Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Finish line

“If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced... / In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” Vincent van Gogh

I’m so glad I stumbled across a book that gave some sugarcoated advice on art and being an artist, but that’s not what released my gratefulness towards the author. The single line that stood out in the book, was that you should allow yourself to be a terrible artist first. So easily can creatively inclined individuals such as ourselves, get caught up in the mess to try and please the viewer first, to make them happy and therefore producing work which they approve of. I’ve seen so many crumble under that pressure and then rather not be an artist at all. They reckon if you can’t do it great the first time, then just leave it.

Countless times I have encountered linear thinkers who ask what I do or who I am, and when you reply you’re an artist/an illustrator/a photographer/a writer they ask but have you published anything, because if not then you’re not all or any of those mentioned above.
Many artists we admire today were only considered significant after their demise. We all love van Gogh, either secretly or openly, but I keep on thinking how his work went unnoticed during his lifetime. It must have been so strenuous to produce this wonderful art without support, acknowledgement or praise. But he called himself an artist even though no one else had the guts.

We have to find that belief and strength within ourselves when no one else will.
There is just one week left to prepare for the exhibition - one easily forgets how time consuming the final setup of the exhibition can be and enough space is of course always a headache.
But I love it! I love being considered as an artist, albeit a bad one, but one nonetheless. And maybe each experience will refine my skill and challenge my eye and then perhaps, one day, I’ll be a tant mieux artist.