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erik_satie_rolls
03-07-2003, 09:31 AM
Here is an issue that isn't discussed much, its rather abstract, so please sit tight:

Lately I've gone through a very creative spell and then a period of staleness and some really bad work. I've been at a loss to get past this until I realized that I had lost sight of my passion.

It seems that whenever I get engaged in dialogue about my work, with other artists and customers, I begin to lose focus. I find myself including their comments and my perception of their feelings in my creative judgement.

This goes much deeper than just choices of colors or subjects. It happens on an emotional level as I'm painting or drawing, and the work becomes just lifeless. Its as if I'm going through the motions and don't understand why.

I see others on this forum that seem to be able to just crank things out, photorealistic and highly detailed portraits, colorful landscapes and marvelous abstracts, and then even those who consider themselves 'students' pushing vitally toward creative expression.

It doesn't happen that way for me. Art is difficult, sometimes painful, except for the rare spells when everything goes good and somehow a work appears in front of me. Its always been this way. I can't just 'turn it on'. Even though my work is representational, its very loose, just the way I am, and at times it just rattles apart. And it seems that this happens a lot when I'm showing the work, as I get sidetracked on what others might think of it. I lose sight of what made the work exciting in the first place, which was MY creative judgement and personal stake in the work.

For right now, it seems I'm back on track. But I was wondering, does anyone else get derailed like this? What makes it diffucult for you to stay on track, what gets you back into the groove, and is art a painful process of staying focused for you? Am I alone out here?

erik

DanaT
03-07-2003, 10:08 AM
Its definitely happened to me, erik. I'm also a loose representational painter and, as you say, when it works, its really good but when it doesn't, it really sucks. The photorealistic painters can use techniques but too much attention to technique can destroy our type of work.

I was intrigued that you said your work falls apart when talking to others about it. One artist whose name I can't remember said that discussing art takes away the passion needed to create art. I've found that too. Sometimes I tell myself to stop talking about it (and stop coming to WC ;) ) and just do it.

Another thing I noticed was that the painters who really crank out the stuff put a lot more of hours in painting than I do. Some of the artists here paint 6-8 hours a day. I had to come to the decision that if I was really serious I had to put more time into it but I have a full time job so its kinda hard.

So right now, I'm spending more of my time making art and less time talking about it. And I'm trying to paint some everyday. Its hard but I've broken through some barriers for myself.

coolray
03-07-2003, 12:18 PM
erik,

As an artist that puts a full day in designing, painting, or sketching, I find that there are days that just don't go well. Anyone who can do this on a daily basis and keep the creativity level up has my hat off to them. I can go for quite sometime and not have a problem at all creating, and then BAM! it seems to hit me like a brick and I don't even want to do anything. Of course some of that spawns from the daily events that happen in my life. If there is a big tragedy going on, you can forget me doing anything serious. ( I may doodle, but nothing more than that)

I try to be a self motivator. I like to think that today is the day that is going to be the most productive and creative. I can't say that it always works, but it doesn't hurt. I don't just work on one painting at a time either. I have many projects going on at once, and I switch between them depending on my mood.

When I do get into a slump, I try to drum up some business in some other kind of work, like some outdoor thing to get away from all the bad vibes. It helps to take a step back and see what is creating this slump, and when I do finally get back to the studio, I find that I am ready to tackle the problems at hand.

But that's just me. I never thought it would be this difficult to create, and for the most part it's not bad.

I know better days are ahead!

Terry

Ron van den Boogaard
03-07-2003, 01:52 PM
Art is difficult, sometimes painful
This santence particurlarly struck me. I know difficult. Sometimes. So then I put things aside and start something else. There are always at least 15 things sitting around, where I got stuck or temporarily lost interest.
Now Painful. That is something I am not familiar with. Somehow I have the feeling this might be at the core of your problem. Could you elaborate a little on that?
What is the painful part about it?

There are a lot of sides to pain in general and in art in particular, I could go into it expstenvily, but seems better if you describe this a bit more detailed.

erik_satie_rolls
03-07-2003, 07:09 PM
Now Painful. That is something I am not familiar with. Somehow I have the feeling this might be at the core of your problem. Could you elaborate a little on that?

