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  1. #16
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    I will admit that I am slightly metaphysically and spiritually biased on this and this may be a bit pretentious but...
    in the question-why should I paint?
    who is the one asking the question?,if your "I" is just a concept inside your mind which is also just another thought
    how can you derive any essence or drive from a thought that pops up and then disappears.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that deriving meaning ,inspiration and drive from thoughts can only get you so far and
    at a certain point you have to track back and see what was the actual feeling(which is not conceptual) that got you excited about art(and life) in the first place.

    and sorry again for this grasshopper shit maybe it will help someone else because whatever you are doing seems to be working from looking at your art.
    Last edited by GrayPersona; June 8th, 2013 at 01:04 PM.


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  4. #17
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    If you're a commercial artist - It's financial.

    If you're a "non-commercial artist" - It's not financial.

    Yes I got very "pedantic" there. It's what I believe. The "Artist" part is expressing ideas, emotions, stories, w/e, and know about all the tools/techniques they can use to get to the end product.
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  6. #18
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    @Andrew Sonea,
    definitely read H.Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game", if you haven't already.

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  8. #19
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    There was a time when I was really concerned about this question. But I found that thinking too much spoils everything for me. Everything has already been said and it has probably been said more eloquently than I could ever do. So why even bother?
    Why paint? There is only one answer:

    "because I fucking want to"

    Maybe you are no longer satisfied with making a pretty picture. Maybe you want to say more than "this is a pretty flower or this is a cool robot." And that's fine. I'm sure you'll have plenty to say if you give this some time. There is much to say in illustration. There are no limits. The difference between fine arts and illustration are only in the way the artists are paid. You can say as much or as little as you want. There are a lot of "boring" fine art paintings and a lot of "meaningful" illustrations. Just say what you like.

    Some pictures do indeed have "something" like Andrew Wyeth's paintings, but there is no magic. He just did those paintings because he felt like it. He was also really really good, but it's not like he had some divine insight that you have to have to be able to make meaningful art. He just did and so should we all. We should just paint because we want to. And If we don't want to we should just go watch Breaking Bad or A Game of Thrones or something.....or we could do both. that works too.

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  10. #20
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    Though I agree on the part of "because I fucking want to" that state of mind on thinking comes across a bit "gemakzuchtig" to me. People ask these questions because they want to know even if a headache is the result. I understand but can not agree!

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  12. #21
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    I guess it seems a bit gemakzuchtig, but it took me a long time to get to that answer. years of angst and soul searching and giving up art altogether. In the end it's the most simple answers that hold the most truth, if truth even is a thing. I didn't mean to be short. I understand the want for answers. This is the best answer I could give and I stand by it 100 percent.

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  14. #22
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    You're right! I had depressions for like 10 years because of over complicating everything! And finally I just cured myself with reflecting on myself and the world. What I saw before as cliché and not worth mentioning I now see as more truthful then before. But I don't know if this answer is useful for someone who wants to know, that's all!

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  16. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    Chris Bennett: Not to sound too rude or anything, but this type of statement comes across to me as the kind of thing that sounds profound but holds little actual meaning. Perhaps I just don't understand how to use this, but I don't get how this will help me with all of this. And what if I have nothing to say?
    Why do you make an image with your hands?
    What exactly are you doing mentally when you place coloured mud onto a surface (or the simulacra of the process with digital technology)?
    Is your goal to be a camera made of meat? (Kev Ferrara's phrase)
    Or is it something more sublime, more to do with your human relationship to the world in which you are a sentient part?
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/

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  18. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    Like, I have no message to tell the world, no story, nothing. There is nothing I wish to say...so why speak? Or is this the kind of thing where I should just keep talking until I begin to find my own words and find what it is I was trying to say all along?
    Really? You have no opinions? You view everything that comes your way in the world with passive indifference? I doubt it. And if you do then it's time to get out of your cave more often and let the world make you angry once in a while.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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  20. #25
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    You are so young still. Go out and meet more people who stretch your mind. Find out what makes you uncomfortable and figure out why. Go and find beauty in mundane things. Empathise more. Then see if it makes you want to paint.

