Ever wondered how you can successfully guide your artistic practice by asking yourself the right questions? What does it take for an artist or other creative independents to become who they are and what are the traits, ambitions and restrictions that determine their work? Janwillem Schrofer’s gem “Plan and Play, Play and Plan: Defining Your Art Practice” invites creatives to explore the essential elements of a sustainable artistic career.
Janwillem Schrofer, director of the Rijksakakademie in Amsterdam from 1982 to 2010, independent professional and cultural adviser gives a very helpful assessment on how to make the right choices while using long-lasting research and analytical models. The writing of this publication was a process that took years. Starting with a research in the 1990s and being published in 2018, the Book reveals explicit guide for making choices without being in conflict with your own nature and unique characteristics. The one question you have to start with is “Where am I standing and what am I standing for?
This handbook is in three parts. All relate to choosing and improvising: the two perspectives with decision-making which are mutually reinforcing and vital to each other. The first part provides terms and reflections that augment the process of choosing and improvising. Artist is explored from victim to free spirit, learning how to understand and control the art market, set the priorities and cherish the importance of mental, physical mobility and small-scale collaborations.
The second part contains the so-called building blocks with concrete examples, which constitute a concrete elaboration on the terms and reflections. The plan withing an individual and collective route, monetary matters and the detailed curriculum vitae examples are provided. In the third part “Origins” readers are introduced to author’s career, and his reflections on it to illustrate an overarching theme with applicable career patterns.
With Janwillem’s pedagogical experience, assembling of notes and pointers gathered from interviews with a wide variety of artists, Schrofer has developed an appealing guidebook intended for artists and those who wish to become artists. This book is a bridge between one’s creative qualities and romantic visions with practical entrepreneurship.