Or at least that is what a new study out of Northwestern University seems to suggest. I recently came across some notes that I had taken during a Business of Art seminar at which the keynote speaker (a highly successful artist) stressed something similar. Namely, artists should dress like the professionals that they are. He argued that dressing like the six-figure earner that he was sent a message to both himself and his clients that he refused to play into the starving artist myth.
|image via everyguyed|
I think the issue for artists is a bit more nuanced. On the one hand, I definitely notice a difference in the way I act depending how I'm dressed for certain occasions. (Think killer new workout clothes vs. shabby sweats at the gym, or smart corporate attire vs. faded yoga pants to fight a traffic ticket.) On the other hand, being a successful artist is only half the polished business model that sells the work. The other half is the creative chaos necessary for making the actual art work.
So I've compromised. I wear my paint-splattered jeans when I'm creating, and more professional gear when I'm signing contracts or attending gallery openings. It felt a little arbitrary at first, but now it's automatic.
I'm interested: Do you wear certain clothes for particular tasks? Think it's all rubbish? I'd love to hear your thoughts.