Hunter S. Hemingway
HOW TO CREATE A HALF BAKED SUCCESSFUL ARTIST
So you want to be an artist? Well, my little aspiring Picasso you must first follow this recipe, carefully culled from the artistic successes of yesteryear.
1) An overweening desire to be recognized for something other than the worthless creep that you are.
2)A healthy disregard for all traditional values. Talent and basic motor skills are not necessary.
4)Two agents, one for your work, the other to sell the rights to your story.
5)Large quantities of mind altering substances, though acute schizophrenia may be substituted
6)Weird sexual preferences. Learn to like members of the same sex, if you can't manage that, then be blatantly celibate ( which, incidentally is the last form of perversion recognized by the A.M.A.). However sex with large animals and small children is out of the question. There are no completely straight men or women in Hollywood. So learn to blow it or blow it.
First take the drugs in various combinations (skip this step if you are already crazy) and as often as you are conscious. Stop when the voices in your head tell you to kill. This will ensure that your perspective is different from the common masses or common sense for that matter. Remember "Art" is the art of convincing a buyer that he or she is receiving a unique perspective of the universe. The more you charge for this the more valuable you become. Which brings us to the next step.
Secondly, charge as much as the market will bear. If I took my daughter's doodlings to the gallery and said I would like six bucks in order for her to buy more finger paints. They would though me out on my ear. If I took the same pieces in and said they were Rothkos and I might consider six hundred thousand for the lot, I would be entertained like a king.
This is the stage when you must exercise your weird sexual preferences to the maximum. Get your publicist and one of the agents, take some paint spatterings or loud noises or whatever medium you distort and throw them all together in a well publicized first showing or debut performance. A few optional gratuitously shocking acts may be added to the mixture at this point. Burning bibles or painting with bat's blood are always guaranteed to garner critical acclaim. Drop names profligately, if you can't think of any, be an anonymous name dropper. For example a line like "I know someone who is so big in the underground art market, that if I so much as uttered their name three large black men would kill me ritualistically." can go a long way to establishing one's credibility as a celebrity.
Don't even think of being modest until you get to step four. At this point if you say anything in the least bit negative about yourself you run the risk of being believed. Don't get discouraged if at first you don't succeed, just keep on trying. If all else fails become a martyr for your art, that always works. Who would have heard of Horst Wessel if he hadn't died? An ear instead of suicide can in some cases can clinch success and if you're a rock musician you probably won't need it anyway.
The third step is to consolidate your success. Once you steal or stumble upon a style that sells, work it to death. Then undergo an artistic metamorphosis in some remote corner of the earth. This would seem to be the technique the Beatles followed with Maharishi and Gauguin with his bare breasted Polenishis. These sterling examples of success point out the necessity for ingredient number two. Gauguin left his family for his art and libido, while the Rolling Stones have deserted countless more casual acquaintances over the years. On the subject of Mick Jagger a word of warning may be in order here. Don't overdo ingredient number seven or you will wind up winning Don Knotts look-alike contests
As for the people you stepped on to get to the top just keep on stepping on them. After all what are fans for? The war to keep them waiting should be waged fearlessly. Whether or not you worth waiting for, you must maintain the illusion that you are.
This recipe if followed dutifully, results in one self serving artistic success and more of the same for the rest of us.
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