Ron, here it is. When I work for a week and all my drawings and painting end up lost, weak, fragmented, thats frustrating.

When continue to work after looking, looking, and I paint and it flows and then I look at it over a cup of coffee and its all wrong, its not saying anything thats me, that is very difficult.

When I take that painting and put it away and come back a month later and work again after looking and thinking and do this over and over for months, finally putting the painting out of sight, thats uncomfortable.

When I take this same painting out of the closet, dust it off, realize that yes it works, somehow I missed it all happening, I can now frame it or put it in a show.

That's painful.

The other side of course is when it all flows together, which is where I started in about this, and how its so easy to get distracted from the focus that creates that flow, the one that works.




I like coolray's approach and want to try it:

I try to be a self motivator. I like to think that today is the day that is going to be the most productive and creative.

DanaT: what barriers have you broken through? It sounds exciting.


thanks for all your comments, everyone

erik

Cathy Morgan
03-07-2003, 10:29 PM
Sometimes when I get into the state you describe, I realize that I'm looking at the work and my studio through other people's eyes. The work only goes well if I'm looking just through my own eyes.

Also, I learned not to show work until it's completed. I know that some artists enjoy sharing work in progress and gain a lot from this. It sounds like a pleasurable thing, but for me it seems to backfire. I get more cautious, slow down - basically am still seeing the work through someone else's eyes.

How to regain the state of seeing through my own eyes? Sometimes just being aware of what's gone wrong is enough. Other times, I have to reclaim my studio space and work in some way - or just let time pass. Free drawing sometimes works. I'd be interested to know how other people rid themselves of "other people's eyes" when they're not helping the work move forward.

Ron van den Boogaard
03-08-2003, 04:57 AM
Erik,

This explanation I understand.Have been there myself. And once again Julia Cameton's "The Artist Way" helped me to deal with this.
By postponing the judgement. Rather than trying to figure out whether things work or not, I try to stay as blank as possible and keep an "It is what it is" attitude.
Because so much has to do with a preconceived idea of what we want to achieve and as in the process all sorts of unpredictable things happen the outcome does not match the preconceived idea.
Think thais is true in your case, otherwise a work could not be good after you've hidden it for a few months. The perception and meaning of any work over time always changes, so why immediatelly pass a judgement on it? That's only gonna hold temporarily anyway.

Postponing judgement is a very deliberate kind of thing. Of course there always seems to be the temptation to immediatelly have a judgement. I just have to tell myself to think nothing about it. At first it is really an effort, but when you get used to it it becomes easier and a more natural attitude.
In very general terms, we are so educated in passing judgements, distincting good and bad, it has become a second nature. We do it all the time, and even on our own artwork. Thereby ignoring the unconcious side that goes into the work. We let things happen that go way beyond the concious process and then we tend to judge them with our rationality. So in effect things happen that look bad or don't work, which are actually great achievements that we fail to recognize.

Also from JC's book (and I hate to sound like the proverbiall broken record here) is the Miles Davis quote Do not fear mistakes, because there are none. When you can acquire that attitude suddenly there is a greater sense of freedom. It's an odd thing: art is totally free, still we put up all sorts of boundaries to limit our freedom. But then total freedom is scary. Postponing judgement is one step in finding a greater freedom, but it increases the size of our playing field.

Well, hopes this is a little helpful, it did a lot for me.

DanaT
03-08-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by erik_satie_rolls


DanaT: what barriers have you broken through? It sounds exciting.



erik, for me they are pretty significant. For the first time, I finished a satisfying self portrait over an extended 7 day period. Previously it was impossible for me to keep going successfully with one work over an extended period of time. I always lost the connection somewhere in the process and couldn't get it back. I'm also more frequently able to consciously go the next step from previous sessions when I start a new one. Previously I experienced frequently what seemed like a total loss of my abilities on several different occasions. It was pretty scary. I'm developing myself at a faster pace and its no longer so hit or miss.

