Wednesday, October 22, 2008

“Why do people think artists are special? It’s just another job.” Andy Warhol

Most of what I believe is not true, and most of what I say is a lie.

(That doesn’t make me a bad person … does it?)

When you spend a lot of time on your own, you assume that everything you think is right and the way you see things is the way things are. Well, I do, anyway.

Then I meet other people and have conversations. And they say things like,


“errr … no”


and

“you plonker”.

One of the lies I tell myself … and anyone else who will listen … is that being an artist is just a job like any other.

Like all the best lies, however, this one has a degree of truth in it.

But it’s a lie I tell myself to avoid facing the truth and the consequences of that truth.

Art is much more than a job to me. It’s work, but it’s not a job. But keeping it in the box of ‘job’ and approaching it with a 9 – 5 mentality, helps keep the passion at bay. Keeps it nicely contained. Domesticated, even.

But that kind of convention is never going to achieve my ambitions.

I read somewhere, “when you set goals that are too small and too timid, you suffer a perpetual lack of motivation.”

So I’m looking for things to shake loose … not be so tied up … constricted … conventional.

The pictures I’m making lately are breaking out of the frame. (Some of them, I’m not sure can or should be framed.) I’m using everything I can lay my hands on. If something doesn’t work I try again … chopping and cutting pieces out to make new pictures. A relentless process. I’m digging out pieces I started ages ago but never got anywhere with and I’m re-working them, salvaging them. There’s a vigour that’s starting to come. A vitality.

Maybe being an artist is just a job … but it’s not like any other. Not for me.

Comments:
Ooh, good post.

Keeping passion at bay? Nicely contained? Doesn't ssound like art to me.

I like the new stuff. The big ambitions. The cutting and sticking (well, we already knew I liked that).

Making stuff that's so much better than we would usually try to make
 
"Making stuff that's so much better than we would usually try to make" ... that's the mission, Jo! I knew YOU would get it!
 
Someone once told me that those lacking confidence in something they do, or make, know deep down they're not very good at it.
I like exceptions, and Andy Warhol - someone brimming with belief in himself - was in that category.
I only say this because I feel confidence (and not arrogance) should be our personal aim more than any desire to be particularly good at anything (not that this is any kind of judgement of what you do) It's just that it's obvious that you, like your work, are clearly going in the right direction, and I wish you more power to your elbow!
 
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