A couple of years ago, Damien Hirst shocked the art world by painting his own canvases.
Much like another of his contemporaries, Jeff Koons, Hirst is quite infamous for hiring teams of artists to work on his collections of art under his supervision.
On the other hand, Vincent van Gogh, universally acclaimed as one of the greatest artists of all time, sold only a few paintings while he was alive. Even though a prolific artist, he only found fame after his death.
The stereotype of the starving artist is romanticized to this day. The artist as a solitary genius, the creator of beauty so sacred that we can’t help but love and fear at the same time.
“He’s a true artist,” we find ourselves saying, and it’s these words that conjure up the vision of someone whose inexorable destiny has always been to create, even at the expense of having to endure a lifetime of poverty and frustration and social alienation...
The true artist is often misunderstood. They're utterly and inconsolably alone with their art. They hide behind the walls of their studios and offices, refusing any sort of contact with the outside world.
But times are changing.
In the past, becoming a successful artist was often determined by the value assigned by art critics and collectors, the so-called gatekeepers. Nowadays, as the gatekeepers are no longer in power, the artist is slowly becoming a creative entrepreneur.
The artpreneur has to design an online brand, they have to build an online presence, and they have to be up to date with the latest social media marketing trends and platforms.
In other words, the modern artist is an influencer first, an entrepreneur second, and lastly, an artist.
It's not enough to pour your heart into a piece of art. You've got to craft a story around it, and you've got to provide enough social proof to attract potential buyers.