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Monthly Archives: November 2014

You’re An Artist When You Say You Are.

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Hello there, lovely backers! We’ve been running around like mad between New York, Glasgow, and London, catching up with artists and comic book conventions and art galleries, and somehow between all the chaos, we managed to squeeze in a few extra secret art projects.

One of these secret art projects is a book trailer for our incredible executive producer, Amanda Palmer. Her book The Art of Asking came out this week, and it’s amazing.

We managed to sit down and and briefly interview Amanda for Temple of Art, in the middle of her interview about the book with Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova— both of which we then used to turn into a trailer for the Art of Asking, filmed in New York, London, Glasgow, & Iceland.

Here’s the trailer (featuring Temple of Art’s Mark Buckingham— see if you can spot him!):

Several of the artists we interviewed for Temple of Art discussed their own version of The Fraud Police— the invisible voice inside your head that tells you you’re not a real artist.

Amanda sums this up amazingly in her book, while taking a long walk through all the ingredients in her life that enabled her to chase her art.

Here’s her take on being a “real artist”:

I’ve had a problem feeling real all my life. 

I didn’t know until recently how absolutely universal that feeling is. For a long time, I thought I was alone. Psychologists have a term for it: imposter syndrome. But before I knew that phrase existed, I coined my own: The Fraud Police.

The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of “real” grown- ups who you believe— at some subconscious level— are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:

We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY. 

I mentioned The Fraud Police during a commencement speech I recently gave at an arts college, and I asked the adults in the room, including the faculty, to raise their hands if they’d ever had this feeling. I don’t think a single hand stayed down. 

People working in the arts engage in street combat with The Fraud Police on a daily basis, because much of our work is new and not readily or conventionally categorized. When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it. 

There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.

We’ve read the book and recommend it immensely— and as an aside, Amanda’s publisher is just exiting a dispute with Amazon.com, which meant her book was difficult to purchase until this week. Amanda (and Neil Gaiman, on his blog) sent out an ask: if the book or trailer above interests you, please pick up the book this week. If you read it and like it, tell your friends! The first week of book sales matter, and we at Temple of Art definitely think this a book worth sharing.

You can buy the book at any of the links on Amanda’s site, or on Amazon.

Defeating the fraud police one piece of art at a time,
The Temple of Art Team

Temple of Art, Allan Amato, Dave Mckean (Mirror Mask, Sandman), Barron Storey (Sandman:Endless Nights, Marat-Sade Journals), Kent Williams (Kent Williams:Ophthalm, The Fountain), Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Batman-End Game), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin, The New Mutants), Grant Morrison (Batman:Arkham Asylum, The Filth, Happy), Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Tank Girl), Stephanie Inagaki, Kozyndan, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Megan Hutchinson, Denys Cowan, Mark Buckingham, JAW Cooper, Junko Mizuno, Roman Dirge, Brian Thies, Christine Wu, Hueman, Jasmine Worth, Satine Phoenix, Matthew Levin, Soey Milk, Rovina Cai