And at the end [of art college] students hopefully emerge having found themselves and hopefully feeling very unique. But, as the old saying goes, originality is for people with very short memories. It does of course exist and that shock of pleasure is one of the you know greatest things that anybody who’s interested in art can experience, but the best artists they take quite a while to find their voice. It takes a long time. I mean an art career is a marathon, it’s not a sprint.
And I think one of the best descriptions of that process is by a guy called Arno Minkkinen, a Finnish photographer, and he had this thing called - The Helsinki Bus Station Theory, he said. And when you’re leaving art college, he said, and you choose your style and what path in the art world you’re going to take, it’s like going to Helsinki bus station. There’s about twenty platforms and each platform, maybe ten buses leave from it, and you choose your bus and you get on the bus. And each stop is a year in your career. And maybe after about three stops, you get off and you kind of walk into a gallery and you show them your work and the people look at it and they go, “Oh very nice, very nice. Reminds me a bit of Martin Parr though.” And you go, uurrrgh!! (exasperated sound) I’m not original, I’m not unique, and you get really cross. And you get a taxi back to the bus station and you get on a different bus. And of course what happens is the same thing - you get off at three years and the same thing happens. What you need to do, says Arno Minkkinen, is stay on the effing bus!
I love Jane Yeh. This is from The Ninjas. (PS Floofy!)
(Reproduced with permission of the poet)
Pandas hate themselves. Ill advisedly devised by Ian Williams, Nick Soucek and me.