If I look at the difference between now and then, I'd say that more time behind the easel has given me more opportunities to get intimate with the subject and my painting. When the intimacy is there, everything flows. But before, I lost it so much, I think, because I was experiencing it without really understanding what it was and why it was important. And since I wasn't painting so much, I didn't have a lot of opportunity to experience the intimacy even by accident.

But spending more time painting showed me that the intimacy made the difference. It was like the sweet spot on a tennis racket. So once I knew what I was looking for and what it felt like, I could catch even the least bit of intimacy and keep hold of it more often.

Today's drawing class was a case in point, I just let myself fully experience the classroom environment, the model and his pose, the paper and the chalk. At the very least, I wanted the paper to reflect the sensations, thoughts, and emotions I was experiencing and especially the experience of being in that room looking at that model. I kept going back to that every time the drawing got difficult or I got distracted. The woman next to me kept saying what beautiful work I was doing and when we were almost finished asked me if I thought it was good. I was at a loss for words, I hadn't been thinking of it in those terms, the drawing wasn't good or bad; it just WAS. And that is what the sense of intimacy felt like; everything just WAS, and that sensation felt great.

I'm blabbering on here I know, but its so hard to describe. I think talking and analyzing is good up to a point but at some point, words fail and can even confuse. Painting more has swung the pendulum over for me to the point where I'm doing the work more than I'm talking about it and that can only be a good thing.

Adrienne
03-09-2003, 10:13 AM
But I was wondering, does anyone else get derailed like this? What makes it diffucult for you to stay on track, what gets you back into the groove, and is art a painful process of staying focused for you? Am I alone out here?
Yes, I get derailed, and yes, art is very painful for me. It is often very, very difficult for me to face down my fears of what might end up appearing under my brush, and go forward.

I appreciate your candid discussion of your experience with creating art. Your thoughts are very poignant and speak to me. Your words give me hope, somehow. Must be a good thing knowing that others struggle, but continue.

Thank you Erik, and peace,

Adrienne

vklum
03-09-2003, 04:15 PM
I experience the same thing, Erik. And, since I'm very new to painting, my bumps in the road are really devastating to my confidence. And even though I know I'm not alone in these problems, it doesn't stop me from feeling lonely when I experience them.

I'm taking a painting class on Saturdays and have been vexed by this one that I've been working on all term. Yesterday my instructor nearly begged me to start on something else, just so I can get my feet back under me and gain back some confidence.

Part of my problem is that I'm very much a warrior-type personality...which means the painting in question must be conquered. To set it aside and work on something else would be admitting defeat and that's something very close to impossible for me. Even though there's a part of my soul that realises it really isn't a defeat, that warrior just won't let go.

To top all this off, other than a couple of contract gigs, I've been unemployed for a year now (well, in a few days it will be a year...). Nothing destroys confidence like companies not even acknowledging your resume/application, even though you're completely qualified for the job...except for when you call to follow up and they are exceedingly nasty for having the nerve to bother them. Even though I know it's down to a horrible economy (especially here in California), it's hard to not take it personally...

So with the employment situation being horrible (and the concurrent worries over being homeless), when the art goes pear-shaped too, life can really suck some days. :crying:

But all I know to do is to keep trying...perseverance is the best weapon I have right now.

Salairawns
03-10-2003, 10:39 AM
Hey Erik,
I can sure relate to what you and everyone is saying. Talking about your art can destroy it, which I've found the same goes for writing, and a lot of creative projects. Talking sucks the life out of it.
I destroyed a painting yesterday. Created two in a series and the third refuses to create itself. I had the warrior attitude to not give up, and finally relinquished it and smashed it up. It felt good to start fresh.
Something I keep in mind when my work looks bad, or I just think it looks bad, is to remind myself that people have painted a box on canvas and called it art. If they can do that, then I can call my work art, too.
Also, someone mentioned 'other people's eyes'. I think this is a key in losing focus on what you want to do. We can't create things based on what we think others might be passionate about, it's just guessing. But if we create something we are passionate about, someone else will find it and pick up on it.
Just one more take on it.

