Venerable Female Artists, Musicians & Authors Give Advice to the Young: Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson & More

To the Louisiana Chan­nel and the Louisiana Muse­um of Mod­ern Art, on behalf of mature women every­where: Thank you. You have excel­lent taste.

We’ve weath­ered invis­i­bil­i­ty and Mom jeans jokes, as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from our demo­graph­ic are judged more harsh­ly in cat­e­gories that nev­er seem to apply to their male coun­ter­parts in pol­i­tics and the per­form­ing arts.

You’ll find plen­ty of cel­e­brat­ed male artists con­tribut­ing advice to emerg­ing artists in the Louisiana Project’s video series, but the Gueril­la Girls will be grat­i­fied to see how robust­ly rep­re­sent­ed these work­ing women are.

Noth­ing beats author­i­ty con­ferred by decades of pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence.

And while young women are sure to be inspired by these ven­er­a­ble inter­vie­wees, let’s not sell any­one short.

We may have assem­bled a playlist titled Women Artists’ Advice to the Young (watch it from front to back at the bot­tom of the post), but let’s agree that their advice is good for emerg­ing artists of all gen­ders.

Author, poet, and God­moth­er of Punk Pat­ti Smith (born 1946) serves up her ver­sion of to thine own self be true.

Avant-garde com­pos­er and musi­cian Lau­rie Ander­son (born 1947) coun­sels against the sort of nar­row self-def­i­n­i­tion that dis­cour­ages artis­tic explo­ration. Be loose, like a goose.

Author Her­b­jørg Wass­mo (born 1942) wants young artists to pre­pare for the inevitable days of low moti­va­tion and self-doubt by resolv­ing to work regard­less.

Oth­er nota­bles include film­mak­er Shirin Neshat (born 1957), author Lydia Davis (born 1947), artist Joyce Pen­sato (born 1941), and per­for­mance artist Mari­na Abramović (born 1946).

The old­est inter­vie­wee in the col­lec­tion, artist Yay­oi Kusama (born 1929), refus­es to sad­dle up and come up with any teacher­ly  advice, but could cer­tain­ly be con­sid­ered a walk­ing exam­ple of what it means to be “liv­ing as an artist with a wish to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful world with human love.”

Enjoy the full playlist here:

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Toni Mor­ri­son Dis­pens­es Sound Writ­ing Advice: Tips You Can Apply to Your Own Work

74 Essen­tial Books for Your Per­son­al Library: A List Curat­ed by Female Cre­atives

A Space of Their Own, a New Online Data­base, Will Fea­ture Works by 600+ Over­looked Female Artists from the 15th-19th Cen­turies

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inkyzine.  Join her in New York City May 13 for the next install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her@AyunHalliday.

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