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MikLNjLo
07-13-2003, 03:03 AM
Would you let your strength in certain areas determine where you spend the most time with your art?

In other words and specifically in my case, I am inclined towards subjects dealing with deeper aspects of life and the human condition. I am also concerned that such themes are often dark, disturbing and often make people feel uncomfortable. I would rather people (including me) feel uplifted and warm. I am more likely to do my best work the other way. It is possible to force a positive spin however it may not be true to the original vision.

It is difficult to make it as an artist.
Hypothetical Scenario:If you were exceptional in a darker category but okay in a lighter and more popular theme where would you spend your time?

andyvry
07-13-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
.................It is difficult to make it as an artist.
Hypothetical Scenario:If you were exceptional in a darker category but okay in a lighter and more popular theme where would you spend your time?

Hmmmm.....Trying to make out what it is exactly that you're saying [asking] here.....

Presumably, "making it as an artist" you mean being recognised in the commercial sense.....[i.e.] Your work sells , yeah?

So, without any argument, that which is selling will be what you will work most at, surely? I mean, you use the word "exceptional" - but in whose opinion - what context? And then you say "popular" in the next sentence and that throws me.....

Mebees you are thinking about certain artists, some very successful and duly feted, who happen to earn their living doing "commercial works"....[??] Then, as they become an established "name" they go on to reveal another side of their artistic endeavours and show these 'hidden masterpieces' to the world..........Personally, I think that that is a very commonsense attitude......to survival, at least.

andy.

MikLNjLo
07-13-2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by andyvry
Hmmmm.....Trying to make out what it is exactly that you're saying [asking] here.....

Presumably, "making it as an artist" you mean being recognised in the commercial sense.....[i.e.] Your work sells , yeah? Please, don't tear this apart and examine it letter by letter ;), I hope it isn't necessary to define each term. It is difficult to word this question balancing between too simply and too complicated. In the broadest sense "making it as an artist" means being recognized as an artist worthy of note, worthy of collection, worthy of display. In the broadest sense "exceptional" is better at it than at the other as it relates to my question. What I meant to introduce in the question was room for that element of unique quality that might make your work stand out. This quality would not be displayed in a different theme therefore its potential to propel your efforts would not be utilized.

I believe your response is to play it safe and wait until I have some foundation to stand firmly upon before displaying riskier material? Thank you, this is sound advice. :)

DanaT
07-14-2003, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo

In other words and specifically in my case, I am inclined towards subjects dealing with deeper aspects of life and the human condition. I am also concerned that such themes are often dark, disturbing and often make people feel uncomfortable.

Why can't the deeper aspects of life be uplifting and warm? There is no law that says deep and contemplative must equal dark and disturbing.

Hmmm, if I were you, I'd explore the deeper aspects a bit more to find their more life-affirming qualities so I could work for myself and the rest of the world.

MikLNjLo
07-14-2003, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by DanaT
Why can't the deeper aspects of life be uplifting and warm? There is no law that says deep and contemplative must equal dark and disturbing.

Hmmm, if I were you, I'd explore the deeper aspects a bit more to find their more life-affirming qualities so I could work for myself and the rest of the world. As I typically see these images complete, they convey a particular dilemma of inner turmoil. They are "deep and contemplative" and many are also dark and disturbing, including imprisonment, suicide and crucifixions. In life there is always light shining in from somewhere however dim and unnoticed it may be. How uplifting and warm can a scene with such content be? Life is full of dark and oppressive conditions. I have doubts that such themes can be overridden so they become warm or uplifting. I would prefer people feel good when viewing my work. I don't know whether that is a message within these images or if it would be altering them to fit a different message thereby undermining the natural strength they may contain. You may now see how I am torn in opposite directions.

Tamana
07-14-2003, 06:46 AM
If you were exceptional in a darker category but okay in a lighter and more popular theme where would you spend your time?

Where my heart was.

DanaT
07-14-2003, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
... many are also dark and disturbing, including imprisonment, suicide and crucifixions. In life there is always light shining in from somewhere however dim and unnoticed it may be. How uplifting and warm can a scene with such content be? ...

Hmm, films have been very successful with this type of content. Think of the Shawshank Redemption (imprisonment), Ordinary People (suicide), the Greatest Story Ever Told (crucifixions).

They're not all doom and gloom but then they are not phony happy either. Goya did some disturbing scenes of rape in pen & ink that are in museums today. But I think the common thread here is that no matter the circumstances, the work was not overcome by despair.

Concern, hurt, even outrage, yes, but despair no. People can positively respond to negative emotions but not to despair, I think. Maybe that's what you have in your work; if so, I can understand why others are uncomfortable with it.

I think thats what I meant by uplifting - despair doesn't overrule everything.

Cathy Morgan
07-14-2003, 10:35 PM
One of my most memorable art experiences was seeing several large drawings and paintings by a woman who was expressing the agony of her Critic tearing away at her. She was a potter, and her therapist had suggested she make these drawings and paintings.

They were certainly dark - dramatic - agonized.

