20 Mar 2023 | Journal
When it comes to ‘art’ (a word I’m increasingly growing to dislike – here’s why [LINK]), it’s not necessarily about ‘thinking differently’ (which people are often misguided to believe). It’s more about tapping into how you as an individual personally think/feel… Tapping into the authentic version of yourself. It’s always about being you.
Art is so much more than a just pretty picture. It’s also considerably more than simply what someone thinks would look ‘cool’ on their wall. It’s absolutely not about how much money you can make from selling a specific painting (in my opinion money should be secondary, and perhaps even a relatively coincidental consequence related to your innate desire to make something of significance in the first place). What I’m trying to say is that money shouldn’t even be considered when making ‘art’. It should more be a byproduct of doing what you would do regardless – even if it were never to be for sale. To me, there is no greater thrill in expressing yourself (however that manifests in physicality, or otherwise) without any limitations (other than those imposed by your own mind). It’s about being able to create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Something that nobody else would be able to create because only you have lived your life experience up until now, or as a result of certain events/experiences/etc – thus leading to this moment where all those things come together into one final creative output.
‘Art’ is about far more than just learned technical ability. It’s more about the identity of the individual artist and their creation of something challenging (from their personal standpoint), in response to their personal thoughts/perspective and what’s more… it’s about creating something remarkably original – in an all-encompassing way.
It’s about being honest to who you are as opposed to how/what you think you ‘should’ paint (based on history, what others might be doing, what’s likely to get the most ‘likes’/’comments’ via social media, what you think people might like to hang on their wall, etc), and communicating something that only you, the artist, can communicate. Something that nobody else would be able to communicate (if they are also painting with genuine integrity). It should be unique to you. Only you.
If you are painting from the mindset of considering what collectors might want to buy, by the way, it’s my opinion that it’s borderline impossible to be creating genuine art. The overwhelming probability is that you’re making a product. And it’s important to say there’s nothing wrong with that – if that is your ambition.
It’s also important to me that my work makes the viewer feel something. Only when I feel I have accomplished the potential for a painting to do so do I even consider attributing it to the mere three letter, totally-loaded-with-historical-importance, word, ‘art’.
One of the things I enjoy most about my work as a painter is that you’re granted the freedom to do whatever you want – creating something entirely from your own individual mind, with no rules whatsoever. There really are zero.
When you create in a sincere manner, my experience (on reflection) has made me aware that this has the distinctly unique potential to foster opportunities for individuals to authentically connect with the work. And I’ve been fortunate to learn via conversations with my own personal collectors that that’s because it speaks to something within them on a personal level. Perhaps it says something about the viewer themselves, which may be coincidentally shared values between the artist and the viewer/collector. The single most valued thing for me about this bizarre career of mine is the people I’m fortunate to connect with. All things considered, it’s no surprise that we often become friends. And there’s nothing I value more than these unlikely yet meaningful connections. That supersedes any sum made via the initial interaction.
I consider myself hugely privileged to be able to spend everyday of my life painting. I believe that this is largely due to my work speaking to the people who see it for what it is truly is – through the imperfections, hidden details, partially formed subjects, half-written/deleted text, and series of textural layers that reveal it’s preceding layers – all that make up each individual piece; each one having its own story and meaning behind its creation – even though the audience may not always know or fully understand exactly what went into making the impulsive choices that are vital when it comes to ‘expressionism’.
I recommend that you relentlessly be honest with yourself as an artist. Be honest about what it is you actually want to create, and don’t let anyone else influence your vision.
Art is more than a pretty picture.