Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Managing the ART of the POSSIBLE

You know many of the top designers over the years have NOT be able to draw-or found drawing boring-they might slam off a little sketch but the rest is a visionary process that takes place between their heads and hands.

I have always considered myself a mediocre artist but a fairly good designer-I certainly understand colours and textures,form and how shapes work in space-that's why I did costumes design for many years-you paint with light colour and shape.

I am always amazed by someone who can do photo realistic drawings and paintings-its a special gift-while impressive it doesn't always make great art-just great renderings of a specific subject.

The hardest thing for each creative person to remember is that their work is extraordinary and unique-no one else in the world can do what YOU do with your hands-its impossible-even identical twins can turn out fair copies of what the other twin does but when subjected to close scrutiny differences are obvious and as unique as fingerprints.

I think by nature we who art are very sensitive and easily hurt or slighted, seems to come with the territory.

Few people do not seek the approval of family and especially parents-the worst audience often to receive that approval.

I have spoken and written at length about how much I learned from teaching decorative painting-how damaged people are, how egos have been crushed and how many people, women especially, are physically and verbally abused-it's a tragedy.

We often learn very early where we stand in life (and in the family structure) by being labeled-he's the smart one, she's the artist, he's the neat one, she's the cook etc ad nauseum.

I can't begin to impart to you the sadness I have felt for people over the years when I complimented them on their work and was met with, "Well I'm not a real artist, my SISTER (Mother, aunt, uncle etc) was the real artist.

At the same time I have felt it necessary to give people a gentle smack upside the head and remind them that by virtue of creating art one is a real artist and the whining and crying is self defeating, wastes time and in the end who cares or notices that we feel inferior? Pretty much no one.

People will give us a pat on the back here and there or commiserate with us over our lack of perceived abilities but they get bored with it and eventually there we are, all by ourselves with our complex feelings that we can't please anyone (which is untrue) and no one cares (which may be somewhat true).

I create for me----well for me and the Russians---the Russians seem to really like what I do so I pander to them a bit-I am , after all, in business to sell my art and make a bit of extra income.

If I could make money from it I would do digital collages for ever more and never touch a fine point marker again.


So your assignment for today besides having a glorious creative day-is to do something for yourself-make sure YOU like what you've done-then put it away and NEVER show it to anyone, EVER.

The reason being: If you have created something that you truly like you have pleased your toughest critic so WHY take it any further? Love it, languish in it, Treasure it and keep it for thing that no ones opinion makes any difference about other than your own.

Done and done.

Trust me I have drawers and sketchbooks and portfolios full of art that no one will ever see-its the stuff I do for me and for my enjoyment and that's all is is and all it ever needs be-I don't need anyone elses approval or validation on those items.

The more of that sort of foundation you create the thicker your skin will be and the less you will care what others think-you will learn how to choose the critiques you accept and the one's you discard and ignore.

Just my fifty cents worth...


  1. Well said and amen. I created a lovely card using one of your awesome images. I hope you have time to stop by.

  2. wow! Amen for that. I have to say "thank you", and I think I will go and create something tonight with just that in mind.

    -- dalis

  3. Rick, your "fifty cents worth" is a lot more than that! However, I can't put a monetary value on it. As they say, the best things in life are free, and this is an EXCELLENT post. Thank you. I printed it out for myself to keep and read again...

  4. Rick, You have echoed my words exactly!! I have been teaching for many years in the art world, not in schools.
    I teach now, what I call 'masterclasses' for women, mainly, who have reached a point in their art life and find a barrier that they cannot move. this barrier is very often what you have described... family... husbands... best firends!1 But after working though a whole lot of 'stuff', (never any D&M!!) I find that the change is remarkable... their self esteem has risen...their work has a quality that it never had before...I do not say that I am the Queen in bringing all this comes about from being there myself and learning how to get on with what I do best and take none of the "c...p" that is handed out.
    I just enjoy seeing these artists get to the other side and feel that they can be themnselves!!!
    Boy!!! I do go on.... but it is a very favoured subject and not enough is given to those that are seeking change.
    Thanks for the opportunity to voice how I feel...does not happen often!


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