Saturday, April 4, 2009

takin' names and dishin' ideas

We interrupt this blog post to bring you the latest important alert:
Less than 24 hours ago, dear readers, I asked 5 of you to step up and join me in Art Share Blog Candy.

Now I need only 1 more of you to step up, because 4 gorgeous, beautiful friends have committed - Nola, Lida, Rose and Paula...you ROCK! Thank you! Think about joining, okay?

We now take you back to our regular programming....



Here's a little atc that I made for a recent spring-themed group swap at yahoo. The digital image of the stone archway was printed out in draft mode, so that I could alter it with color. I've been working on using up some collage sheet card stock images, like the flower there, that are shaped for microscope glass. I pray for getting inspiration to use these images in ways other than as the main focal element, because I've been there and done that and boriiiinnnnggg. It's more fun to think up clever ways, anyway. :-))


***

A friend asked for advice today. I started writing my thoughts and realized it wouldn't make a half-bad blog post, because I bet my friend is not alone in her concerns.

She's been having trouble finding her own art voice. It seems that she can't get an original idea to save her life, and the blog hopping and gallery visits don't help. Her worry over it has dug into her self-confidence a bit, I fear.

Adding to it is that she is classically educated in art, and she's been talking about going commercial. These factors fight each other, I believe.

Quite simply, if someone's trying to find their art voice while they sell their art commercially, how can they do both without copying to some extent? By that I mean, taking inspiration from here and there to create something versus taking inspiration from within yourself and not being influenced by anyone else's art.

My thought process is, one either sells what they uniquely create or they sell what's hot (and in a few precious situations the two are the same). I know this to be true because this is where I am in my artistic journey, but I don't sell and I think this is why.

I think my friend needs to choose one of those last factors as the most important one so she can know it, and then proceed from there. There's no shame in either one. As Albert Einstein once said, "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

I don't think Einstein really meant a literal theft of someone else's vision. I think he was more clever than that. I think he was saying that there is no real virgin birth of creativity. All artists are inspired by others and many succumb to it, either to conform in that direction or to rebel from it. Einstein's saying if you can make it look like your own, you've achieved creativity.

If one can embrace this interpretation of Einstein's quote, then maybe worrying about not having found one's voice shouldn't be important. Me, I like seeing original unique art in styles of my preference (some of it I don't like at all). And I love coming up with my own unique pieces that rock. But if I needed to earn money selling my art and there were styles that I could do well, then that's what I'd do because I had to.

I do think that there are many artists out there who barely make the effort to hide their sources nowadays and that sort of gives inspiration a bad name. I hope if I ever find myself in a similar situation, that I would do all that I could to my work to hide those loose ends. If I could accomplish that, I wouldn't worry about the rest, because in comparison that's high integrity nowadays. ;-)

Until next time,

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