Young Artist, Mean World

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The art world is a rough place, which is the practical thought behind art schools offering courses on grant-writing and portfolio building.

Still, even with the presence of these utilitarian courses, when embarking on your formative artistic education, how can you conceive of the difficulties ahead? Not just the capitalistic ones, but the problems with making a painting in a time where theorists question its relevance, the extraneous use of the word “piece,” or the reputation and etiquette involved for the young artist. There’s a lot of stress to be had and these are some stories that assuage the art student’s confidence with a little bit of  honest cynicism.


Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →