New York, October 19, 2008

Dear Artist,

You have come a long way since your struggling years as an ambitious young artist yearning for a break in the art world. Now that you enjoy gallery representation, have made a name for yourself, and can secure enough sales to sustain you, you may think that you have truly made it.

Think again. Regardless of your accomplishments, your life will always depend on a highly volatile art market. And no matter how advanced you are in your career, you will forever be at the mercy of art critics, dealers, and collectors. It is time that you declare your independence. There is only one smart way for you to do this: give up your career as a professional artist and become an amateur.

Amateurs have it easy. They don't need to answer back to anyone, can do as they please, and make art only when they feel like it. Professional artists, by contrast, are under constant pressure to produce - a condition that is bound to negatively affect their creative output and wreak havoc on their hearts, livers, and libido. Amateurs may not be able to devote as much time to their art as professionals, but when they do get around to it, they do so with enthusiasm - unlike professional artists who often suffer from the relentless demands of their calling. Amateurs may also never see any revenue from their art, but in return they don't need to attend to the exhausting business of art like the professionals. For example, amateurs don't need to show up at crowded art openings and schmooze with moody critics, self-important curators, and jaded gallery owners. They don't need to keep up with the latest trends, remember countless names and faces, or maintain a public image. Finally, amateurs won't ever have to compete with friends and are blissfully immune to the hypocrisies of the contemporary art world.

Of course, your new life as an amateur will call for some practical adjustments. You will need to find a modest job with a regular paycheck. This shouldn't be too difficult: there are plenty of employment opportunities out there once you lower your standards. Consider working as a salesperson, barista, cab driver, museum guard - whatever suits your personality best. Next, you should move to the suburbs, where Sundays are laid-back and easy-going so you can indulge in your creative outlet undisturbed and at peace with the world.

This may all seem a radical departure from your previous life, but consider the rewards: No more doubting your own talent! No more artistic ambition other than private self-fulfillment! You will finally be a dignified member of society, admired for your creativity by colleagues, friends, and relatives alike.

Leave behind the hassle of your artistic career and join the passionate and carefree world of the amateur!


Filip Noterdaeme
Director, HOMU