Friday, November 9, 2012

Have You Ever Cried Over Your Art?

Have you ever shed tears because your art didn't turn out the way you wanted it to?...then you're an artist.

Have you ever gotten angry over your art?...then you're an artist.

Have you ever torn up your art in frustration?...then you're an artist.

Have you ever burned a painting in anger?...then you're an artist.

Have you ever quit being an artist?...then you're an artist - face it.

Have you ever been defensive of your art?...then you're an artist.

Ever purposely hid your art?...then you're an artist.

Had a temper tantrum over your art?... you're an artist.

Felt like you'll never be as good as _________?...you're an artist.

Wish you were appreciated for your creative contributions?...sounds like an artist.
 

If you answered yes to any of the questions above you my friend are an artist - deal with it. You cry because you care. You're anger will make you better because you have a  vision of what it could have been - should have been. Your passion fuels you to push on - push past. Your fear is motivating. Your emotions are a result of your desire. You are learning to speak a visual language. You may stray but were meant to create. You have a calling.

I was never the best. I am not the best. I almost got kicked out of my college illustration program. I later taught in the same program. I don't draw as well as some of my students. I cringe at the piece above and remember the feelings of disappointment because it didn't turn out half as well as the vision in my mind of a cool family portrait. I'm glad I can laugh at it now - you can too - we learn by doing. Doing and failing and doing and failing...and failing again but learning from our failures.

This process should be taught in public schools. It's not. It's a beautiful natural way to learn. The reason we struggle is because we've not been taught to embrace this process. We take it personally when we fail.

I have cried, gotten angry, yelled, torn up, quit, and shed tears over my art. I was never content. I am not content. I won't be content. I love what I do. I love sharing what I do. Do you?

I am an artist and so are you.

27 comments:

  1. Excellent post as always. Striving for the perfection we will never attain is our drive (and curse).

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    1. Thanks Russ - you're right - sometimes it almost feels like a curse. :)

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  2. Love this post! Yes, I am an artist. I "quit" at least once a month. Sheesh, I was just thinking I'm bipolar - here it turns out I'm an artist. Or wait - are they the same thing? ;)

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    1. Ha ha - the frustrating thing for me is that my mood is often dictated by how the art is going...I've often longed for a regular career...for about a minute and then realized I would hate that...I'll just have to put up with the mood swings.

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  3. Nice to know that those who never give up are the ones who get better. Not sure I would have had the guts to show the piece above though Will!

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    1. I have no problem showing work from my past - it's all part of the journey - I did that one right out of H.S. ....I think it's helpful for others to see how bad I was...I used to get caught up in how good my hero artists were...then one day I realized - they didn't start out that way.

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  4. Absolutely! I am crying, yelling, tearing, quitting, and burning right along with you. :) I'm just glad that I can always pick up the brushes again, no matter how many paintings I burn or how many times I quit.

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  5. How can an artist be an artist without some emotions? Human nature is a frail and being an artist makes us even more sensitive to all kinds of issues. Thanks Will

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    1. You're very welcome Paul - I think this is exactly why being an artist is so important today. With automation, outsourcing, and replacing high skilled jobs with low expectation follow the rules workers we have a chance to stand out even more with the emotion we bring to our work and the world.

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  6. Wonderful! Thanks for the reminders and the urge to keep going!

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  7. It is so nice to know I'm not alone.
    Thanks for your great post!

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    1. You're welcome - we seldom talk about the emotional part of our creations - I just wanted to express this part of my day to day. I have fewer disappointments now than before and I think that's a reward for the dedication and hard work I've devoted to my craft.

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  8. I kicked a plastic trashcan across the studio once because of a piece of art. It shattered into a million pieces and it was worth it! Yeah, and I've "quite" many times as well. Great post Will!

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    1. Thanks Rob - been there...not a trash can but I've jumped up from my desk and torn up my painting...lol

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  9. Great post and so true!!!

    Like Deanna I have also worried that I may be a bit Bi-polar - but it only ever seems to happen in my art room, where things have been smashed and burnt and stomped on... then looked at in a different light a few days later ;o)

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    1. Sometimes I've found I just need to sleep it off...if I'm feeling depressed about creating I just need a different perspective...sometimes going for a hike can change everything. :)

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  10. So what about the folks who say, "I can't even draw a good stick figure"?

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    1. Good question Dorothy - I think art is much more than drawing...I really believe it has to do with changing someone else emotionally. I've seen movies that bored me to death yet had visually stunning art and cinematography...I've cried in some simple visually drab movies because the overall project spoke to me...art.

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  11. Fabulous post and likely saved me from giving up today. You made me realize that I am just going through normal growing pains.

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    1. Yea! win! ....it's all part of the process.

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  12. It's an easier process when you have a mate who is also an artist and is not hesitant to point out your mistakes. She's my "Litmus test" but sometimes it still hurts.

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  13. I was really excited to check out you app CONGATS to you, you have inspired me to keep pushing forward with my app development...went to future shop today and the staff gave me that look like I had four heads when they tried answering my questions...I puchased an external mic today because the way my PC captured audio alone was just plain bad. Question...did you record your story one verse at a time for the web based program you used?

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