A tongue-in-cheek guide from a back issue of ArtReview I read this morning:
1 Start Painting! Put away your shaky 16mm film camera or those bits of MDF stored for your latest lo-fi sculptural installation and try to remember how to paint. It was hard enough to sell installation and film in the boom times, but now art fairs are almost bereft of such media, aside from the kooky experimental sections where young galleries jostle to look serious. If you want to earn a living, get out Julian Schnabel’s underrated Basquiat (1996) and lock yourself in your gallerist’s basement, armed with oodles of chang and a couple of large canvases.
2 Give up painting! Put away those dodgy oils and learn how to make proper cinema films. It worked for big Julian. And Kathryn Bigelow used to be a dauber before working out that it would be more profitable to cast Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent posing as a surfer.
3 Start selling your work to celebrity clients! As bankers get cold feet about ploughing their bonuses into art, now’s the time to find yourself some stars. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have often been seen strolling around Art Basel Miami Beach, Lady Gaga is hot on Francesco Vezzoli and even Christina Aguilera is partial to a Banksy. And over in London we’ve got Elton John and that bloke from Razorlight.
4 Go political. Now that no one is selling, it’s time to unleash the inner critique of late-capitalist culture that has been brewing away since your early student days. Make agitprop posters in unlimited editions. Or deliver mysterious performances with no documentary photography allowed. Join a collective with like-minded desperate fellow artists. This is your chance to get really angry and make regular appearances in committed art periodicals – if things work out well, you can even make money out of this as a biennial regular.
5 Move to Amsterdam – the only place left in the world where government doles out cash to artists. Meet like-minded artists, get stoned and cycle round on old-fashioned bicycles while wondering why the concentric canals are diving you slowly insane.
6 Spend 20 years in obscurity battling against the commercial gallery system before being rediscovered in 2030. Reenter the artworld with a triumphant if baffling show before appearing on the cover of ArtReview, preferably surrounded by buff assistants.