Looking at them, I felt an immediate sense of recognition, relief, shared experience - catharsis. "Thank heavens, someone else knows what this is like!" It was great.

So - if this is the art that's yours to make now, please do make it. There are people who need to see it or you wouldn't be drawn to make it. That's the way I think it works.

timelady
07-15-2003, 06:51 AM
To me, art is a journey. It can be a technical journey, creative journey, emotional journey... different for everyone (and maybe a little of all of those!). I'd say do the dark paintings. We need to work through ideas. Who knows, after the dark ones, because of the dark ones, you may find something new you want to explore too. (Light and happy? Maybe. Maybe not.)

I don't think we can know what will help us 'make it' as artists. It's up to the outside world. All we can do is paint. :) (or draw, or etch, or roll in paint, or sculpt, or...)

Tina.

RobinZ
07-15-2003, 10:34 AM
I don't think we can know what will help us 'make it' as artists. It's up to the outside world. All we can do is paint. (or draw, or etch, or roll in paint, or sculpt, or...)

I agree. However, strictly from a buyer's point of view, I personally would never buy a piece, no matter how compelling, about rape, suicide, etc. Although like Dana said, those topics are in movies...and in books....a painting on my wall is there forever. It's not something I can be "into" for 2 hours or a few days and then leave it.

There's a beautiful painting in the Phila Museum of Art portraying the scene in the Bible where the male babies were all being murdered. Although I love that painting and visit it whenever I am in the museum, it is very disturbing and I wouldn't ever want that image in my house.

I'm not saying a painter shouldn't explore this avenue if they are drawn to it, but I'm just saying it takes a special kind of collector to want disturbing images and that limits your market. If that matters to you.

DanaT
07-15-2003, 11:55 AM
Hmmm, good point, Robin.

I'm thinking that museums would be more in the market for this type of subject matter. They do accept disturbing subject matter.

I know the scene you're talking about - the Murder of the Innocents from the story in the New Testament where Herod ordered the murder of all the children 3 years old and under in his kingdom to eliminate the Christ Child as a .

I've seen some studies by Old Masters. They are exquisite but I can't look at them too long.

RobinZ
07-15-2003, 12:19 PM
Yes, that's it.

Keith Russell
07-16-2003, 07:39 PM
MikLNjLo said:
In other words and specifically in my case, I am inclined towards subjects dealing with deeper aspects of life and the human condition. I am also concerned that such themes are often dark, disturbing and often make people feel uncomfortable.

Keith: Well, all art makes someone uncomfortable. The challenge is to find a balance. I don't try to please everyone with my work, but I do try to create things that will interest people. I think there are ways to create interesting, insightful, meaningful works that are still interesting, perhaps even 'beautiful', without sacrificing their significance.

MikLNjLo: I would rather people (including me) feel uplifted and warm.

Keith: Life isn't only uplifting and warm, nor is life only gritty and dark. Life is both. I think artists ignore either at the expense of the other, at their peril.

MikLNjLo: I am more likely to do my best work the other way. It is possible to force a positive spin however it may not be true to the original vision.

Keith: Some art (think H.R. Giger) serves--and quite well--as a warning...

K

Cathy Morgan
07-16-2003, 09:05 PM
There's a great book called On Not Being Able to Paint, still available I believe - about a woman who's a psychiatrist in her day job, wants to paint on the weekends. She can't understand why she can't seem to paint the lighthearted, beautiful things she wants to paint. She starts to paint a beautiful landscape and her painting is dark, ugly, distorted. Finally she realizes that the solution is to do what the surrealists called automatic painting, and just let her pencil or brush do whatever it wants to do. When she did this, surprising and meaningful images emerged - gradually becoming beautiful in their own way.

I offer this as a book that might be relevant to your dilemma. For myself, I'm most grateful to this book because it led me to "free drawing" and "free painting" and "free forging" - processes that have helped me develop as an artist.

DanaT
07-16-2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell

Keith: Some art (think H.R. Giger) serves--and quite well--as a warning...

K

Interesting, Keith. Can you post samples?

dodger
07-17-2003, 02:14 AM
I agree with Tam... follow your heart.

You know, there are no guarantees in this world that anything we make is going to sell. I've talked to business grads who have pondered the art market, & in the words of one: "All of the business practices you learn just go out the window when you try to apply it to art."

Art is about emotions... more than anything else, it is an emotional sell. This makes it particularly unique, because no two people are exactly alike.

To be a fine artist is to paint what you feel you must. Only you can paint what you paint, how you paint it.

Keith Russell
07-17-2003, 03:15 PM
Dana, here goes...

K

DanaT
07-17-2003, 03:19 PM
Thanks Keith. I like it. I don't see the warning though.

Keith Russell
07-17-2003, 04:44 PM
Dana, Giger's combination of people and machinery is often seen as a warning, against technology, against overpopulation, etc.

The women in the painting are immobilized, part of the temple, connected to mostly hidden machinery.

While the sexuality in Giger's work is often overt, there are other, more subtle levels of meaning, again which can be interpreted as cautionary...

K

belladonna
07-17-2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
Would you let your strength in certain areas determine where you spend the most time with your art?


