How to Be an Artist
About the Series

If anyone could teach us how to pursue the life and work of an artist, it would be the icons of art history. The articles above brim with pioneering artists’ wisdom, gleaned from the writings and interviews they left behind. Insights range from Georgia O’Keeffe’s headstrong advice on avoiding trends and embracing organization to Paul Klee’s playful, practical lesson plans from the Bauhaus. Each artist offers unique answers to what it takes to pursue such a career, and what it means to live such an all-consuming, creative life. “The notion that you can make an artist overnight, that there is nothing but genius, and a dash of temperament in artistic success is a fallacy,” said a 40-year-old O’Keeffe in 1928. Great artists, she continued, “have to be trained…in the hard school of experience.”