Nothing gives me the chills more than hearing the sentence "working on my personal brand." There's something so cold about it. So removed. So weird.
I honestly have no idea what the fuck I'm doing. I'm so prolific it borders on ridiculous, but there's no real motivation behind my work other than I have to do it or I'll go crazy. Maybe I already am crazy! (Crazy is relative, anyway.)
Part of me always has this niggling feeling that says "Give it a rest, Alice, you're bombarding people with way too much." Organising my portfolio has been a nightmare. I don't know what to do about it. It's gargantuan. I'm all over the map - some days I take pictures, some days I draw, some days I write music, some days I dress up in weird clothes and perform somewhere.
Why is being overly prolific something I keep considering a problem? I don't want to. I think it centres around that term, "personal brand." Art school brainwashes us into thinking that we have to cater our creativity to a marketable source. Social media brainwashes us into checking our production - you don't want to annoy people with bombarding them with information, after all. You have to stagger your attention!
Somehow we tame our brains so we fit into that great zoo of consumer marketing - we must rein it in to fit the tastes of the public now, instead of generating those tastes. It's why Hollywood is so stagnant! There's no shortage of talented, innovative movie makers out there, but they just keep remaking sure things, knowing people like the security of the familiar. Our society is currently a cultural ouroboros, devouring the regurgitated.
It's time for new things to happen. Or at the very least, fresh views. I don't think art school is training anyone for this. You want to be an artist? DON'T FUCKING GO TO ART SCHOOL! Just make shit.
I have zero interest in catering to anyone who wants to mould me into their vision of a "professional." I've been there. It sucks.
Now I just want to make art, be reasonably paid for it, and not have to do it for an agenda other than me making it. We've been taught to consider this naïveté and immaturity as an artist. We're taught to be defensive about creativity; to intellectualise our process. What is the fucking point? Who are we impressing? I don't feel like impressing anyone anymore except myself. When you fall into a trap of creating to impress someone, you limit your real potential.
There's a marked difference between hanging work in a gallery, hoping some nice rich person might purchase our work for their home....and shedding all personal expression for the vision of a corporation...or worse, artists viewing themselves as mini-corporations. When an artist steps out of themselves and morphs into a "brand," they are stripping away their soul.
Artists have always depended on the kindness of patrons. I certainly wouldn't balk at the attention and monetary exchange of someone who genuinely liked what I do just for the sake of liking it. I wouldn't balk at a corporation using my vision to sell something, if I agreed with their standards and could sleep at night promoting it. I'm not an idiot! But to shed your heart in the name of business is a mistake. Keep a balance. Appreciate yourself, and appreciate what opportunities lie ahead. As soon as you trademark a concept, a little piece of you dies.
That said, WHO WANTS TO BUY MY SHIT?