My strengths do determine where I spend MOST of my time as an artist, but not ALL of my time... With me the problem is with landscapes...

I am happier doing portraits and still life paintings. I really hate doing landscapes. Seems there is so much more to consider with landscapes. I do like to “mix it up” though, because I would like to be a well-rounded artist, and right now I am doing a wildlife commission with a landscaped background… and yes, struggling with it. But I like this one, so I try. *lol* To be honest, I only do something like that if I think I have chance at carrying it off and each time I venture into “this place I seldom go”, I try to learn a little more and stretch a bit farther, because I would like to be comfortable with it all. It has to be a subject that reaches out to me in order to invest my time and effort in it. I refuse to paint anything that does not inspire me. I don’t care about the popularity of my work because I paint what I want, or not at all. Painting to please others would ruin it for me, but I also want to grow as an artist and would like to be able to paint anything.

Sometimes I see a view that I would like to paint, usually with a lot of distance in it, usually with soft sunset light, beautiful sky, and those full billowy trees, gently swaying in the wind, but know that I lack the skill to do justice to it. It is frustrating. Been thinking, most of my life it seems, about backlit trees at sunset, but I know I am not quite there yet. I love the light in the paintings of Claude Lorin. That gorgeous “magic hour” light. How does he do that? When I figure it out, I will be painting more landscapes for sure. I seem to get bogged down by all those leaves and how to show wind and atmosphere effectively… So you see it is important to me that I learn to paint landscapes, and I have to do it for my own sanity. If it were not important to me, then I wouldn’t bother cause it hurts my head too much.

You have to ask yourself what it is that YOU want to do. What is meaningful for YOU and then go for it.

DanaT
07-17-2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
Dana, Giger's combination of people and machinery is often seen as a warning, against technology, against overpopulation, etc.

The women in the painting are immobilized, part of the temple, connected to mostly hidden machinery.

While the sexuality in Giger's work is often overt, there are other, more subtle levels of meaning, again which can be interpreted as cautionary...

K
Hmmm, the cautionary tone may be more apparent at full size. These women seem part of the architecture but they don't seem powerless to me - rather like stationary acolytes, always there, always keeping guard over the altar/throne. The women in the two wombs are intriguing though, like they're ready to spring out and take on an opponent.

I see raw feminine power in this. Maybe that's what Giger is cautioning against? ;)

DanaT
07-17-2003, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by belladonna

I refuse to paint anything that does not inspire me. I don’t care about the popularity of my work because I paint what I want, or not at all. Painting to please others would ruin it for me, but I also want to grow as an artist and would like to be able to paint anything.


That's a wonderful artists statement Belladonna :) I'm thinking that your work needs the right client but for the right client, it's magical! :)

belladonna
07-18-2003, 12:37 AM
Dana ((hugs)) :)

My work is not for everyone, *lol* for sure, but what really counts, is that I find joy in the doing of it.
;)

andyvry
07-18-2003, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by belladonna
Dana ((hugs)) :)

My work is not for everyone, *lol* for sure, but what really counts, is that I find joy in the doing of it.
;)

I think this is a major point. And perhaps, can be applied in another context, like......

Whatever the artist chooses to paint/draw etc. is entirely up to them. What that same artist chooses to share or sell, again, is up to them, yeah?

I have, over the years, amassed a number of drawings and paintings that I have no intention of showing to anyone......let alone, selling them. This work is part of me if you like...it is personal..reflecting in part, I suppose, my own private journey through life. [I'm not sure if I'd call any of them "disturbing" though........thought provoking, giving insight, etc., yes.] Some of them are very saleable, I've no doubt, and worked to completion. I am proud of them....but they'll always be "just for me".....And that's my choice.

Mebees if you are of the view that everything that you create must be saleable, exploring all thoughts, ideas and so forth and putting them down on paper, may pose something of a problem. I suppose one would also have to take into consideration their status [i.e.] painting for pleasure or your art being your main source of income as to whether there was time for both, [i.e.] personal stuff and that which is for sale.

Just some thoughts.....

andy.

MikLNjLo
07-19-2003, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by belladona

I don’t care about the popularity of my work because I paint what I want, or not at all. Painting to please others would ruin it for me, but I also want to grow as an artist and would like to be able to paint anything.

It may be that it serves a more spiritual purpose to me. In a sense I am ruined or at least damaged. Painting is a neglected ability I am working with to ground myself and to do what I am built inside for. I used to reject the notion of art for any lesser purpose than to connect with a revered source. It is also important for art to be accepted by people.

Originally posted by andyvry

Whatever the artist chooses to paint/draw etc. is entirely up to them. What that same artist chooses to share or sell, again, is up to them, yeah?" -

"Mebees if you are of the view that everything that you create must be saleable, exploring all thoughts, ideas and so forth and putting them down on paper, may pose something of a problem. I suppose one would also have to take into consideration their status painting for pleasure or your art being your main source of income as to whether there was time for both, [i.e.] personal stuff and that which is for sale.

