You need to ask yourself what art “is”.

If your answer is something like, “art is a painting or a sculpture” you’re completely fucking lost.

If your answer is, “art is an object that embodies emotion and elevates a space” you’re getting closer.

What art really is, is a connection to something beyond the mundane.

It’s not just the painting, installation or photograph produced by the artist – those things are sign posts and that point TOWARDS what art is in a very specific way. They’re sigils that, if done well, embody a deeper level of value.

The most successful artists today are the ones who understand that they are the prophets of a meaningful style and ethos. A vibe that people feel and a story they desire to be part of. Their work encapsulates this ethos and distills its spirit, like an antenna that simultaneously transmits emotion and ideas, while drawing attention towards it.

Art is a luxury brand, even if yours doesn’t carry a heavy-weight price tag – if all a person is purchasing from you is a pretty object to hang on their wall then they’d be better off driving down the street to Bed, Bath and Beyond and pick up another giant cheaply made print of that bridge in Amsterdam with the bicycle chained to the fence. To be excellent art it must be more than just an object. It must be a doorway or a window that accesses a greater sense of connection.

Think of the reverence brands like Lamborghini, Rolex and others garner. An almost religious level of devotion and desire. Sure, you can argue with me – YOU don’t care about that over-priced stuff, right? Perhaps not, but I guarantee there is something that moves you in that way. I’ve literally stood next to people drooling over something amazing – a painting, a statue, a car, a house – while only just weeks earlier seeing them post about how none of that stuff matters. We ALL have something that, for us, accesses the mythic.

So when you’re creating your art – whatever form it takes – always keep in mind that the actual object being made is only a part of the actual “thing” that people are buying. The rest is connection, meaning, story, value over time, investment, emotion, ideas, a reminder of all-important ideas, iconic memory, a success indicator, and so forth. In other words, your brand and the truth that (should) underpin it. By purchasing art your clients are investing in the direct and immediate co-authorship of culture and therefor, its mythology.

Keep that in mind and create your art with due reverence.

Nikko Mercialo