Monday, 30 August 2010

Opinions on Making Art

Jackie asked me some big questions in her comment on last post Making Art is Really Really Hard. I thought the questions warranted another post.

Zom ,
I would love to hear your thoughts on this further . I think this is an important subject. I agree that an artist communicates through their work But what you mean to communicate and what is actually perceived by the viewer is something unpredictable.

Absolutely. Saying that an artist needs to communicate is tricky because we are used to thinking that means logical word thinking. As if, as an artist, I come up with a concept that I want to tell you then I put it into visual language. This is not my experience. My inspiration comes to me in images or symbols. It has to do with feeling and is more like dreaming than thinking. It is as though I am sharing my dreaming.
In that sense, when someone looks at my painting their interpretation of how it feels or what it is 'saying' may be very different from mine. That is why I love to ask people about my paintings without telling them what I think it is about. Sometimes their interpretation has truth in it that I wasn't grasping.

I think an artists feelings only comes through the piece when they are inspired and immersed in the subject.
I would like to ask what your intention is when you create. I would love to hear your thoughts on your process as you decide on your piece .

Intention might not be a word that I would use with making my art. Again I find the word a little too thinking aligned. My process is more intuitive. I feel what is happening more than think about it. It is like I am dreaming it into being.

I do love your artwork .

Thank you. I am wondering if you are speaking about my art journaling or my work as a professional artist. They are different. The first is very process oriented, me just seeing what happens. The second is at my website.

Also what makes an artist a professional and who decided what is really art ? I think these are questions to ponder .

The first is a matter of commitment. I know that the actual term professional just means that you are paid for it, but I was trying to differentiate between an artist and someone being creative. It is popular now to say that everyone is an artist, but I find this ridicules. It is like saying everyone is a dancer or a singer. We can all dance, we can all sing and we are all able to be creative. But we have not all dedicated our lives to it.

Remember that alot of your master painters were not recognized as professional artists but yet they kept creating . What do you think motivated them ?

They were artists. I agree that it would be silly to say that being an artist has to do with recognition. Many many amazing artists are unrecognized and some who are not artists become famous.

I love having this kind of dialogue. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think about these questions Jackie.


Jackie said...

Zom ,
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions . I appreciate it because I know that time is valuable . Your artwork that I love is your professional work.My favorite is one of your new pieces
"The Return , drawing . I love how subtle it is and the lines speak to me .
As a beginner I am not at a place where I can relax and create from a place of freedom and intuition .
What I would like to ask is, if you would have been able to give some advice to the "artists " in the local fair or if there is one thing you could say to a beginning artist what is it you would wish to say ? What is it that you could say that might make a difference in their artwork ?
thanks again ,

Zom said...

I am so glad you mentioned 'the Return' as this is the direction my new work is going. I am glad it speaks to you. Thank you.

First I would say that you don't have to be an artist to make art. Just like you don't have to be a dancer to dance or a writer to write. All these things are important- to everyone! We should all do all of them.

But if you do want to go down the road of being an artist, it will change you. You are working with your soul and it's deep work. Keep that as the most important thing, not making stuff that other people like. Other people's praise is not what you are going for. It is wonderful if what you create speaks to other people, but it has to be a byproduct. If you are making art to get praise it won't be art and it will hurt you in the end. It will hurt you in the beginning as well because it is difficult to make art that people will praise when you are just learning your skills.
That is probably the most important thing. You will need a lot of patience, and persistance. It takes a long time to get good.

These are just a few of the reasons I don't encourage people to become artists. I don't discourage them either but I do remind them that you don't have to be an artist to make stuff!

Zom said...

Oh, and Jackie since I am in 'teacher mode' forgive me another comment.

You are absolutely in a position where you can create from a place of freedom and intuition. Start that good habit now and you won't have to overcome the bad habit (of being a perfectionist) later. I speak from experience.

Bless you. xox

Jackie said...

Thank you Zom ,
I honestly will treasure these words.

iHanna said...

Hi Zom, I'm reading back. Love the background post, the art thoughts and your answers shared here! It interesting to read an artists thoughts on these things, and I am like you that when I create it is a flow that I do not think or plan, it just "happens", or at least that is how it feels. Thanks.

Zom said...

iHanna, lovely to 'see' you!

I don't plan my art journal pages but I do plan my paintings. I like doing both. :)