Patti Smith, Umberto Eco & Richard Ford Give Advice to Young Artists in a Rollicking Short Animation

Note: There are a cou­ple brief not-safe-for-work moments in this film.

Patron­iz­ing, pon­der­ous, well-mean­ing, self-aggran­diz­ing, inco­her­ent… young artists are sub­ject­ed to a lot of unso­licit­ed advice, and not just from their par­ents.

But what hap­pens when a young artist active­ly seeks it out?

Daniel­la Shuh­man turned to the Louisiana Channel’s series, “Advice to the Young,” feast­ing on the col­lect­ed wis­dom of such heavy hit­ters as per­for­mance artist Mari­na Abramovic, author Umber­to Eco, artist Ola­fur Elias­son, and the mul­ti­tal­ent­ed God­moth­er of Punk, Pat­ti Smith in prepa­ra­tion for her final project at Jerusalem’s Beza­lel Acad­e­my of Arts and Design.

Her resul­tant short film, above, appears to be the work of a deliri­ous­ly aggro inner child, one with a keen bull­shit meter and an anar­chic sense of humor.

“The most impor­tant advice I have is to have fun,” coun­sels nov­el­ist Jonathan Franzen—a man who alleged­ly wrote The Cor­rec­tions while wear­ing earplugs, ear­muffs, and a blind­fold, then bust­ed on Oprah Win­frey when she chose it for for her Book Club.

Cue great spurts of ani­mat­ed arte­r­i­al blood.

At least Franzen both­ers to sound encour­ag­ing… much more so than Abramovic, or fel­low nov­el­ist Richard “Talk Your­self Out of It If You Pos­si­bly Can Because You’re Prob­a­bly Not Going to Be Very Good At It” Ford.

(Par­ents strug­gling to come up with tuition may be relieved to learn that Ford’s on leave from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty this term.)

Mean­while, Shuh­man breaks for NSFW ter­ri­to­ry to visu­al­ize artist Eliasson’s advice, a move that would sure­ly please anoth­er Louisiana Chan­nel per­son­al­i­ty, car­toon­ist David Shrigley. Per­haps it can be his con­so­la­tion prize for not mak­ing the cut.

The pul­sat­ing repro­duc­tive organs aren’t entire­ly inap­pro­pri­ate. Lis­ten to Eliasson’s full inter­view to hear him equate mak­ing art with mak­ing the world. Now that’s the sort of advice that will put a young artist to work!

Some of the more gen­er­ous advice:

Build a good name, keep your name clean, don’t make com­pro­mis­es, don’t wor­ry about mak­ing a bunch of mon­ey or being suc­cess­ful.

Don’t be embar­rassed about what excites you.

If you are doing some­thing weird that every­body hates, that might be some­thing worth look­ing into and worth inves­ti­gat­ing.

Make your own way in the world. Wrap up warm. Eat prop­er­ly, sen­si­bly. Don’t smoke and phone your mom.

We love imag­in­ing the sort of unfet­tered advice Shuh­man will one day be in a posi­tion to dis­pense.

You can see some of her post grad­u­a­tion illus­tra­tion work on her Flickr page.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

21 Artists Give “Advice to the Young:” Vital Lessons from Lau­rie Ander­son, David Byrne, Umber­to Eco, Pat­ti Smith & More

Walt Whit­man Gives Advice to Aspir­ing Young Writ­ers: “Don’t Write Poet­ry” & Oth­er Prac­ti­cal Tips (1888)

Great Film­mak­ers Offer Advice to Young Direc­tors: Taran­ti­no, Her­zog, Cop­po­la, Scors­ese, Ander­son, Felli­ni & More

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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