Monday, June 11, 2007

monday morning questioning

Some people hide their art, others hide inside their art.

How do you look at your own work? Is it an expression/extension of you as a person? Is technique what matters most? Are you comfortable sharing it with others? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Anonymous said...


This question could elicit a rather long answer, but I'll just say this much about artists being comfortable about sharing their work. I used to have a roommate in college who was an accomplished guitarist, yet he was quite reluctant to perform for the rest of us. To this day, I cannot understand being talented and not wanting to share that gift with others. In a very real sense, I believe one's art should be born from within out of one's need to express and create, and even if the subject matter is commissioned by another, it should still be born from within the artist in terms of giving the commission one's own interpretation. In other words, create to fulfill one's own need for self expression, but then have the courage to share it with others who may or may not appreciate it. It may challenge, inspire, and change someone's life. There's no such thing as too much beauty in the world. And that's one of the things that's so wonderful about this blog. Your art is online waiting for those of us who may not have the time or opportunity to visit a gallery, but we sit in front of a computer every day at work, our virtual doorway into a daily interaction with art. Thank you for sharing your art. Jeff

addon said...

Allow me, as a photographer to tell you what I do with the pics I make. (I say it that way, since the more I do, the more I am seeing the picture that comes out of the camera - whether film or digital - as the start of the process. OK, many of my shots do not go far from that starting point, but others do. And it is the attitude - that this is "a starting point" - that I find helpful.)

I very seldom print out pictures to look at them. I view them on screen. I know (not having a laptop) I can't take the screen with me to sit down in a lounge chair with a cup of coffee to muse over it and study it. But at least the full-screen view is large (larger than I can print) and it is free - I am not using all that expensive ink.

I wouldn't go to the trouble of making pictures unless I could share them and get some comments and feedback. I have tried a camera club but that was a total disaster. The monthly meetings were nothing but cursory competitions - contests. I don't "do" contests, I want to talk about and discuss my pictures and see those of others. There are so many entries at the camera club, you can see them for such a short time, there are so many people pushing and shoving - forget it! As I said, I want genuine reflection and comment and chat, discussion, not a frenetic contest with dubious judging. And I want to do "edgy" stuff - not welcomed at the camera club. One shot I liked, a wee bit edgy, was dismissed as "an anomaly". Ouch, I am scarred for life! Anyway, I stopped going as I was not getting what I want.

Flickr is my favourite place to share my pictures. There, I can get feedback, often facetious but that's OK, all part of the fun. I can see others' pics and chat about them in cyberspace. I can get into detailed discussion (by email) if I want. It really gives me all I want. Except the face-to-face experience, which of course is a big loss. But Flickr is too addictive - we all find that. Before you can blink, we all have too many contacts and friends and cannot keep up with them. The same is true on a wider scale. We see blogs and say "ooo, I want one". Then we meet other bloggers, make contacts - it gets all too much!

So, I had better round this off:

I love Flickr
I love Blogger
I love Vox
I love ... too many other social sites to list ... !!

Flickr is the main gallery for my pics. It is very much an extension of me and what I do. Better stop now!

Anonymous said...

I never feel very comfortable sharing my art which is silly but everyone seems to become a critic. I know I am my own worst critic but this does not help. Perhaps I should get out there and show the world!!

Ester said...

This is a fun question, and I'm also curious what YOUR answers are.

Personally, I make art because it's like an obsession, insatiable need to create, create, create. A lot of times I'll make a drawing, and love it, only to come back 20 minutes later and hate it. It's more about the process of drawing, the actual activity of putting lines or paint to paper that matters to me. The image that's left afterward might be nice, but it's also dead. Sometimes I look at those pieces and wonder what anyone could like about them, so they don't get shown to anyone, and so I guess, for the most part, I hide my work. It's my own critical nature for wanting to do better than the last that keeps me shy about showing what I have done up to this point. But having a daily drawing blog is my own way of forcing myself to just keep it out there anyway, and if I don't have something I feel is worth showing, then it forces me to create something better that day.

Soon I want to get my work off to a gallery space somewhere, or another avenue for exposure, but I just don't know if I feel brave enough for that yet, or really, if my work is at that kind of a level yet.

suzanne said...

Wow, thanks for such amazing feedback to this post. It's very interesting to hear all your thoughts. I, myself, can really identify with Ester's ideas on the matter. I really feel this innate desire to create, to draw, to make a mark. Of course I'm happiest when that mark is a pretty one, but if it isn't I don't really beat myself up about it....though I don't typically enjoy showing these mess-ups. And also like Ester, they push me to move forward and make better stuff.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

maria said...

This is a big issue for me at the moment, I have been trying for weeks to put words on my feelings but it is hard. I am not comfortable at all when I share my drawings. But I want to show it anyway.

Comments on my art tend to slow me down and makes me just scramble down things that I'm not pleased with. A lot of positive comments after a blog entry could stop me from showing anything for days or even weeks.

This is not something I want, I would love to share my joy over the things I make.

I have a lot of things that I hide, the drawings I love the most and the stuff I really would like to work with. I cannot understand if it is just fear of negative comments or if it is that I don't allow myself to feel pride of my own work.

suzanne said...

Maria- You offer a very interesting perspective on this subject. I find it especially striking that comments, even positive ones, add to the struggle. I wonder if this results from a feeling of producing something only in order to make others happy? I could be entirely off track, but I know there are times I feel less inspired because I know certain people are checking my blog and I need to produce "quality" work that reveals some degree of "talent." This work may not be the type I want to do, but its what I feel I should. Hmmm... This also makes me think about the large scale paintings that I love doing but feel less qualified to share...

Anyway, I could be way off course with the whole interpretation, though I do wonder if you turned off the "allow comments" option on your blog for a while if it would help. Maybe then you could feel the freedom to make something simply for you.

Maria said...

I think that you are right on track. I have big problems to make something for a friend or family if they ask me.

I forgot to write that I like the positive comments and I am really amazed over all of the kind words I have recived. So I don't want to turn comments of.. I think.

Christeen said...

Everyone's answers here are really great food for thought.

I think lately I'm at odds with my art, more than anything else. It seems like when life gets wierd, I feel a struggle to create, even though the desire is still there. So...I'm still working away, just at a lessened pace, and very privately.

But when I'm feeling pretty good, I enjoy sharing my stuff.