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Ask the artist—how to find your way in the big, bad art world

Ways of Being: Advice for Artists by Artists, James Cahill courtesy Laurence King

Have you ever wanted to ask leading artists what they think about life, the universe and everything? The writer and critic James Cahill has canvassed art world heavyweights for his new publication Ways of Being: Advice for Artists by Artists (published by Laurence King), asking key figures how they made it in the art world. Drawing on new material and archival information, Cahill divides the tome into a “story” that progresses through the stages of an artist’s life (sections include youth, on the scene and experience). “Most of the artists interviewed for the project give an account of ‘how I did it’, rather than ‘what you should do,’”, Cahill writes. Here’s our top 5 selection from the artists’ erudite observations:

You’re an artist if you’re bold enough to stick it somewhere—Mark Wallinger

I don’t listen to anything. I try to listen to whatever’s inside me. I don’t understand how people can paint with Radio 4 on—Maggi Hambling

It’s a very lonely occupation being a painter. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody—Howard Hodgkin

Bring mid-career is difficult. You’re not the new hot thing and you’re not the old hot thing—Fiona Rae

You’ve become a ‘professional’ artist when you’re claiming back a trip to the Tate on your taxes—Issy Wood