If I only could be so prolific… I do want to be recognized and accepted and to sustain myself as an artist. In music, film or most other arts it is not viewed as prostitution to want acceptance, sales and fans –it is essential in order to continue. I don’t mean adulation. These things are usually signs of success in any other field, art or otherwise.

Originally posted by Cathy Morgan

…if this is the art that's yours to make now, please do make it. There are people who need to see it or you wouldn't be drawn to make it. That's the way I think it works.
Originally posted by RobinZ

…strictly from a buyer's point of view, I personally would never buy a piece, no matter how compelling, about rape, suicide, etc. Although like Dana said, those topics are in movies...and in books....a painting on my wall is there forever. It's not something I can be "into" for 2 hours or a few days and then leave it.

It would have to be beautifully rendered before I would wish to display such themes myself. Additionally, art is too often decor in America. In Europe the house is set up around the art while in America the art is just something nice on the wall around the furniture. A small percentage of people are interested in art let alone interested in interpreting symbolism.

Originally posted by Keith Russell

" Some art (think H.R. Giger) serves--and quite well--as a warning..."

"…While the sexuality in Giger's work is often overt, there are other, more subtle levels of meaning, again which can be interpreted as cautionary..."
Originally posted by DanaT

These women seem part of the architecture but they don't seem powerless to me - rather like stationary acolytes, always there, always keeping guard over the altar/throne. The women in the two wombs are intriguing though, like they're ready to spring out and take on an opponent.

I see raw feminine power in this. Maybe that's what Giger is cautioning against?

I started writing how Giger seems to be painting what he feels about the present as opposed to warning about the future. Then when I read DanaT mentioning the wombs (a common element in Giger’s work) I realized this was what suggested time, creation and consequence. I now see that a theme throughout his work is warning of what becomes of unchecked, cold, heartless behavior. Giger is a good example of depicting darkness beautifully. His monsters are beautiful. It doesn’t matter that they are demonish.

Originally posted by Tamana

[i]"...where would you spend your time?"

Where my heart was.

I would like to do this. I don't get enough encouragement in this direction. I will probably spend a lot of time with art that is likely to be acceptable to the widest audience until I can venture into riskier territory. I may even be happier and uplifting in my contemplative visions by then.


Thank you for all of your ideas and insights.

PS Which artist painted the version of Murder of the Innocents mentioned?

DanaT
07-19-2003, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo


If I only could be so prolific… I do want to be recognized and accepted and to sustain myself as an artist. In music, film or most other arts it is not viewed as prostitution to want acceptance, sales and fans –it is essential in order to continue.

I don't think andy was saying NOT to try to sell your work but to separate the creating from the selling. Creating artwork your heart or mind wants would certainly make you more prolific and you'd have a larger and more varied quantity of artwork to choose from when you decide what pieces to sell. But you need the quantity to be able to choose wisely.

ps Have you read the Artists Way? - Julia Cameron talks about the need for art to be serious, to be Art with a capital "A", can be one of the biggest inhibitors to actually creating the art. Not far behind that is the need for acceptance. They're fine at the right time but the right time is NOT when you're creating.

DanaT
07-19-2003, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo


PS Which artist painted the version of Murder of the Innocents mentioned?

Several Old Masters did. I saw a preparatory drawing by Tiepolo but I don't know if he ever finished the completed painting.

MikLNjLo
07-19-2003, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by DanaT

I don't think andy was saying NOT to try to sell your work but to separate the creating from the selling... The Artist's Way
I understand this. Some responses are just things that came to mind as I was reading and may be a synthesis of many posts. Unfortunately it might appear that I have made misinferences. I wish I had spotted this. Thank you for elaborating.

I have read several books about the creative process. I have a copy of The Artist's way but have not thoroughly read it yet. I will look up that section.

Thanks again

Tamana
07-19-2003, 10:27 PM
I would like to do this. I don't get enough encouragement in this direction.

Perhaps you aren't sharing with the right people. :)

You're welcome

Epic Dewfall
07-20-2003, 12:14 AM
Between the two style choices might be, the wisdom of pi. Balanced, deep, interesting, and deadpan.

belladonna
07-24-2003, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
It is also important for art to be accepted by people.

WHY? I don't think this is important at all.

Why should this be a factor to consider when the goal is to create ART? If it's all about money for you, you need to get a good marketing manager to tell you what he can sell the most of so you can stick to painting that. Then he can push and package your stuff for "popular consumption", like T.V.dinners. Make it a proper 9 to 5 business, churn out as many as you can every month, without inspiration, or, you can just quit and find a job that comes with a regular paycheck.

If it's all about acceptance, then you are way to insecure. Some people will accept you and your art, and some won't, no matter what/how you paint. You can only second guess the public so far and why would you want to bother? I can't think of any artist, that I admire, that had a lasting, positive effect on the world, that painted with the sole intent of trying to please others. Think about Goya, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh...

Originally posted by MikLNjLo
I am more likely to do my best work the other way. It is possible to force a positive spin however it may not be true to the original vision.

If you really want my advice - Stick with "original vision".

