Friday, February 29, 2008


pen and ink with gold leaf on paper

dimensions unknown

I have been sitting here and browsing around some art articles online, specifically, advices on how to improve more of what I do. And then I bumped into this “Do or Die List for Artists”. It brought me to thinking, what sort of tips can I give? Hmm, reviewing my life, I think I can add some more into this:

Do or Die List for Artists:

- Be good to your landlady/lord. I remember reading in an interview that during the salad days of Pacita Abad and her husband, they’d give her works to their landlady for months when they can’t pay rent. My own landlady has a wall filled with my works. Maybe if she decides to exhibit them someday, it’ll be called “For Rent”.

- Have friends whose mothers/fathers/lovers love to cook. It helps during times when your own refrigerator only has a jug of water in it.

- Make sure you have a big window in your apartment or studio. My neighbors call me “Ang Lalaki sa Bintana”, I sit by my window when I find my mind in a slump. I get my “inspirations” from the street below which is alive 24/7. It also helps in saving on my electric bill.

- Have rich friends or friends who have rich friends. Art is expensive. Most of the time, well, always, only those with disposable income can really afford them. When exhibiting, invite all your friends and have them bring their checkbooks.

- Have lots of friends. They’re cushions when tough days come around.

- Be on the web. It expands your network, you'd learn what's happening out there, and you'd realize that your studio isn’t the only world that exists.

- Invest on the best quality art material. They’re quite expensive and punches a big hole on ones wallet. Think about it, collectors wouldn’t want to buy artworks that won’t last for just a few years. It’s like when you buy a t-shirt. If it’s the cheap kind, chances are after a few times of wearing, it’ll end up in a donation box or as a rag to wipe the oven top. I’d hate the thought that my drawings would end up as somebody’s place mat.

- When friends visit you, have them buy half-gallon ice creams. I find those ice cream containers useful for storing my various art material knick-knacks.

- You won’t be discovered. You’re not the next child prodigy. No gallery would just come knocking on your door and say, “Hey, we’re looking for the next big thing and it’s you.” It doesn’t happen that way. It only happens once in every 1 million. The rest of the 999,999 just simply have to work hard on it.

- And last, clip and clean your fingernails and toenails. Brush your hair. Take a regular bath and wear laundered clothes, not those t-shirts that would seem it can already walk on its own and stink like… like a sewer rat used it as toilet. I know exactly the feeling when one is into art and there’s so much passion involved in creating it that you forget everything around you except for that piece of yellow thing that doesn't seem right. You eventually get back to your senses and it’s no excuse to forget simple rules of hygiene. A bar of soap doesn't cost more than a few bucks.


rolly said...

Great tips. I know these comes along after well earned lessons from experience. Why have I not thought about those ice cream containers?

AS regards friends, I have plenty of them, kaya lang karamihan, mahilig magpagawa ng libre. hahaha

palma tayona said...

@ rolly: i particularly like those selecta ice cream containers. they look nice when stacked together. :-)

Coldman said...

kailan mo ko bibilhan ng ice cream?

palma tayona said...

@ coldman : pag-uwi mo ng pilipinas. you can pick the flavor.

Coldman said...

sige daan ako sa gallery mo, pag uwi ko. Magugulat ka na lang kung sasabihin kong- wala bang ice cream? lol

palma tayona said...

@ coldman (again): good luck then. :-) i rarely go out.

E said...

- And last, clip and clean your fingernails and toenails. Brush your hair.

You do this huh?! Cheers!!!

palma tayona said...

@ king: i clip and clean my nails, yes. unfortunately, i have no hair to brush. :-)

Mari said...

That's better if you have no hair to brush. It would just need to be wiped clean. LOL While those with a lot of hair...ugh. It would stink if not washed for a few days. LOL

I have Pinoy friends, but mostly they want paintings for free. LOL I do give them as birthday presents.

Unknown said...

great tips! the last tip made me laugh out loud! i have a cousin who used to play in a rock band in his younger days...he loved wearing black shirts that smelled like Pasig River in the height of summer, even his dog couldn't stand it! when we complained that he stinks, he would grow serious and tell us that he's an artist! LOL i'm glad he rediscovered soap and shampoo in his 'old' age! :D

Nance said...

he he he ... the last tip is a gem.

Kiks said...

ill brush something else then.. teehee.

but yeah, those selecta cans are so nice to collect. and friends with cooks for mothers and, if i may add, sexybodies for brothers.

nga pala, me arce dairy pa ba?

palma tayona said...

@ mari: being an artist, giving out artworks for birthdays is the cheapest gift for me.

@ luna: i am glad your cousin made that re-dsicovery.

@ nance: i was afraid i'd get flak for what i wrote.

@ kik: yes!!! arce dairy is still around. :-) my favorite is vanilla. yummy...

Ebb Tide said...

Like your pen and ink drawing. Very details and meticulously done.
Among your artist tips, I like being connected to money-eyed people because they are the ones who collect and buy art works. But I don't discrimate people who couldn't afford art. When I feel someone is really sincere and like my art work I melt. One lady liked my San Francisco painting and she didn't have a deep pocket. So I discounted the painting and let her pay in installmennt. In making others happy, I was more than happy.

the amateur ear said...

Gusto ko na magkadisposable income!!!

O maging landlord ng mga artists!

palma tayona said...

@ failed: or you can settle on buying ice cream in those nice containers. :-)

palma tayona said...

@ ebb: in my case, i encourage an installment plan basis. :-)