The Obedient Artist

This manifesto was inspired by a photograph of some graffiti, which I saw recently, on Facebook:

  • I will make only the art that I think will please other people.
  • I will change my art for anybody that demands that I do so.
  • I will give away my best work for free.
  • I will not stand in opposition to the theft of my work.
  • I will not expect to be valued or have my work seen as valuable.
  • I will unwaveringly and happily hand the lion’s share of any money my art does make to agents, shysters and middle men.
  • I will sincerely believe the judgement and damnation of every casual critic.
  • I will believe that everything I produce is worse than everybody else’s art.
  • I will resist change and make everything as conventionally as I possibly can.
  • I will refuse to entertain new ideas or learn new skills and techniques.
  • I will not complain that artists are considered to be second class citizens in society.
  • I will accept that being an artist is not a real job and that art is a waste of time.
  • I will fervently believe that the world is made by the moneyed and powerful, not by those that design and create.
  • I will tell everybody that things are just the way they are, through my art.
  • I will accept being cheated, deceived and taken advantage of, as simply the price you pay for wanting to live a creative life.
  • I will accept my art being corrupted and subverted, by business interests, for their own ends.
  • I will continue to suppress my own creative expression in order to earn my right to live on the planet on which I was born.
  • I will accept being swindled and robbed, in order to get exposure, as an artist.
  • I will make art only when I have permission to make it and only the art I have permission to make.
  • I will use my artistic talents to brainwash people into consuming endlessly and to crave false needs.
  • I will not use my art to stand up to authority or to criticise those in charge.
  • I will not share my work with anybody.
  • I will accept poverty, penury and starvation, because I am an artist.
  • I will let other people, who spend their days in other occupations, treat me with contempt.
  • I will not create a vision of a better future for all, and instead uphold the status quo as the best and only alternative available.
  • I will work longer hours for less acceptance, reward and encouragement.
  • I will accept the arbitrary and wanton destruction of my creations, by anybody that chooses to destroy them, on a whim.
  • I will use my artistic talents to help the media lie convincingly to the people and to blatantly manipulate and bamboozle them.
  • I will use my art to make the wealthiest wealthier.
  • I will accept that I have no inalienable right to be who I am or to express myself in an authentic way.
  • I will not use my art to protest about anything.
  • I will continue to believe I am powerless and that my ability to change anything is impossible.
  • I will continue to value war, waste, violence, censorship and coercion, above artistic freedom.
  • I will organise my artistic life around being an economically viable unit, at all times.
  • I will keep my unconventional, unorthodox ideas to myself and keep my mouth shut.
  • I will accept the corruption of the art establishment as the final arbiter of my artistic worth.
  • I will support whatever is popular, even though it might not be right.
  • I will sacrifice my originality and integrity to make art for anybody that will pay me any pittance at all.
  • I will keep my precious knowledge to myself and will not generously share it.
  • I will keep whoever grants me tenure, or patronage, in power.
  • I will be the artist that non-artists want me to be.

Is this you?


About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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