What makes you think that you would be so happy painting to please everyone else? Do you really believe that others are so much more important than you are? Remember this... You are the most important person that you know. What you want, is important. Your art should always strive to be your best work. You sell yourself short if you “dumb it down” for mass consumption. Your art should be a unique reflection of you. Trying to second guess and please, "the public," will get you nowhere but lost in a sea of wishy-washy, bland, mediocre, crap.
:mad:

If you want to give “the people” something special, give them something of yourself. It’s honest, and they just might appreciate that.

MikLNjLo
07-25-2003, 05:36 AM
...It is also important for art to be accepted by people...

Originally posted by belladonna

WHY? I don't think this is important at all.
I would guess that you do things, like most healthy people, far less significant than create art to gain or maintain acceptance. When you think of music, an art form, is it sacrilegious to consider acceptance important? If you are making a living at anything public acceptance is significant. There are many approaches to creativity. There are no absolutes. True art is not dependent upon isolation, self-absorption, independence or disregard for recognition. The creative process can be collaborative and accommodating to a target audience. Again, there are no absolutes. There are many variations between material and spiritual motivations –why categorize this as being money driven to want to make a living with art? I want to make a living as an artist. This does not make it "all about money" or "all about acceptance."

Originally posted by belladonna

"…I can't think of any artist, that I admire, that had a lasting, positive effect on the world, that painted with the sole intent of trying to please others. Think about Goya, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh..."
Does anyone really know that these and many other artists did not have concerns about acceptance or making money from their art to live on? We have layers of resources available to us. Artists have not always thought of running a business like they do now. Unless they were already wealthy they just learned how to paint and hoped they would sell something or attract commissions (which are dictated and totally dependent on acceptance).

Originally posted by belladonna

If you really want my advice - Stick with "original vision".

What makes you think that you would be so happy painting to please everyone else? Do you really believe that others are so much more important than you are? Remember this... You are the most important person that you know. What you want, is important. Your art should always strive to be your best work. You sell yourself short if you "dumb it down" for mass consumption. Your art should be a unique reflection of you. Trying to second guess and please, "the public," will get you nowhere but lost in a sea of wishy-washy, bland, mediocre, crap.

If you want to give "the people" something special, give them something of yourself. It’s honest, and they just might appreciate that.

I am interested in advice, ideas and the opportunity to discuss the topic. It is like sculpting -chipping away and smoothing out rough edges. I welcome and appreciate the inspiring encouragement in your message.

Thank you :)

DanaT
07-25-2003, 08:08 AM
I think there is a difference between seeking acceptance and seeking a market for your work. To make a living as an artist your work only need to be accepted by a minute portion of the population, and even they don't have to like you as long as they buy your paintings. There's always a market somewhere for just about anything, witness Ebay, its just a matter of finding it.

But going back to your original question, if you want to make a living as an artist, what have you done about it? Do you have a body of work that you can show someone in the business? Did you do some research about the market for serious or negative themes? What are the markets or outlets for art around you?

You see where I'm getting? It's fun and easy to discuss these things ad infinitum in the forums. People here can give you their opinions, experiences, feedback, but it only goes so far.

There's no substitute for actually doing the work, finishing a portfolio, contacting people in the business, showing your work, etc.

MikLNjLo
07-25-2003, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by DanaT

...if you want to make a living as an artist, what have you done about it? Do you have a body of work that you can show someone in the business? Did you do some research about the market for serious or negative themes? What are the markets or outlets for art around you? ...It's fun and easy to discuss these things ad infinitum in the forums. People here can give you their opinions, experiences, feedback, but it only goes so far. There's no substitute for actually doing the work, finishing a portfolio, contacting people in the business, showing your work, etc.
(DanaT -As it relates to my original post, this is placing the horse behind the buggy).

Art is often felt as an extension and revelation of the artist by the artist. I want my work to be recognized and appreciated. It could not be enough for me to appreciate it believing I am the most important person in the world. I would die and the value in my art would die with me. I realize I am just another among billions.

I used to be motivated by a reverent source. I now believe if I paint for the gods they do not care. Just because I am a painter does not mean I am special in my works. We all have works equal in the eyes of the gods. They love us whether we paint masterpieces or are passed out from cheap wine on a park bench. If I thought it mattered to gods I would have my answer.

I am not content living out my life creating in isolation. My work is only as good as people believe it is. How do we learn what is good? We look at what other people appreciate. It is a double edged sword. People value and despise unique expression. If it fits an ever changing mold you may be a star or a social outcast.

The consensus seems to be if making a living with art is the game of choice, play that to win. Otherwise paint what you are attracted to. You will paint that better than anything and you will be a better artist. It's a whole different game making a living with that art. Anything else and in between is a compromise.

DanaT
07-25-2003, 08:50 AM
I think you will get a lot out of this fall's program of The Artists Way that paintfool is starting up in September.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=97

In the book, Julia Cameron devotes a whole chapter to the preoccupation with what sells and how it can block the artist from producing anything-much less the art that CAN sell. She also talks about what we gain from keeping our preoccupations - a sense of security, safety, belonging, acceptance.