Ron van den Boogaard
03-10-2003, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Salairawns
Something I keep in mind when my work looks bad, or I just think it looks bad, is to remind myself that people have painted a box on canvas and called it art. If they can do that, then I can call my work art, too.
Thus effectively postponing or shifting your judgement. You use it as a trick, which is totally cool. It is with a little disregard to the historical perspective that we went from recognized art to self-proclaimed art. According to Danto it happened with the Warhol's Brillo boxes. One could argue that the ready-mades by DuChamps and Man Ray already did this. Just sidelining a little.

It is what is, is the general idea. So there can be no good nor bad. In that respect it is a little sad that you ripped up the painting as it was one step in a process, which later will proof to have had it's own value for existing and will return in some incarnated form in another piece.

So sometimes it is worth to talk about art and your own art as it sharpens the senses and gives the realization what in fact you are working on/with and that realization can greatly contribute to the progression.

Salairawns
03-10-2003, 01:29 PM
You've got a point I hadn't considered. There is a difference in others calling your artwork, art, and calling it art yourself.
And you're right, it's simply a way to trick the mind and keep it from stalling when criticizing my own work.
But the canvas I threw away was not art, not even after multiple scrapings and repaintings on it. By that time, I'd lost the passion and was just trying to salvage the canvas, and it showed. Sometimes crap is crap and we artists have to know when it really is, and when it's just doubts in our head. ;)
An artist can play in the world of illusion until a piece is finished, but the truth of whether it is art or not, is all subjective depending on who is viewing it. Makes it a hard call. :)

Ron van den Boogaard
03-10-2003, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Salairawns
But the canvas I threw away was not art, not even after multiple scrapings and repaintings on it. By that time, I'd lost the passion and was just trying to salvage the canvas, and it showed. Sometimes crap is crap and we artists have to know when it really is, and when it's just doubts in our head. ;)
This is true when you consider each piece on its own merits. When you look at one piece as just one step in the process of the entire body of work, than things get to be different.
Did a "horrible" piece a year ago. Overpainted it. Now occasionally some little bits and pieces of this "crap art" turn up in other pieces. And I cannot trace my step(s). It still would be a piece that stinks, but a valueable piece of history within my process.
Few years back I saw some very basic sketches by Dali. Not all very good, but it pointed towards later work thereby making them very impressive. So i am in favour of keeping everything as it is part of the body of work you're building. The foorprints in the sand of the road you walk.
Originally posted by Salairawns
An artist can play in the world of illusion until a piece is finished, but the truth of whether it is art or not, is all subjective depending on who is viewing it. Makes it a hard call. :)
I argued the opposite. We can proclaim our own art, the viewer determines to a large degree the meaning. Their personal meaning.

But all this is marginal compared to questions such as: what do you want to express with your art? These questions can in part be answered by viewing your body of work and thus it's important to keep the crap.

artcreator
03-12-2003, 10:26 PM
I wonder if all of this has something to do with a preconceived idea of what is good or bad. Most of the time as I work on something I feel almost like I can't do anything wrong. This has served me well in most cases, even if afterwards I feel a piece is bad, I know I at least put my best foot forward. Maybe this all sounds a bit too flowery for most people. I can say this may go back to my childhood though, I was never really taught much about art. I don't even believe there was even as much as a poster in any of the homes I lived in as a child. Essentially, I led an art starved life. I was never told about art at all...so, armed with this kind of shell I can go about and do almost anything I want to attempt. I know that in the end some of my experimentation has failed horribly, but even some of my "self conceived" failures have made people look twice. I don't know what this all chalks up to, maybe I'm just lucky, talented, or fearless when it comes creating art. Maybe I just have superego...I really don't know...lol.

So, I don't really judge a piece by myself or anyone else really on good or bad, but upon whether or not it says something to me.

DanaT
03-12-2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Ron van den Boogaard

But all this is marginal compared to questions such as: what do you want to express with your art? These questions can in part be answered by viewing your body of work and thus it's important to keep the crap.

Funny Ron, I'm not disagreeing with you totally but your idea is one I had as a beginner that I'm putting aside.

