Monday, November 22, 2010

Gimptitude - overcoming others to get the art out

One of the big things in my life is getting support for my artwork. I am sure you've heard the saying, "that's a good hobby, what you gonna do for money?" Yes, they've gotten so good at saying it that I've heard it in deadpan monologues and set to rap music. Unless you are pressed to be a commercial artist and produce a paycheck, you are doomed to be lambasted, underrated and marginalized. At least it seems that way. In my case I listened to all the voices and did "other" money making things. Now that I am unemployed, with time on my hands and I can smell retirement age looming, the prospect of doing what I had intended originally and naively, seems very possible today. Of course the voices are still there, it takes an act of God to change the record sometimes. Wake up people, it's about fulfilling my aspirations not meeting your expectations. But I guess they depend on me to the point that my taking risks might endanger their comfort and security. In other words where is the paycheck?

There are other pressures. Loved ones who are so one with you that they feel it's their right to influence your work even though art is not their strong suit. And other loved ones who are well trained in the arts but were pre-occupied with life issues and never kept up with their own work. They offer so much advice it is worse than critics. I remind them I did not travel through the same path nor been taught the way they were, I can't relate. I use a computer mouse not a pencil, pen or paint brush and Glade does not come in turpentine scent. When my art is in progress I can stop, save it and pickup where I left off months later. I can make copies and save them, alter them, print them and on and on. My artist world is different than the one my love ones are familiar with. I remind them being an artist is not my job description, it is who I am. I will do art wither I am paid for it or not. I can't meet the standard set by other artist especially when some of the highly trained scribble and get paid on their name. How the heck am I supposed to judge the amount of experienced creative effort when my scribbles are just like theirs. I do what I do and that's the art. It is the art of the artist. I did not need an accreditation or to be approved by the accredited to do art. There is no gauntlet of paintbrush bearing hazers to run through.  

I like contemporary and modern art and African flavors in art. I live in an area overburdened with commercial products, conservative tastes and trendy fashions. Not many appreciate design you can't get on the store shelf. Most feather their nests with what I call watered down canned design. It is a very casual acquisition of interior decoration stuff. In my artist's world, design is very concentrated, almost extreme. You might select one item of mine to fit into your world. It changes the context of your world but not enough to make my work a theme in your place. That is OK.

I am standing in the gap by not focusing on web art nor on traditional art media. It is both awkward and a challenge for everyone to think of a print as art. Painters will have their work photographed and together with photographers have their works scanned and printed on canvas or high tech paper. If digital artist directly print their digital work, all of a sudden the argument is on, what and where is the original and which determines the value the artist work, the quality of the print or the kind of print. If you print on a home office printer or a high end print shop printer or the kind of print medium and inks. It is so academic. Yet a guy can do oil paint on newsprint and is an unquestioned creative genius in techniques and material use. Is there no worry about archival quality of the original? Seeing how digital artist work, there is just as much effort put into the works. The direct printout of a digital file can be appreciated for the artist's work. I guess the scary thing is that digital prints can be postage stamp to billboard sized and applied to almost anything. Ok, the same beautiful picture on typing paper is of less value than if printed on glossy photo-paper or on canvas. You have to set the value by the materials used and the composition of the picture.

And you thought it was easy being an artist! Try being well known for your work but not bothered so you can get some work done. LOL

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