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  22. #26
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    I think like others have said, you're overthinking your own personal why. I cant comment on your work (still working through your sb) but from your words it does sound like you're getting stuck in a rut about whether to just be technical (do studies) or move on and be more personally expressive and adventurous.

    The thing is, that move forward is inevitable.

    What Chris and Blackspot and others said about expression of yourself in your art and life experience makes a lot of sense. Maybe it only seems complicated because you're in overthinking mode, but it's really very simple.

    You don't have to have a big statement to make to communicate through your art. It's simply an expression of your own self, your personality and your life experiences which inform, and translate into, your work. Thats not something you can avoid. It's like handwriting. Everyone has their own style of writing, regardless of how technically proficient they are at making words. In the same way, everyone has their own way of making a picture regardless of how technically proficient they are at composition or colour or drawing etc. Who you are and how you see the world and think and feel will show in your work whether you want it to or not. And the more you've seen and experienced, the more it will show.

    The technical methods you acquire along the way are simply a means to make it easier for you to express yourself more clearly.

    Anyway, that was a lot of rambling. Sorry if I repeated anything others already said or if I'm telling you stuff you already know. It's just what your op and the following discussion triggered in my mind.

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  24. #27
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    Thanks everyone for all these great responses. Even though there are some slight different viewpoints being presented, the underlying essence of everyone seems to say that I A) Should live life more B) Stop overthinking and C) That it is in me all along, whether or not I see it (Wizard of Oz kinda thing)





    Black Spot: Ah okay. I guess my life experience IS really small...but how exactly do I "live life" so to speak? When I think of that I think of people travelling and stuff, but that isn't really an option for me. I guess at this point in my life I am more passing through it rather than experiencing it--my life consists of either working at a low skill job in a kitchen or sitting at home alone and maybe doing some art. I very rarely go out or see people, and I guess I have very few friends right now.




    Cola73: I don't know Beuys really or what he said. Anyways, I guess this is progress for me if I am questioning things.



    wardrum: Okay, but should I be satisfied just saying what others want to say?




    Gibi: Well I'm still young actually, I just turned 20, and am teaching myself art. Why do I want to have my audience the least aware? Wouldn't I want to project to those with more experience? And I'll have to check out Charlie Kaufman, never heard of him.




    Benedikt: That's a good idea. I think a project like that can give direction to oneself, like James Gurney and his Dinotopia.





    GrayPersona: Haha, some of that is going over my head a bit I think, sorry! As to what drew me to art initially, well it was I guess...hrm, yeah the visual aspect, the superficial. But now I am questioning if that is enough...




    hitnrun: Well I believe that even a commercial artist can have thigns to say, and shouldn;t lose sight of that. There are plenty of examples of illustrators turned fine artist: Jeff Watts, Phil Hale, Howard Terpning, Rick Berry, etc. and some do both simultaneously eg Pudd'nhead/Kevin Llewellyn



    Cola73: I'll check it out.


    Lost My Marbles/Gibi: I see...this goes back to a more superficial view of things then, like the initial "to make pretty pictures", it is now just "because I want to"... I'll have to see if that is enough for me though. I don't know. As Gibi said, sometimes it is good to question things and do a bit of thinking, maybe in the end I will come to the same answer, but perhaps I need to go through the stages of asking and the headaches





    Chris Bennett: Okay, now I see what your'e saying more. That Kev expression (actually I thought it was Elwell, but maybe I was mistaken) is something I think about quite often. I guess it is my fear of becoming a meat camera that has spawned this whole discussion.






    vineris: Hm, well, I guess I must have some opinions yeah, but...well for a lot of things I tend to try not to have an opinion. Things like politics or something that is of no interest to me I remove myself from and try to remain neutral since I am uninformed. And I never get angry haha! The real question is how to translate any of my opinions or reactions to the world into paint, and I don't just wanna do some hamfisted politically/socially charged image or something, that type of art turns me off faster than anything else.