I used to keep EVERYTHING - even 1 minute sketches on newsprint - as my art. It took up a lot of space and some of it was pretty terrible. Just this past summer I threw away most of the old drawings and paintings because they don't mean to me what they once did. They were good workhorses and served their purpose in helping me to evolve but now its time to move on.

Ron van den Boogaard
03-13-2003, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by artcreator
I wonder if all of this has something to do with a preconceived idea of what is good or bad. Most of the time as I work on something I feel almost like I can't do anything wrong. This has served me well in most cases....
Doesn't sound flowery to me, I think you just nailed it here. And really never thought of it in that way, but it never occurred to me that I can fail, I just do my thing, and some come out better than others and indeed, that is not neccessarily the judgement others make.
In the very worse case, you've wrecked a perfectly good piece of canvas. So? So you blew a few bucks. If we do that on a bad meal in a restaurant, you just shrug your shoulders and go "Too Bad"> So why should that be different on a painting, or a drawing?
I don't know what this all chalks up to, maybe I'm just lucky, talented, or fearless when it comes creating art. Maybe I just have superego...I really don't know...lol.
Sounds to me you are just confident, which is often confused with ego, but is a different thing alltogether.
So, I don't really judge a piece by myself or anyone else really on good or bad, but upon whether or not it says something to me.
And even when it says nothing to you, it can still speak to someone else. We hold some powerful instruments and we are often taking that too lightly.

Adrienne
03-13-2003, 10:03 AM
We hold some powerful instruments and we are often taking that too lightly.

I completely agree with this, and appreciate seeing this put so well into words. Thanks Ron.

artcreator
03-13-2003, 03:05 PM
Heck Ron, even if I wreck a piece of canvas, I can always scrape it back, reprime and use it for the purpose of a study. The same can't be said of a meal. ;) Some of my best stuff has come out on an already used canvas even if I have the wherewithall to go at another painting on it. I guess this is where the frugality that my grandmother raised me with comes out...nothing goes to waste. Well, maybe the paint which I scrape off or cover does...but even then...when I went through my more abstract period I still managed to use what was underneath the previous work almost like something superimposed into the new work...that's a bit more difficult now since I am trying a more realistic approach to my work.

I managed to let someone knock down my confidence in my work in the past. She didn't like it once she knew what was in a painting, that made things hard for me for a while. But now, I am back to not really caring what she thinks of my work again and starting to turn out some pretty decent stuff. I used to work on one, maybe to pieces at a time...now I have three going since I have all this built up creativity. Now just to get my technique back.

Right on again with it not necessarily having to speak to me...I have turned out things that I didn't much like in the end...but for some reason others did...so they have managed to survive my recent financial difficulties while the less fortunate have been salvaged for canvas. Perhaps I should post some of my older works to see what people here think of them...I might gain a bit more insight into my compositional ability...heck, I looked at my very first oil for the first time in years last night and was almost amazed by the fact that it followed the rule of thirds pretty closely even if my overall painting ability wasn't there at all. What I don't get is everyone that has seen that painting loves it, even with my crappy technique. Apparently it says something to them.

Another thought on worrying about the judgment of others. It can really haunt you if you let it stick around for too long and stagnate your work. I remember when I went for a job several years ago, I had to take what they called a "cleaver test". It's a personality test. Out if it I got an insight...I do have a fear of success, not because I am afraid to get there...but rather my ability to maintain success in the eyes of my peers. So, in this kind of mindset, I always aim lower so I can exceed expectations. Playing sports, I would play at the local YMCA...even though many people thought I should be in college playing basketball. In art, I have never been in a gallery or competition, yet I dominated the local coffee house scene for 2 or 3 years before I went on hiatus.

The beauty of all this is, as I have grown and matured...my sights get set higher...now I am strongly considering going to galleries and entering competitions when I rebuild my body of work. At the rate I am going now...it shouldn't take long, save for drying time. I am thinking by about midway through my first semester back in school I should be about ready to approach a gallery with my portfolio, and the fact that I am going to be going to school in a place that has a large tourist industry (Thanks Elvis!) I actually am quite confident that some of my stuff will sell once it is on display. I actually look at going to school as being a possibility for double-pronged success, educationally and artistically. Of course I could get there and fail in both...but that thought is so distasteful that I will fight it every step of the way and be at my absolute best.

