February 19, 2006
Artistic Self Esteem
Artistic self esteem. Now there's a tricky subject. Basically, most artists I know are never 100% happy with their art. This brooding discontent can easily turn into an artistic complex... or even worse. I know first hand that even famous artists are almost never fully happy with the work they've done, especially older work.
Sometimes it might seem to other people that artists are totally self absorbed... that we're only focused on Me!, Me!, Me!. But in fact we're all we've got. It's like that Picasso quote... "When it comes down to it, all you have is yourself. The rest is nothing."
We're not part of any team. No one else can guide our brush or ideas much... no one else can get in-between us and our art. We're totally responsible for it's outcome and when it's done we have only ourselves to thank or blame.
I think that's why artists can sometimes seem self absorbed... and obsessed about their work.
And of course discontent is always the first step towards change and improvement. So if an artist isn't happy, that's just par for the course. I think non artists imagine that the creative process is some kind of wonderful walk down a marble staircase with perfect happiness achieved at the end. It can be fun... but often in fact the reality is the opposite. It's often more like mud-wrestling an alligator and winding up missing a few digits.
The painting above is one of my paintings on canvas.
That's what I do on that rare Sunday when I'm not totally tired of making illustrations... a Busman's Holiday for sure.
I'd like to someday actually paint and sell canvases, since it's so much the opposite of illustration.
It's BIG, it's done without deadlines, there are no 'art specs' to fulfill, there's no narrative usually, it can be seen from across the room and it's not just a tiny illustration that fits into a book sized page.
It's actually kind of a therapy... kind of like how riding a bike is a perfect cure for too much driving in traffic.