I have recently been spending time with the book, Inside the Painter's Studio by artist Joe Fig. This is a remarkable book for not only does it share Figs incredible tiny sculptural recreations of contemporary artists working in their studios, but it is filled with comprehensive interviews with the artists he has used as subjects. These interviews provide us with a rare behind the scenes glimpse into the nuts and bolts of what these successful New York city artists working lives are actually like. Each interview is wrapped up with Fig asking the artist what advice they have to give the young artist starting out. Here is what Ryan McGinnes has to say;
I think there is something to be said for "stick-to-it-ness." You have got to be in it to win. And I think it is important to recognize if you are an artist or not. Build a life and a career that accommodates your being an artist instead of trying to be and artist. It's either something that's in you or it's not, and you cannot fake it. I would say to not worry about being an artist or trying to make art, just kind of make whatever you have to make, and then build a life around that. I think that was one of the biggest breakthroughs for me, just realizing...because I went through a period where I was just trying to make art, and consequently I made things that were really imitative. There was no real model or precedent for what I liked to do, but when you realize that you just have to do what you do and not worry about whether or not it fits the mold or a model of what art is, then you're truly making innovative or breakthrough-and at the very least-work.