This is what I was called the other day by someone in relation to work and ambitions. What he meant was he found I do not boast or put myself forward really strongly, however, when it comes to doing what I want to, I go ahead and do it. Surprisingly, even though we have not known each other for that long, he has made a rather accurate character judgement of me.
I believe your attitude towards your work and working in general is crucial in art and creative industries. The insane competition for jobs for a most often pisstake of a pay means that you really have to want to do what you do, and most importantly, you actually have to think you are good at it.
Due to the circles I move around in, almost everyone I know is an artist or other creative, which gives me an insight to the main personality types that are the most common among this particular group of people. There are obviously those that we all know and think of when someone mentions the word `artist`. They are likely to sport some sort of `quirky outfit`, be a bit egotistical and think their work has historic significance. This might be a cliché, but clichés live and walk among us. A lot of people find these artists annoying, for all good reasons, but those not extensively familiar with the art world tend to not know about the other type of artists, who are in fact, the actual worst: the negative ones.
A number of times I have encountered people who do art, of any branch, visual, acoustic or verbal, who are the living-breathing examples of humblebragging all their lives. If you are a person who meets artists often, the following situation probably has happened to you a few times: you meet up with someone for the first time who does some sort of art, so obviously, the conversation quickly leads to discussing their work. Said artist bursts in continuous fits of nervous giggles, apologising that what they have on them to show you at the moment is really shit. They proceed to pull their phones out and walk you through their entire portfolio, every single piece of work they have ever done in their lives, and explain you in great detail, accompanied by theatrical hand gestures and facial expressions, that this is all really embarrassing, oh my god, they cannot believe they have produced this particular piece of work themselves and thought it was any good. Oh my god, so embarrassing.
What is in fact embarrassing though, is the behaviour of these artists. In all honesty I have to confess, there are no people I find more annoying. The creative industries are overloaded with wannabees and bored privileged kids, so if you think your work is shit, you`d better fuck off to do something else. I am not saying you have to think your work is the best ever – as, for example, Tracey Emin argues – but you will have to be able to confidently stand out and say, yes, my work is good enough for intelligent people to be consumed. If you don`t genuinely believe your work is worth a penny or a few seconds from someone else`s life, you have no right to wish for anyone to give a shit.