Hopefully, my work will speak to someone...I'll really be able to use the extra income or at least some form of recognition for the first time in my life.

For all of you that get blocked up, I can't offer much advice. We've all read the books and such on creativity, sometimes you just can't work through it...so, take a week off...or a month if you have to. As strange as it may sound...you may be suffering from a bout of burnout. Even if you haven't created in months, you can be burned out by worrying about not creating. Try to enjoy life for a while and not worry so much, if that is the case. Sometimes a little time away will open your eyes to new ideas that will serve you better in the long run than trying to fight it. Whatever you do though, if you have a drive to paint, draw, sculpt, etc...never walk away from it completely. Though if you have a strong drive, you would never be able to do that. Even when I wasn't working, I would find myself just doodling and freedrawing things because there is that part of me that has to come out. Even if it isn't there now, it is in fact bubbling under the surface in you.

It took some major life events for me to end up back in front of an easel, I hope it doesn't take the same for most.

artcreator
03-13-2003, 03:17 PM
By the way, art always has at least a little bit of pain in it for me too. That pain comes from digging deep inside of myself though. I unfortunatly have a few issues in my life that some might find disturbing, my art is a way of expressing all of those thoughts and feelings that haunt me. Like some people cry, I paint. Afterwards, I feel better about the situation I am tackling or at least about who I am through this mode of expression. Maybe that's why I don't really run out of subjects. I'm a pretty emotional person (aren't most artists?) unfortunatly for me, I get little in return for my emotions other than through my art. But at least I have something to get a return from...even if it is from me and to me.

gill
03-14-2003, 07:28 PM
Hi:
I had to come to grips with "the good, the bad, and the ugly" paintings that I was doing. Seems like I was being too hard on myself, I wouldn't have cut down someone else's paintings like I did my own.
I did a painting of a river one day and some guy liked it because of the ducks in it. There weren't any ducks in it (which ticked me off at the time) but that got me to thinking that I had to do my best and try to capture what was important and let the rest go. People will see your work differently than you do. People don't like some of my favorites and they like some that I don't. It is strange but I have learned to ease up on myself and have fun.
gill
www.gillpollard.com

artcreator
03-15-2003, 01:55 PM
Gill, that's a big part of the key to all of this I think. Just letting go of your perception and the perception of others...just create what pleases you. Even if you don't think it turns out...maybe because of a perceived flaw...others probably won't see the flaws we see. We spend sooooo much intimate time working on these artworks that it makes it hard for us to detach from them and give them an objective view.

ranunkel
03-18-2003, 03:30 AM
Hi

Can't tell how relieved I am to hear that so many artist share the same problems, after all we are not alone in the dark!

I have ups and downs, and some times I feel so insecure about my art.That is when I go to a mirror and tell my self that I do art for my own sake, and I don't care if other don't like it!

All the paintings and drawings I do that are no good I hang on a wall for some days to find out what is good and what isn't working. Then I write down what I have learned, in this way I don't feel I wasted my time painting and drawing.

erik_satie_rolls
03-20-2003, 05:43 PM
thank you all for the replies. One thing that I'm doing right now is pulling out as many pieces as will fit into one room and evaluating them as a body of work. Its interesting to see which ones are repetitive of others, and how some that don't seem like much by themselves work together with other related pieces.

erik

Dorothea
04-08-2003, 05:32 AM
Erik,
I never Art talk with any Artists.That helps not to take a wrong path. At one time a person chose to critique my painting, I handed the person a brush! the reply was "Oh, I cant paint" We live in a world of our own, we solve our own problems. Turn a deaf ear and be cool and smiling. We wear ourselves out. I paint at least 3 canvases. and jump from one to the other, this way I focus on one at a time and find a mistake when I get back to the other ones (not the same day session) Understand that creativity wears itself out. Take a break! mow the lawn, sneak a peek at your work you will get back to it with the right answers.:clap: :clap: :clap: :cat:
Dorothea von Eckhardt;)

