In his final part of the interview, Silas Plum discusses the future, what he has struggled with the most in art, and advice for aspiring artists.
Who is your intended audience and why?
What are your plans for the future? Do you see yourself continuing this art form for a substantial amount of time?
Heavy hitters now. Plans for the future. Remain interested and engaged. Resist bitterness and despair. Create. Push the boulder with minimal complaint or preoccupation with its meaning. As for Art, I’m gonna do this until I’m dead. The styles refine and mutate and circle around. Seasons change. Still, if I have any say in it, I’ll have paint on my hands and a song in my heart until it’s time to go.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
“Call no man happy until he is dead” – Solon
Lots of death talk in this one, huh? I suppose it comes down to how one views accomplishment. Outside of the context of Art, my biggest accomplishment is most likely something interpersonal and ongoing and unrelated to this interview entirely. It’s difficult to think of in quantifiable terms. Money is the only reasonable analogue, and commodified art is kind of unpleasant to talk about. (Please go buy my work, guys. Thanks.) The first solo gallery exhibition was pretty great. Small milestones along the way. I have to believe the biggest accomplishment is still waiting for me to catch up to it, and is probably the kind of thing one only recognizes in the rear view.
What have you struggled with the most in making art? What have you learned from those struggles?
Expectation. Pressure. Impostor Syndrome. All the standard self-imposed neurotic mess. Calling yourself an “Artist” is a bold thing. It says, in some small way, that your activity and creations are inherently worthwhile, and deserving of outside interest. Sometimes that can be a hard sell, particularly to oneself. However, these notions have a way of paradoxically strengthening resolve. Get some traction, make a few things you are proud of, develop a group of interested people, and you now have tangible proof to show your pesky doubt monsters. The lesson here is that trying is always better than not trying, and that while certain emotions can feel immense, they are often wrong-headed and not worth your time.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists that you wish you had been told early on?
Don’t overthink. You know what you want to make. If not when you sit down to start, then generally pretty soon thereafter. Ritual is incredibly helpful. Specific times. Drinks. Clothing. Music. Anything to help those gears change and turn. Value your time. Try not to be embarrassed. Don’t apologize for another person’s taste. Put in the work. There is no shame in having a favorite color, or technique, or subject. Do your thing and do it to death. You’re not alone.