Artists need to be like George Costanza and velvet: They should want to ensconce themselves in it. Every opportunity art can be viewed should be taken, and created if need be. An artist who does not view art is not being clever and original, but is dooming themselves to having to reinvent the wheel and remain hopelessly lost and clueless.
Even “bad” art is an opportunity to learn. If it is just something that one might consider “too abstract,” then confronting the art is a great way to understand it. It doesn’t mean it has to be liked, but it can be understood. And as the saying goes, “understanding can only be reached through confrontation.” If it truly is abominable art, then at least it can help hone the ability to tell what that might be.
Busy schedules can be a major deterrent for viewing art, and though art is best viewed in person, it can at least be viewed in some capacity online. A great wealth of resources exist for this. Artists’ websites are full of examples of work and often artist statements. Videos exist of all varieties of art, from photography to performance. Documentaries are available about art, artists, history and beyond. Entire websites are based around a certain medium, or even factions within a medium (commercial photography, art photography, landscape photography and so on). Books are plentiful and powerful resources, especially proving useful for photographers, provided the reproduction is satisfactory.
One of the best things an artist can do is attend gallery openings. Not only can one usually meet the featured artist or artists, but other networking opportunities exist. In addition to social possibilities, it is often easier to gain an understanding for the work if the artist is present, and especially a lecture is scheduled.
Regardless of schedule or location, it is possible to see art consistently, whether it be in person, online or in the form of a publication or video. Viewing art is one of the most important things an artist can do, even beyond formative years such as when one is getting an education.
And unlike living a life in velvet excess, constantly viewing art is socially acceptable.