Tom Otterness’s Advice to Aspiring Aritsts

Tom Otterness is an American sculptor whose permanent installation, "Life Underground," is located in the 14th St/8th Avenue subway station in New York City. His work, usually cartoonish and cheerful but with a dark side, can be found in parks and public squares throughout the world. Otterness works out of a 20,000 square-foot studio in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: What’s your advice to aspiring artists?

Tom Otterness: Uh-hmm… Wow! Well, the fact that you should persevere is the advice. I mean, how you do that? God knows, you know. You have to be really resilient and… Huh! My mind goes on ten directions with it, but for me it’s been, it’s been important to yield under those kind of larger forces and… Huh. I have a… Well, there’s a saying this invest and lost, it’s… my Tai chi teacher is saying and it’s the gain from your losses, and I think that’s a way to sort of progress, you know, to sustain yourself and keep going and there’s a lot to it. You can learn a lot from all the losses that you will inevitably encounter. There’s a lot you can learn in there, so, well, that keeps me going.


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