What we lose by keeping our preoccupations is our ability to create. It's not the acceptance or making enough money to sustain ourselves that blocks us but our preoccupation with acceptance and financial means blocks us.

Certainly the artists path is not a safe and easy path, but as she says, if you follow it, you are on the road to self-acceptance and once you have that, you are in the driver's seat as to getting what you want. A profitable living in the arts? Its yours for the taking, as long as you willing to do the work, and you know what you want.

I hope you join us in September. :)

Tamana
07-25-2003, 08:56 AM
:)

belladonna
07-25-2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo

I am not content living out my life creating in isolation.
Artists do create mostly in isolation. Get use it. This doesn't mean that you can't have friends and family, or that you can’t be be inspired from outside sources, it just means that the “creative process” ultimately comes from within YOU.

Originally posted by MikLNjLo

My work is only as good as people believe it is.
??? Wrong!!! What is the matter with you??? I would reach out through this screen between us and bitch slap you if I could. I know this is sounding mean, but you need to find more self esteem and that has to come from inside, not out. Do you really think that you and your art are worthless unless someone tells you different? You need to find some self acceptance.

If you can manage to create a work of art that does justice to your original intent, than it is good art. You won’t need someone to tell if it’s good or not. If it moves you, it will move others. It won't touch everyone though. There are lots of very famous painters that I don't particularly like, but that does not mean that they were no good! It just means that I did not like their work. You will never be able to please all the people all the time. Do you realize how much poorer art would be if everyone painted to please and be popular? There would be no Rembrandt, no Van Gough, no Dali, no Picasso... The list is endless.... Don't let that get you down. If you expect everyone to like and accept your work you are in for a lot of disappointment no matter what/how you paint.
Paint, then market. Don't paint FOR market.

I totally agree with Dana:
Originally posted by DanaT

I think there is a difference between seeking acceptance and seeking a market for your work. To make a living as an artist your work only need to be accepted by a minute portion of the population, and even they don't have to like you as long as they buy your paintings. There's always a market somewhere for just about anything, witness Ebay, it’s just a matter of finding it.
Dana, I will have to pick up a copy of the artists way. It sounds interesting.

Cathy Morgan
07-25-2003, 02:28 PM
I agree that ideally, we all make art to please ourselves, making the art we were born to make, from the inside. And that we don't try to please others as we make it, but rather, look at the world and at the art through our own eyes only. Also - that we keep the sales process separate - finding an audience for our work after it's made, without letting the market influence what we make.

However - that's just my ideal. It seems to be shared by quite a few people who've posted, and many of the artists I most respect. But that still doesn't THE ONLY WAY. If someone wants to make art to please others, cares about what the marketplace values, and wants a lot of encouraging companionship while painting - well, ok. Do it the way you need to do it.

You might replace the class with an artists' group that meets often. You might advertise (free, with flyers on bulletin boards) for art buddies with whom to paint. You can even set up art buddies by phone, email, or online. Robert Genn talks about that. And right now there's a Sat. eve. 2-hour painting session here at Wet Canvas, at least, the last time I looked.

Even subscribing to Robert Genn's twice weekly email letters, and reading the responses twice a week on the website, can give you a sense of companionship.

You wouldn't be the only one to take the marketplace into account, either. The most famous artist-blacksmith in the US, Albert Paley, made a conscious decision early on to make larger and larger sculptural works, although he was trained as a jeweler. He believed the market was better for the large works, and that he could make a name for himself earlier. He was right, and the world is richer for it since his public works are quite beautiful.

So - complain a while - and let your complaints tell you what you need to solve. Then use your creativity to get yourself what you need. Whatever it takes for you to make your art, your way - is fine.

DanaT
07-25-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by belladonna

Dana, I will have to pick up a copy of the artists way. It sounds interesting.

I'm sure you shall, belladonna. :) Also check out The Artists Way forum for good info on people's experiences and interpretations of The Artists Way book and program. You may find those interesting too.

If you like what you find, by all means join us September when we go through the program again.

DanaT
07-25-2003, 09:24 PM
I need painting buddies too! I just don't let their opinions dictate what I paint! :D

Companionship is more fun!

MikLNjLo
07-28-2003, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
I am not content living out my life creating in isolation.Originally posted by MikLNjLo
My work is only as good as people believe it is.
I wrote this but I need to clarify that I mean I do not want to live out my life being, in essence, a hero in my own mind.:p In other words, it is not enough to believe I am creating good work or a good artist. That distinction requires the confirmation and agreement of people outside myself. You can believe you are anything and that may not have anything to do with reality.

Originally posted by belladonna
??? Wrong!!! What is the matter with you??? I would reach out through this screen between us and bitch slap you if I could. I know this is sounding mean, but you need to find more self esteem and that has to come from inside, not out. Do you really think that you and your art are worthless unless someone tells you different? You need to find some self-acceptance.

