shameless plugging. it’s all the rage.

So, as is usual, I’m running around completely late because there’s a zillion and five things that need to get done before I sit before my computer and type furiously for y’all.


I had a Marathon for Literature meeting this morning (of which y’all will be hearing more about in the coming weeks). <–See how I did that?  Shameless, shamelss squid.


*waves tentacles* Come to the Marathon.  Donate to the Marathon.  Sponsor a reader for the Marathon.  You know you want too.  All the cool kids are doing it.


*is ashamed at shameless plugging*  But it’s so fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!


*ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuns away*


Sorry ’bout that.  That’s the sleep dep speaking.






When I left y’all on Sunday, I had proposed a couple of questions.

But, a final thought/question:  what do y’all think the artist’s persona has been and is becoming and how has this been fostered/rejected by society?

Also, what are some stereotypes of The Artist?


It used to be that artists were eccentrics (occasionally stark-staring mad–Hi Vincent!  I see you over in the corner with Theo.), but they were still expected to (more or less) conform to deadlines, communicate well, run their workshops, and keep their patrons not-angry.


More or less.  There’s only so much you can do sometimes.


Now, we have the artist as flake–if not a full-on artist as elitist hipster correspondence.  If we’re really unlucky, artists (like chefs used to be) are social deviants who are artists because they can’t be anything else, because they are so far outside of what is socially acceptable that being an artist is the only way that they can have some position in society.


*so totally trying not to over-identify here*


There’s this weird idolization of artists, but it’s also paired with an even odder not-quite anxiety.


I don’t know.  I’m just thinking out loud here, ya know?


We have these stereotypes of artists:  artists are disorganized, flaky, academically deficient (Okay, I totally blow this one out of the water and most of the artists I went to school do too.  We were all Honor’s Students.), depressed, have addictive personalities, schizo-typal (There was a study and everything.), can’t really communicate in anyway other than our art, yada, yada, yada.


Seriously, what’s with all of that?  I’ve know a bunch of artists, and while occasionally true, these kinds of stereotypes are largely inaccurate.


Honestly, it seems like, when these stereotypes hold true, it’s because someone took them too much to heart and decided it was a good way to get out of doing things they didn’t like (e.g., Maths for a lot of artists).


*head on tentacle* I think it’s kinda silly that this artist paradigm exists (And what’s the first thing that we all learned about paradigms?  They are made to be deconstructed.), and even sillier that we all seem to get sucked into them sometimes.


I know I do on occassion.  I don’t want to, but I do.


So, what do you think Interwebs?  Do artists=the stereotypes, or all they all hype and an extension of anxiety?



    1. Stereotypes are easy code for people who don’t wish to understand anything or to think for themselves. Artists are especially susceptible to them now because of their marginalized place in late capitalism. One only has to listen to any conservative blathering about “obscene” art to realize how far the artist’s place in western society has fallen. There certainly is a certain amount of hype that artists themselves create in their public personae, which, to my mind is almost a form of despair (i.e. people are going to think I’m nuts and flaky anyway, so I might as well play up to it). I’m not really sure what else to add, other than perhaps one of post-post modernism’s (or whatever it’s going to be called) tasks will be to reclaim the artist’s rightful place as an important cultural producer.


  1. As shown by my previous tiny little post, I totally abuse the stereotype of not being able to write or converse… an being a total flake and not remembering that this is open to the world to discuss.

    Also grew up not being told I was smart or even encouraged to learn and think for myself. But that’s what I get for having a art-school-drop-out for a mother who fits the artist stereotypes to a ‘T’ without the art making… because ya know, ‘oh woe is me having a kid and two craptastic marriages has sapped my creative spirit’ is a good reason to not make art and stay in bed all day.

    So what do I go and do? Go to art school, take all the classes I want to take, get pissed off at the faculty when they tell me I’m not an artist but a craftsperson, an ditch class and hide in the library and read about electronics and math and incorporate them into my art. Nope. Not smart at all…..

    Hi, my name is Elain and I struggle with artist stereotypes… I think I’m getting better. Sometimes. Maybe.


  2. Thank you both for your thoughts!

    I’m honestly not certain that artists have ever really had a “prized” position in the West–maybe less problematized–since we’ve almost always been seen as deviants in some way.

    Those stereotypes are really hard, ‘Lain. It’s just as hard on the other side of that divide as someone who doesn’t fit into more of the artist stereotypes.

    Can we write up some new stereotypes?


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