arts and pop culture | January 17, 2013

Bring Art To The Masses: How Molly Crabapple Redefined Success [VIDEO]

The way an artist becomes successful financially is much different than creatives in other mediums. Molly Crabapple shed some light on this important difference in a recent interview at Lavin. Traditionally, artists make more money when their pieces becomes more valuable and cost more. Therefore, less people are able to purchase their work and the acclaim of the artist rises; unlike in other creative industries where the become more successful an artist gets, the more accessible their product becomes. Crabapple disagrees with this model. "I felt there was something wrong with a field where extreme success is defined as only having a few Russian Oligarchs get to purchase your things," she says.

So, she decided to flip the gallery model on its head and redefine the way an artist sells their work. She started funding sprawling, labor-intensive projects by selling peripheral pieces as well her main works. All of her inspiration, doodles, and preliminary work would also be a part of the show—and it was all for sale. Instead of only being able to purchase the expensive showpiece, the average art lover was also able to buy part of the collection. Thus, the work was more accessible to her fans and everyone who wanted to own a piece of art for themselves could walk away with a Crabapple original.

Crabapple is known for being a disruptive force in the art scene. Wildly creative, but also business-wise, she started her own alternative drawing school (Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School) at 22. She has also worked on innovative projects such as My Week In Hell, where she turned to the Internet to help her fund a venture where she turned a hotel room into an art installation. She raised the money for the project through crowd-funding and live streamed the entire creative process to everyone in cyberspace. In her keynotes, she speaks to these out-of-the-box ideas and the need to do redefine the artist. Her work speaks for itself, but her rebellious and bold work ethic has helped take her career to new heights—and helped change opinions on what it means to be successful in the creative sphere.

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