    Black Spot (again): This goes back to my response to you earlier in this same post, but where do I meet these people? How do I do these things? I guess I just need to get out more, though I'm not sure what I'd do. I am a pretty asocial type of guy, pretty introverted mostly, and I'm not in school or anything where it is easy to meet people.





    Candra H: Thanks, I like the way you explain it. And no, that's not rambling, it was quite succinct I think.
    Last edited by Andrew Sonea; June 10th, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
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  26. #28
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    I'll try and answer on your response but it's hard because its an insight that's to much based on my own person. But I see kids as a better judge then adults because they are still rooted somehow. And they won't judge your work like an adult who often has to deal with balancing between crudely stated envy and pity,status or whatever. Just a bit more themselves. So not least aware, but different awareness. But its from my perspective..Just find balance between wanting to know and enjoying life I guess..

  27. #29
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    I think you should buy a new sketchbook, rather large, not too many sheets, and spiral bound. Then paint your ass off! Write across whatever you paint, paint over whatever you write. Paste magazine cuttings. Just massacre the damn thing! It doesn't have to look pretty or right, it's for the purpose of "art therapy" for nobody else but you. In that way you learn more about what effects that speaks to you in terms of translating opinions and emotions. Like if you were to create with the mind set on the warm feelings of summer or deep agonizing frustration, you'll probably find that you prefer certain colors and effects to express that.

    Watch a movie. Study how they use lighting, perspective, and maybe even pacing/cuts (like calm, chaotic) to create a mood, which directs the emotion. See how it affects you in context to what you think they want you to think/feel.

    THEN you can start making it look good. Apply the anatomy you studied, use the correct composition and stuff like that. I lack in this step a lot, so I make nothing but crap really! But I see that you seem to have a pretty good idea of all the fundamental stuff, so I guess you just need to let yourself go and experiment

    http://wingedseed.com/blog/wp-conten...rth226x211.jpg This image is great! Depicting a rich man in a suit eating the world. That image expresses what could take hundreds of words to describe related to both opinion and emotion.


    Have you ever watched Chuck Connelly - The Art of Failure? I couldn't find it on youtube, but he's the stereotypical drunk artist painting from pure emotion and it destroys him. Or was. I think he might have pulled himself together. But too much emotion without brains doesn't seem like the way to go either.


    I don't know if any of this was the slightest bit helpful so feel free to ignore if not. But I hope you'll figure it out and stick with the art

  28. #30
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    Hey Andrew- I totally get what you're saying. For me the "why" question is basicly why I ended up at architecture school vs. OCAD or Sheridan or something. I'm not there to be a great architect, but to read all the bajillion classical (ie. often mind bending/historically significant) books they throw at me, and travel, do some stupid(fun) things, and learn a huge amount of assorted stuff and generally figure my life out, while doing art/design, all of which going to an art school/personally studying art likely wouldn't have. Personally, I have always loved illustration over all other types of artwork- the stories involved in essence I guess. I always wonder where the source comes from. Why would mine be important enough to spend huge amount of my life making sure other people see it. What I even want to tell them. I know I want to, but I also want to figure out why and what.

    Anyway, I agree with CandraH and Blackspot wholeheartedly. It's personal expression in the same way writing is, and everyone has something to say that's important, and I think the idea behind writing and art is the same. In my experience, successful writers can tell great stories, or be good writers. Amazing writers combine the two. ie. painting for technical precision and excellence is a valid route, and so it art for expression, etc.

    Good luck. I know this whole thought process can be exhausting and depressing but I also think it's very worthwhile and you likely need to do it once even if it's only subconsciously to keep yourself grounded.

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