Monday, June 07, 2010

Facts are Facts

Hornbrook Barn Opus 2

Facts are Facts

Great art challenges not only the viewer but also the artists who create it. Most artists paint what they know and do it to the best of their ability. A few artists take on creative work that challenges their knowledge and reveals their inabilities. However, when they do overcome this kind of challenge, they realize that the rewards are huge. Artists who need ongoing reassurance that they are on the right track may miss the opportunity to reach past their comfort zone to experience the thrill of pleasing themselves with a painting that shares the truth of their view of the world.

Remember, what we do is not easy. A plumber learns his craft and does it. Teachers learn dates and events, and recall them often looking at notes. Lawyers learn the facts of the law and put those facts to work. Artists are required to turn their insides out and express their thoughts and feelings for the world, and then the world judges whether it is good or not. In addition, a painting (often displaying the artist’s name) can be around forever either hanging in a museum or sitting in someone’s garage and every one who sees it will have an opinion about it. It can be intimidating but here are some pointers.

1. Create a mission statement. Every successful business creates a mission statement. Why would your art business be any different? Make sure that your mission statement inspires you and share it with everyone who you know. You can even email your mission statement to me.

2. Find a teacher or a coach. A truly great artist does not work in a vacuum. A good coach will request projects and keep you on schedule, and having ongoing input will keep you on track. Stay in touch with your coach and let him know about your successes as well as the difficulties you may be having with your projects.

3. Find a community of artists. Most towns have non-profit art guilds or a group that connects artists with other artists to share common interests as well as promoting art shows, education, and artistic community events. Art classes are also a great place to start.

Finally, we do not remember those artists who followed the rules more diligently than everyone else did, but instead we remember those who created art by trusting themselves, often becoming the creators of “rules that inevitably we follow.” In his day, Van Gogh was not popular or viewed as a great artist, but because his artistic expression was honest and reflected what he saw, today we think of him as an artistic genius. The reality is that he was no more a genius that you are. He just painted what he saw and he painted everyday

Facts are Facts