"…reach out… and bitch slap…" this is perhaps the most tangible visual and very funny.:D

I value my work therefore it is worth something to me personally. Value to my peers, the community, fellow human beings and the gods is what I have been referring to. It is not enough to entertain myself with my art. Art as personal therapy and entertainment is not my goal although I experience both. I am interested in a universal theme of life and the human condition as my original post alluded to. I am not discounting anything in your message. Sometimes (too often) I run low on self-acceptance and esteem but I am not imploded.:)

The feedback is encouraging.

Thank you all again and again.

DanaT
07-28-2003, 08:26 AM
You seem that if you think highly of your art without the input of other people, you are deluding yourself. Isn't that thought in itself a delusion? If other people's opinions matter so much, why do you treat your own opinions like dirt? Aren't you part of the human race too?

belladonna
07-28-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo

I value my work therefore it is worth something to me personally. Value to my peers, the community, fellow human beings and the gods is what I have been referring to... I am interested in a universal theme of life and the human condition as my original post alluded to.

Perhaps what you are looking for is the open critique form for your work? If you want to know what kind of effect it has on others, the "open critique form" will give you a general impression. Ask them what they think of your subject matter, and if they would have it on their wall, and if they think it is a universal enough theme? Also ask them "if not, why?" Then you can gage how your work comes across if you curious about the universality of you work. (The "structured critique form" is a more technical place...)

(Just please don't ask them what they would like you to paint first! Your own ideas may very well be universal!)

Or… you could post a poll asking people what kind of subjects they like on their walls? eg:
"Deep meaning, dark"
"Deep meaning, political"
"Light and airy, pretty"
"Light and airy, cute"
"Down right scary"
"Tranquil and soothing"
Etc...
If that's really the way you want to go...

"Light and airy, pretty", will probably win, but remember that the market is already flooded with "light and airy pretty". Unless you are, "the best of the best", you will have a lot of competition there...

I appreciate the opinion of my peers as well. I sometimes go to them to seek advice on composition, or over all effect etc. I will listen and adjust the work if they point out a valid error, (eg: composition/tone), but as to changing my style and subject matter to please "generic fellow human beings" ... nooooooo

Before I accept a commission, I make sure the client knows what kind of work I do as in style, subject, etc. If they don't like the work I have already done, then I readily recommend another artist better suited to their taste. (I have artist friends that paint in different styles/moods and will pass on their phone numbers, no problem.) If they like what I have already done, and still want to hire me, (and I like the subject/theme of what they want me to paint), then we can both be happy, and I can be assured that it is my style of work that they really want.

Trying your “honest, best”, will be good enough for any of the gods. (If they have a problem with what I am painting, well, they know where to find me. None of them have come forward with a complaint as yet.) ;)

Originally posted by MikLNjLo
It is difficult to make it as an artist.
Hypothetical Scenario: If you were exceptional in a darker category but okay in a lighter and more popular theme where would you spend your time?
It IS hard to make it as an artist… I would spend my time in the darker category for sure if that was where I did my best work. Specialization is a good thing. If you are good at what you do, and enjoy what you are doing, keep at it. Your work will eventually stand out and be noticed.

Ron van den Boogaard
07-30-2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo


It is difficult to make it as an artist.
says who? Sounds like an affirmation. If it is true for a lot of other people it does not has to be true for you. It's a negative beleive that will make it difficult for you to make it as an artist. It will become a self-fullfilling prophecy.
Hypothetical Scenario:If you were exceptional in a darker category but okay in a lighter and more popular theme where would you spend your time?
If I would enjoy them both equally, I would do them both equally. If not I's go for the darker side. If I felt I was exceptional in those, I probably would enjoy them most making them.
Making popular stuff is OK as long as you feel good about it and have a good time making them. if not.... well...

Keith Russell
08-03-2003, 03:00 PM
belladonna said:
Before I accept a commission, I make sure the client knows what kind of work I do as in style, subject, etc. If they don't like the work I have already done, then I readily recommend another artist better suited to their taste. (I have artist friends that paint in different styles/moods and will pass on their phone numbers, no problem.) If they like what I have already done, and still want to hire me, (and I like the subject/theme of what they want me to paint), then we can both be happy, and I can be assured that it is my style of work that they really want.

K

MikLNjLo
08-04-2003, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by DanaT
You seem that if you think highly of your art without the input of other people, you are deluding yourself. Isn't that thought in itself a delusion? If other people's opinions matter so much, why do you treat your own opinions like dirt? Aren't you part of the human race too?
If you think you are good at something and you do not look for anything outside yourself to see where you are in relation to the world, this is not delusion. It isn't reality either. How can anyone know how good they are at anything without looking outside of themselves? This does not require a total rejection of self. On the contrary, you must know yourself and your relationship with your environment. It is like painting values. You cannot depict values in a painting successfully if you do not compare each value to the others to measure their relationship. By seeking different points of view, opinions and general feedback I am seeking information that will determine my relationship with the world. I can mold myself if I know where I am. If I don't, I have no foundation and I am floating in a perpetual fog. If it turns out that I am good at this something I can organize my resources and increase my chances at making something of it.

