Thursday, April 5, 2012

What is it that you need?


window as light box

Let's be honest, 'cause you know I'm pretty honest here....What do you need to make art?
  • All the best materials?
  • A good studio space to quietly contemplate your project?
  • A great, unique idea?
  • A quiet mind so you can concentrate on your idea?
  • A load of skills to make it all happen?

Ha, ha...You know this isn't what I think...

Here's what I think someone needs, (just my opinion here)

  • Energy - mad energy
  • Attention - put yourself into it as fully as you can
  • A direction - doesn't matter what that direction is as much as you stick with it
  • The drive and perseverance to pursue this direction for quite a while
  • Some stuff - cardboard, tempera paint, charcoal will even do it
Working on backgrounds

Everything in the kitchen sink

Lots of stuff in progress

What I don't think you need at all

  • All the stuff, especially not the best stuff
  • The best skills out there. You can never compete with all the artists out there, don't even try. It will kill you. Just try to get better.
  • Talent - don't get me started here 
  • An endless stream of workshops, books, videos etc. At some point you have to settle in and find an authentic voice from somewhere within yourself

Manifesting drive and direction to me is the most important and hardest part of being an artist. This means waking up every day with an active mind and positive attitude to put yourself as fully as possible into the work. Believe me, I'm not always good at this, but the good days outweigh the tough ones.This in spite of the sometimes chaotic pace and volumes of distraction that our lives and culture throw at us. Being and artist, even as a vocation isn't easy, but then again most things worth doing aren't easy.

How you get and maintain energy is different for each of us. Mine goes in spurts and then I have to recover and gather more. Direction; well I don't think there's a bad direction or path. It's just different for each of us.

The Stuff; well that's the easiest part...if you're a little inventive, you can make art with most anything.

I do believe that good teachers are really valuable, the ones that share knowledge, give you encouragement and a safe and secure environment in which to learn and to push your personal boundaries. I've been very fortunate to have had quite a few of these. Vernon Wilson, Dan McCaw and Richard Mckinley to name a few.  BTW, I think I'm a good teacher...Just sayin!!

Tomorrow's blog: More on direction and ideas and a some eating crow on being finished. How do you know when you're finished?

1 comment:

Irina said...

100% agree. Thank you for voicing.