DanaT
04-09-2003, 03:36 PM
Dorothea,

I don't want to turn a permanent deaf ear to all the wonderful people out there that have helped me become the person I am. I may not share my work all the time but I don't paint just to decorate my walls. :)

Artists don't create in a vacuum but in a community of people that can at times be misguided but always inspiring. Yes, there are times and people its not good to share with but to say NEVER is too restricting. Our art gets better when we keep the channel open that lies between ourselves and others.

When we totally cut ourselves off from others, our work becomes peripheral, incidental, nonessential to the world at large.

Cathy Morgan
04-09-2003, 04:23 PM
This is an interesting issue in itself, maybe worth its own thread. I think it must be a matter not only of differences among individuals, but also of timing. In other words, showing work in progress may be an awful mistake for one artist at one time, and then ten years later may be a big enhancement.

I learned over time that it works best for me not to show work in progress over describe it too vividly - not just to artists but to anyone. It wouldn't matter if the viewer was enthusiastic or critical. Usually the showing and comments would seem fine at the time, even energizing, but I'd notice later that my work on the piece slowed to nothing after that.

But I know lots of artists thrive on working in groups, and/or with lots of studio visits and comments. Maybe that will be true of me at some point later.

DanaT
04-09-2003, 05:52 PM
You're so right, Cathy. Timing is critical when it comes to sharing.

I know its not the right time to share when I'm unsure of myself. Sometimes that occurs during a WIP, sometimes after a finished work. When I'm unsure of myself, I usually reach out to others to validate myself. But others can't validate my artistic path for me, I have to do that myself. So reaching out at that time hurts more than it helps.

But once I've validated my path, the insight of others is often delightful and almost always helps me grow.

Dorothea
04-10-2003, 06:26 AM
Dana,
I was born in NY and had a sucessful career as a designer in NYC for more years than I care to mention. I left to get away from all the bull----. I agree that one should not create in a vacum, but in NY there is always someone ready to try to take your creativity
away from you. I caught a budding? artist going through my garbage pail of cast off roughs, she said she was making up a
portfolio, After that I tore everything up. I never ask anyone for advice. When you create, it is yours alone, others advice may damage your goal. ( I do not paint to decorate my walls) I also teach, each student has to do their own thing,and not critique another. We all must do our own thing. If it helps you to take advice from others, then do it, But if you go it alone, the painting is yours alone. Good or bad, it is YOURS. You will learn from your own mistakes.
:cool: Dorothea

DanaT
04-10-2003, 09:12 AM
Dorothea,

Yes, New York can be a cold and aggressive place. It looks like your experience there has made you cynical and distrustful. I'm sorry for that.

Given that scenario, you made the right decision to leave. Life's too short to stay in a situation that saps your creativity. I hope where you are, you can regain that child's sense of wonder and delight in the world which is the fount of creativity. :)

PS I was a graphic designer for awhile and left the job because it too sapped my creativity. There are a lot of jobs and situations that SEEM creative but all they do is drain you of what little creativity you've got left. Now I'm not pretending that I want "a job somewhere in the creative arts". I am an artist-plain and simple.

mpopinz
04-10-2003, 09:29 AM
Hi Erik,

I can relate completely.

Then, last week I picked up a new book by Janet Walsh, and one of the first things I read was "Be careful not to expose your self to other artist's egos".


This was an opening for me. I currently don't expect to reach "professional" status, right now small improvements are major victories for me.

Paint because you enjoy it. Paint because you are inspired by your subject. Paint, to please yourself.

