I have been an artist for the past twenty years. Although, it is not what pays my bills it is what feeds my soul. Over the years I have been challenged by many individual’s concepts of what an artist is and the value of the creative process. Unfortunately often a high-glossed yellow post-it note is slapped upon it as a personal judgment.
Is this really a constructive use of an individual’s time and energy?
Is there merit to what I do as an artist?
I believe that for the average individual art is often viewed as a “thing” you do after you get home from work or when there is nothing else to do because they are bored. Their understanding is that art is play and not really work and therefore perceived as not as important. I am forever being asked why I price my artwork the way I do. Most do not understand that a painting may take months to finish. How much do you get paid for a month worth of work? Should I ask less for my work?
People do not comprehend that often the artwork is more difficult to conceive then what is expected at the common workplace. This is because art is often an immediate extension of the creator. It has the ability to build one up and the potential of ripping you up into tiny little pieces. As one begins to explore the creative process of the art and how they relate to it, the art has the potential of becoming larger than the artist.
At the workplace one is often happy with doing the bare minimum to obtain that instant gratification of a goal reached and then move quickly on to the next project. The artist often has different expectation from his work than the average 9-5 employee. The process is different and the stakes are higher.
Art asks for you to explore deeper, search within and experience how it makes you feel Does it make you happy, sad, angry, vulnerable maybe even a little of all of these. Making art for me is a modality to express the thoughts and ideas that are swimming around in my mind that I have not the words to express. Words seem to have limits for me where color and form are unlimited. This is the only way I know how to release these from my mind.
Art is magical for me because it is a different process each time and each tiny step brings you closer to the realization of the finished piece. Without all of these tiny leaps of faith the art could not exist. The end product is unknown to the artist until the finish and woven within that is the magic of the creative process. It is this artistic process that everything is formed, without the creative life force there would be nothing.
Be true to yourself and remember no matter what categorization we embrace, artist or not, we are all creative beings and we possess worth.