1. Art requires time — there’s a reason it’s called a studio practice. Contrary to popular belief, moving to Bushwick, Brooklyn, this summer does not make you an artist. If in order to do this you have to share a space with five roommates and wait on tables, you will probably not make much art. What worked for me was spending five years building a body of work in a city where it was cheapest for me to live, and that allowed me the precious time and space I needed after grad school.

2. Learn to write well and get into the habit of systematically applying for every grant you can find. If you don’t get it, keep applying. I lived from grant money for four years when I first graduated.

3. Nobody reads artist’s statements. Learn to tell an interesting story about your work that people can relate to on a personal level.

4. Not every project will survive. Purge regularly, destroying is intimately connected to creating. This will save you time.

5. Edit privately. As much as I believe in stumbling, I also think nobody else needs to watch you do it.

6. When people say your work is good do two things. First, don’t believe them. Second, ask them, “Why”? If they can convince you of why they think your work is good, accept the compliment. If they can’t convince you (and most people can’t) dismiss it as superficial and recognize that most bad consensus is made by people simply repeating that they “like” something.

7. Don’t ever feel like you have to give anything up in order to be an artist. I had babies and made art and traveled and still have a million things I’d like to do.

8. You don’t need a lot of friends or curators or patrons or a huge following, just a few that really believe in you.

9. Remind yourself to be gracious to everyone, whether they can help you or not. It will draw people to you over and over again and help build trust in professional relationships.

10. And lastly, when other things in life get tough, when you’re going through family troubles, when you’re heartbroken, when you’re frustrated with money problems, focus on your work. It has saved me through every single difficult thing I have ever had to do, like a scaffolding that goes far beyond any traditional notions of a career.


Ikeda Manabu

A contemporary Japanese artist currently in residence at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI, Ikeda will work 8 hours a day for 3 years to complete this single 13 by 10 foot drawing.

“[H]e works so slowly that everything that he produces gets snapped up so quickly… There are collectors in Japan just waiting.“ – Russell Panczenko, director of the Chazen

read more here and visit the current exhibition

Artist Edward Steichen, born this day in 1879, led MoMA’s photography department from 1947 to 1962. 

[Edward Steichen. The Maypole (Empire State Building). 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 The Estate of Edward Steichen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]

Today is Ask A Curator day. We have contemporary art curators, and the foremost scholar of Grace Kelly’s fashion on deck to answer your questions. Tweet your questions using #AskACurator. More about the event here.

Grace Kelly’s Wedding Dress and Accessories, 1956, Designed by Helen Rose

Calling all college students! Are you looking for some exciting internship opportunities at the National Archives–but you aren’t in Washington, DC? Apply for a virtual internship from the Virtual Student Foreign Service, and be a part of these great projects:

The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) is an eInternship program for U.S. citizen students, college-level and above, to work on projects of global importance throughout the U.S. government. 

VSFS eInterns work remotely from their school, apartment, or other locations, reporting by email, phone, or video chat to supervisors at the Department of State, other domestic agencies, or U.S. diplomatic posts abroad. To learn more about VSFS and see a complete list of projects, visit


Listen: MoMA curator Jodi Hauptman talks to the Modern Art Notes podcast about Edgar Degas’s experimental monotypes, on view through July 24 in Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty.

[Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917). Forest in the Mountains (Forêt dans la montagne), c. 1890. The Museum of Modern Art, New York]