May 24, 2006

Art is funny that way....

Freelancing & Art... now there's a potent combination of subjectivity.

I think life as a freelancer... selling art and ideas, leaves many more shady grey areas in the balance of rationality than some other professions might.

Just dealing with the artwork itself can seem like temporary insanity. It's because it's all so subjective.

For instance it's quite common for an artist to finish a piece of art and think it's totally perfect... only to realize 2 weeks later that they wish they had painted it a bit differently. Luckily, it can also work the other way... and you decide a painting is really much better than you first thought.

It's very perplexing when subjectivity shifts from week to week.

I read a story from an artist friend who hated how a painting was going, so she tossed it on the floor and stomped on it. Three days later she picked it back up and decided it was one of her favorite paintings ever. It turned out to be her favorite painting in the entire book.

Then there's the classic artist joke: There once was an artist who was staying as a guest at the house of an old friend. One of the artist's paintings, done 30 years before was hanging over the mantle. In the middle of the night, noises were heard downstairs. The host fearfully crept down the stairs to investigate.

There in the living-room was the artist... up on a stepladder, lantern and paintbrush in hand, putting the last correcting touches to his painting from 30 years ago!

Tell me that's not half crazy... but I KNOW exactly where that story is coming from.

Anyhow, so that's just the Art part. Next comes the Freelancing part, which is equally subjective and unpredictable.

That's where you have anywhere from 0 to 5 clients all calling and setting different overlapping deadlines. All totally unpredictable as the freelancer tries to juggle time and the projects they're working on. That can drive you nuts too. And it's sometimes hard to tell which is worse... having 5 clients or not having any.

In any event, the little painting above is from one of my unpublished stories. It's about a Painter who gets lots of advice about just how he ought to be painting.


medaydreamer said...

Hi John
This is so what I do...go absolutely crazy trying to "perfect" my art. I see every flaw possible, even ones that aren't there according to my kids. That artist joke is so right on the money...I know I'd be doing the exact thing 30 years down the road. By the way, I really do love this little drawing, it would make a wonderful story I think.

John Nez said...

Ain't that the truth...

I imagine some paintings are more perfect than others. It's such a temptation though to want to rework things at a later date.

Best to just go on to something new It think... and learn from the past.


Anonymous said...

Amen to that John!

janee said...

I always like my most recent piece, then of course, I start on the next piece. :-)

Love this piece, John. Is the whole project in monotones? I like that. I think I may have O.D.'d on color this month.

John Nez said...

Hi Janee,

I just changed the original to monotones because I liked it better that way... painting is easy without colors to worry about.


PG said...

You are as ever the voice of sanity John! I feel slightly less like I'm losing it when I read your blog. :)

rob thomson said...

Wow, what an interesting blog. I came here from a comment you left on Edward Genochio's cycle trip blog, and I have stumbled on a world that never existed in my psyce...your writing is very easy to read and a wonderful insight into the life of an artist. Thank you for sharing!

- Rob

14degrees Off The Beaten Track. From Japan to London solo. 12,000km. 200 days. On a recumbent bicycle.