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.
"Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
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..
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
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
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.
It's personal expression in the same way writing is, and everyone has something to say that's important...
Our human commonality is not the same thing as having something to say that is important.
Shakespeare and Rembrandt felt as we do. What they had to say about that was put together as an aesthetic synthesis that communicated it back to us as an epiphany of insight.
That is something very few of us are given the gifts to achieve, however unfair that my sound to our sense of egalitarianism.
Amazing writers combine the two. ie. painting for technical precision and excellence is a valid route, and so it art for expression, etc.
Hm, here's what theory of art says about that...
The more you let your subject talk (simply put, the more subject's features you copy), that much less space is left for you to talk in your painting.
So description and metaphor (expression) are in a mutually exclusive relationship.
The vast majority of reality is happening somewhere in between, with ppl copying photos line by line being on descriptive extreme (also called a point of no artistic value), while postmodernists are on the metaphoric (expression) extreme (at least in theory), also known as a point of absolute artistic value.
I'm saying in theory, because there's a caveat that mandates for the art to be true, it must be recognizable and acceptable by even the least sensitive and educated observer, where many postmodernists fail.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by Cola73; June 11th, 2013 at 09:53 AM.
It's not as superficial as I made it sound once you figure out why you want/have to paint. That is indeed something you'll have to figure out for yourself. You'll have to go through the headaches. "Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them." and that is even true for that quote. Even though I see a lot of great answers in this thread, I don't think they (or mine) will do you any good because they are just words to you that hold no meaning. You'll forget them as soon as you close your browser. I hope you come to your own solution. You have great technical skill and if you know how you want to use it your work will probably be even more satisfying to yourself and probably to others as well. Good luck figuring this all out. :-)
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.
I was actually talking about the physical act of handwriting, not writing in general. How people make their marks into words, as analogous to how people make marks into pictures. It's about the personal expression of the mark maker - thats whats inevitably personal and unique to every individual. Maybe a bit simple for this discussion but it's how my brain works, lol.
And I'm not saying your analogy isnt valid in it's own right, just that it wasnt what I was saying and I wanted to make that clear.
I can obviously only answer that question for myself... Very simply put I paint because I enjoy it. I don't think I could even say WHY I enjoy it, I just always have. If I stopped enjoying it, I'd stop painting. I don't really put very much thought into the why of anything in life, which I imagine most people think is a bit nuts. As far as I'm concerned what is, is. There needn't be a reason for why things are as they are, and a person could drive themselves crazy looking for one.
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.
What if you feel like what you have to say is just stupid, or just silly? Or boring?
Don't you have to grow more confident then, when you think your own opinions are stupid? How can you believe in something when you think it's stupid or boring? Maybe you don't believe in it then. Maybe you really want to say other things or again, it could be a confidence issue.