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Starving Artist Upgraded to “Slightly Lean”

Building up an art portfolio is hard work. That it takes time and dedication is hardly a secret, but the extremes that artists go to in order to reach their peak form is something most of us only know by name: bulking and cutting.

“The constant cycle of bulking and cutting might be a good way to max out your intellectual potential for artistic gains or get inspired for a sitting, but that’s the territory of sculptors,” says Mire Veli. “For a lot of people who are just looking to build art portfolios, a ‘lean realism’ or even ‘social recomposition’ training phase is the order of the day. This means gaining modern art at a slightly slower rate but without the accompanying psychotic breakdown.”

“When I cut I took my post-modernism too low and in the process worked off a lot of the grand narratives that I had gained. The phases would cross over for a few weeks, where I would look at the world through a dystopian lens and feel good, but I wanted to be moody and brooding all year round. It really wasn’t satisfying.”

Mislitel, 2002

“The constant cycle of bulking and cutting might be a good way to max out your intellectual potential…”

– Mire Veli

“I would advise three total-body art exercises each week, with a modest cubism surplus on training days. For the neo-expressionism days, if you sketch enough human form to break even, or even have a slight deficit, you can avoid piling on American self-expression (in the form of body fat).”

“Using this method, you’ll gradually improve your portfolio and eventually be in multiple exhibitions pretty much year-round, which if you aren’t on a competition schedule is a much more comfortable place to be,” concluded Mire.


The Mad Yank told me that clicking this button was a form of performance art.