In today’s modern society, women are far more open and assertive than in any other century. Yet, female artists still run into stereotypes or notions that only male artists are the true “geniuses” or worthy of note. There have been many celebrated female artists over the centuries, but they had to always try harder than their male counterparts to gain recognition. But women communicate, think and operate differently than men, which can put us at a disadvantage when it comes to promoting an art career.
Over the years I have observed that many successful male artists often exhibit some characteristics that are typically considered female (sensitivity, flair, humility, empathy, etc.), while successful female artists often exhibit some typical male tendencies (egotism, audacity, exaggeration, etc.). This has nothing to do with sexual preferences, but rather it has a lot to do with the creative and human characteristics that we all share. Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but in the art game they must both come together on Earth.
Jane Campbell (from Utne Reader, Jan/Feb 1992) pointed out, “Men have the courage and inventiveness to try to explain the inexplicable. This suggests the use of creativity, fictionalizing and visualization. A man may even start to believe his own hype. This might account, in part, for the disproportionate number of men over women actively successful in the arts. While there are far more female artists than male, the men are more assertive about promoting themselves and pushing for success, while women are networking, taking courses, and politely asking questions. ”
We each have to use or exploit the characteristics that will further our goals. That may mean that women must adapt more of the characteristics that are typically considered male in order to be successful in any career.