Originally posted by Ron van den Boogaard
Sounds like an affirmation
It is not a matter of getting a degree and hanging a shingle. It is more realistic to take into consideration that making a living as an artist is a relatively difficult career than a self-fulfilling prophesy. I have bought into this idea: if I were more outgoing, a networker, salesman, hyper-positive and independently wealthy I would probably do well with my artistic ability.

I am taking some of everyone's advice. Thank you thank you thank you.:)

MikLNjLo
08-04-2003, 06:25 AM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo
...I would probably do well with my artistic ability.
Not that I won't because I am lacking any of these. It just won't be as easy.;)

Keith Russell
08-05-2003, 09:06 PM
Looking outside one's self does not necessarily mean that one must look to other people.

I can measure my success as an artist by looking at the art that other people have created.

Also, few of us make a living doing things of which a large majority of 'the public' are aware. My employer serves less than 30 local companies, most of them with fewer than 10 employees.

I am 'making a living', yet I am not looking to 'the public' for validation of what I do.

Only to the owners of my company, of which there are only two...

K

DanaT
08-05-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo

It is more realistic to take into consideration that making a living as an artist is a relatively difficult career than a self-fulfilling prophesy. I have bought into this idea: if I were more outgoing, a networker, salesman, hyper-positive and independently wealthy I would probably do well with my artistic ability.

Are you sincerely looking for help or are you fishing for a debate? Every time someone gives you a suggestion, you say, "Yes, but" Where is this research to support your conclusions of what is realistic?

Fess up!

Keith Russell
08-05-2003, 11:25 PM
miknjlo said:
If it turns out that I am good at this something I can organize my resources and increase my chances at making something of it.

If it turns out that you are good--really good?

Or, if it turns out that you are good according to other people?

No one can please everyone.

Most of us please very few people.

Do you want to be good, or do you want to be famous?

(They are not mutually exclusive, but they are not mutually inclusive, either.)

K

MikLNjLo
08-06-2003, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by DanaT

Are you sincerely looking for help or are you fishing for a debate? Every time someone gives you a suggestion, you say, "Yes, but" Where is this research to support your conclusions of what is realistic?

Fess up!

Creativity Corner
The desire to create is a point of departure for the artist's journey. Risk traveling with us as we discuss the highs of creating, the lows of artist block, and the struggle to maintain a balance between the two!

DanaT-

Is there a rule that restricts people to sit silent once they start a thread? Why are you asking me to "fess up" to anything as though this is some sort of ulterior motive? Are you upset because you expect people to accept your advice and not discuss it?

As I have already said, I am taking some of everyone's advice. It is not only polite to acknowledge people with a response to their input, I am also interested in a dialog because the interaction is dynamic and shuffles things around so you grow as opposed to merely sitting back and reading which is relatively idle.

Why must you force this into any category? Let it be what it is. If a thread evolves into something else, so what! Why not let it be what it becomes?

Keith Russell
08-06-2003, 10:10 AM
miknjlo said:
"...I am...interested in a dialog because the interaction is dynamic and shuffles things around...as opposed to...reading..."

"Why must...any category ? [b]...If a thread evolves into something else, so what[?] Why not let it be what[ever] it becomes?"
--edited, emphasis added.

The above expresses my own view, as well--but within the larger context of this forum as a whole. These threads do evolve, and for one to go to great effort (most often in vain) to keep a discussion 'on-topic', seems pointless.

Do we serve an organizational system, or one more supportive of what should be the purpose of on-line forums, communication?

If the discussion is here (either in a particular thread, or within this particular forum), why move it to another thread or another forum? Few of the members of this forum will go there to continue the conversation, and yet it is with them that the conversation originates, and with them it should continue.

In 'real-life' you might have six people at a dinner table, and three different conversations will evolve out of one original discussion, and yet no one is asked to take their 'off-topic' discussion to another table.

Those who wish to participate in the 'sub-topic' may do so, and those who do not, are free to discuss something else...

K

DanaT
08-08-2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by MikLNjLo


Creativity Corner
The desire to create is a point of departure for the artist's journey. Risk traveling with us as we discuss the highs of creating, the lows of artist block, and the struggle to maintain a balance between the two!

DanaT-

Is there a rule that restricts people to sit silent once they start a thread? Why are you asking me to "fess up" to anything as though this is some sort of ulterior motive? Are you upset because you expect people to accept your advice and not discuss it?

As I have already said, I am taking some of everyone's advice. It is not only polite to acknowledge people with a response to their input, I am also interested in a dialog because the interaction is dynamic and shuffles things around so you grow as opposed to merely sitting back and reading which is relatively idle.

Why must you force this into any category? Let it be what it is. If a thread evolves into something else, so what! Why not let it be what it becomes?

So asking, "What are your intentions" is forcing the thread? And you still haven't answered my simple question. Now who's forcing?

MikLNjLo
08-09-2003, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by DanaT


So asking, "What are your intentions" is forcing the thread? And you still haven't answered my simple question. Now who's forcing?
Play your cat and mouse game with someone else.

DanaT
08-09-2003, 08:36 AM
Cat and mouse games? or are we fishing again, Vinnie?

uh, excuse me MikLNjLo? ;)

You can't hide. :D