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7 habits of successful artists

What makes some artists more successful than others? Talent, luck and hard work certainly play their part, but there are also specific habits that, as it turns out, are of great importance. We asked 11 artists to tell how they structure their lives — and thus explore together how everyday rituals, large and small, make them “the most-most”. Below are 12 habits that help these artists create the best work.

1. Live in airplane mode

Martha Rosler (Martha Rosler) calls this the “third space effect” – the working environment is so controlled that “the world shrinks to the bubble around you, and everyday life, the world around us and people no longer distract.” She gets this feeling at airports. “I wrote one of my most famous etudes at the airport of Atlanta in 1980 or 1981. I can often concentrate best at airports, but only if the waiting area is not crowded, or if I have the opportunity to sit at the table, ”she says.

Airplanes are an even better place to abstract. “Aircraft have the least distractions,” says artist Hank Willis Thomas. “Sometimes I imitate this state by disconnecting the telephone and the Internet at home.”

2. Pretend that you are “out of office”

Focusing on work is easy when everyone thinks you left town. “I’m just warning everyone by e-mail,” says artist George Condo. “I usually choose random dates for a possible return.” Indeed, as of August, Kondo’s autoresponder reports that he “left the studio before July 4th”.

3. Cheat background noise

Why does NPR (National Public Radio, the largest US state radio station) play around the clock in many studios? “Pictures are painted silently,” says artist and writer Walter Robinson. “This is not what you need to make up words, for example, a critical article, on which I also spent a lot of time.” Robinson himself prefers audiobooks or Bloomberg for NPR. (“Public Radio is intolerably” averaged “).

The sound of the radio can also contribute to Rosler’s “third space”. “I like to hear background noise or soundtrack,” she says. “I see it as a controlled noise curtain, isolating me from the surrounding uncontrolled universe.”

Other artists prefer music, even if they are not music lovers. Artist Angel Otero (Angel Otero) says that the music is “always” with him: “Jazz, salsa, bossa-nova, trip-hop, hip-hop – depends on the mood”. George Kondo listens to the same John Coltrane album, Live in Switzerland, every day. “I just go in and turn it on, and it sounds again and again. And I do the same thing the next day. ”

4. Follow the news – even when they are not happy

Even if the news is bad – especially when it is bad, artists can learn how to communicate with the media. “I found news that inspires my ability to manipulate our emotions by selectively presenting information. And seductive with its “fashionable” pitch, ”says Thomas Willis. “I am also inspired by our president and many of our leaders. They remind me why I do what I do and why I need to do and know more. ”

5. Administer in the morning

A common habit of many artists is to respond to emails in the morning in order to forget about them the whole next day. “I wake up early and respond to emails, but I try to devote the whole next day to more creative work,” says Shirin Neshat.

If you do not learn to separate these two aspects of the artist’s work, states Zoe Buckman, “the administrative side can overshadow the artistic practice itself.”

“This is my form of procrastination,” says Betty Tompkins. “I dedicate the morning to emails, walks, social networks and other domestic affairs.” But in the afternoon she can draw and draw.

6. Engage in “creative” sports

It has long been known that exercise is beneficial and intelligent. There is no reason why they, too, could not be more creative. “I practice Indian Clubs and Iranian Meels (fitness variations) several times a week,” says artist Billy Childish, “and I also pray and do yoga.”

“My biggest source of inspiration is African dances, I have been studying them for many years,” Neshat says. “It has become my secret ritual.”

7. Be confident and stand

Art is often work alone. In order to do it, you need a lot of self-discipline, because you need to plan your time yourself. “I work eight hours a day without a break. And if I don’t cope with the tasks set before me during this time, I finish my plans in the evening, ”says Liza Lou. “This is very similar to the life of an athlete: you train under any conditions.

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