
As for your final quote from Beckett, I couldn't agree more.
The employers for whom I spend my time figuratively washing dishes, have decided yet again it's time to turn everything upside down (i.e. reorganize) and so even though I'm still employed in a day job, I've been assigned to do duties completely different to what I've become used to. Unfortunately, I know next-to-nothing about what I'm expected to do now, therefore I see some months of re-adjustment as I learn to do what's now expected of me. This means I'll have little or no time to spend working on artprocess - which disappoints me somewhat, as I see the site being used less and less, and it probably needs some dedicated development to attract back some interesting contributors. Hillel, I always remember your line of this being a loser activity, but you still decided it was worth adding a contribution or two to help out. In the end, you turned out to be the mainstay of the site. Right now I wonder if it's really worthwhile pushing this website along any more, as in the end it's not attracted much interest amongst our fellow artists out there. As you mention, much better sites for artist exposure exist now, and so it's probably time to call it a day for the artprocess project, and put it down to yet another loser adventure, interesting as it was, while it lasted?