Dorothea
04-11-2003, 05:59 AM
:evil: Dana,
Seems we are uncovering some "hidden truths" here. Sapping your creativity in your graphic position tells me I'm not alone, There are "true Artists" and those who wear a mask, that pretend they are Artist, or wish they were. Seems like they are the ones that love to criticize anothers work. Back to you. We know when something is not right with our work. Leave it for another day. Start another canvas, go back to the first one a week later. You will see your goal. This works for me and it might work for you. I think we rush to get our inspiration down quickly
for fear we may lose it. We dont. It will stay until its completed.No
I'm not cynical, I just backed off from the transparent scene in NY.
I saw it when I got into it. I just stayed long enough to make enough money to get out.
I wish you well and Happy Painting!........Dorothea..........:clap:

erik_satie_rolls
04-11-2003, 07:49 PM
That's fascinating, Dorothea. I'd love to hear more about the transparent scene in New York. I'd also enjoy hearing your definition of a true artist, then I could figure out if I am one or not ;).


Dan

DanaT
04-11-2003, 09:53 PM
Dorothea,

The interesting thing about New York is it has SO MANY scenes :) I stay here because if I don't like one scene there are always several others.

Curiously enough, the company that sapped my energy had mostly Midwesterners who made it clear from the beginning that they weren't interested in the big city. They bought houses in Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey with up to 3 hour commutes each way but complained that their families never saw them. They couldn't imagine living in an urban environment with less square footage even if it meant spending more time with their families. They had little respect for the creative except grudgingly when they needed to market their stuff. Then they would get anal-retentive and complain you didn't know about the real world.

The company is leaving New York for Richmond and happily I'm not going with them. I think shadow artists and crazymakers can be found everywhere.

When I share my work has more to do with my own frame of mind than with the pettiness or jealousies of others. I never share my work to get validation from others - if I'm unsure of myself I wait to get the answer from within. But when I'm sure of myself, I do share with others no matter whether they're supportive or not because then I'm open enough to be influenced by the good stuff but strong enough to repel the bad stuff. :)

artcreator
04-12-2003, 04:43 AM
Ahh graphic arts. A few years ago I was in school briefly for computer programming at a local technical college. I had to take a course on basically what computers are and what's inside of them. At the first class we went through the usual "introduce yourself" exercises. You had to give your name, interests, and job. Mine went something like this:

"My name is Shawn, my interests include painting, drawing, football, basketball, and politics. I currently work as both a shift lead in a silicone injection molding facility, basically doing engineering work at a layman's salary and I am also an artist." I said.

"Ohh, an artist," my teacher replied. "Why aren't you in the graphic arts program then? We should really get you there."

"I find the graphic arts to be unappealing and I am here to learn computer programming. I am already an artist, I don't need to be trained to design advertisements...I don't believe I would find it to be much of a challenge." I replied.

Defeated immediately, my teacher looked at me and said. "Well, if the programming thing doesn't work out, keep it in mind." She then moved on to the next student.


I know it may sound snobbish, but I even knew then that I wouldn't want to be in the graphic arts. When I create, I ultimately create for myself. I just try to put it into a context that is at least somewhat understandable and can draw someone into it. The thought of creating something within a defined framework gives me the chills. I have had a surrealist piece take a sharp left into cubism and turn out far better than it would have with my original idea. I can't imagine not having this leeway when working on something. I feel that doing something like graphic design would just *******ize my creative side and I would ultimately be incredibly unhappy and unfulfilled.

And about the whole "true artist" thing. I was an athlete growing up and that's still what I appear to be to people to this day. I have had many people assume that I was a poser or wannabe artist, just based upon my appearance. Milwaukee has a very artsy area and most of us around here are very punky in manner and dress, I stick out like a sore thumb in this environment. I found that a lot of people would talk down to me until they saw what kind of work I do. A lot of people would tend to hang out and just stare at a piece for a while, studying it. After that they seemed to open up a bit more to me because I was indeed genuine in their eyes.

Dorothea
04-12-2003, 08:25 AM
Dana,
The midwesterners could not afford NY $$$ homes. I myself bought a house in Glen Cove Long Island, later N.J. I would have loved to live close to my workplace. You sound better about yourself. Keep thinking:D

DanaT
04-13-2003, 01:08 AM
You may be right Dorothea. The rest of us couldn't afford homes in the city either but we bought them anyway and figured we were saving because we didn't need to make car payments. :D

I guess its where your priorities lie.