Thursday, June 17, 2010

Artists are weird people

I suppose saying that artists are weird could be debatable, or it could just be stating the blindingly obvious. When you get down to it, as people we're all weird, but artists (in all media) have the reputation for being the strangest people on the whole continuum of human weirdness. I wonder why we're like that? I have to include myself on that bell curve, somewhere on the downhill right side, but nowhere near the extreme end. Why else would I create what I create, and think the way I think, and see things the way I do? It would be a totally boring world if we were all well-balanced and similar in how we saw and experienced life. So here's to weirdness - which I've decided should just be the new normal, instead of any reason to give labels or call names.

What brings this reflective mood on? A long, strange week; emotional ups and downs; spiritual upheaval; a forced good close look at my inner self (not a pretty picture at the moment); and the urge to create to work out some of this turmoil on paper or canvas. All of that resulted in a couple long evenings spent drawing while listening to music on YouTube, and ended with the finished picture above. I've called it "Journey," which relates to the mental traveling I've been doing, to the process of making it, and to the music I was listening to for most of the time I was drawing. I like this drawing; it's been quite a while since I've done a larger abstract (this one is 8x10, and reflects about 6 hours of work).

Art can be SO pretentious! I've been looking at various art-related articles online, and pictures of auctions and exhibits upcoming. Some of the commentary is so much poof and blather. So much of the art business is based on egos and marketing. Yes, I'd like to sell my work, but I hope I don't become a caricature of myself in the process.

I think that this applies to Christians as artists just as much as anyone. If someone's faith influences their art, I enjoy knowing that. It informs my appreciation of their work. But I don't want to label myself as a Christian artist. To some people that means that I should only create art with specific Biblical themes or references. That's too narrow and too self-limiting for me to be comfortable with. It's like when I see grand topiary gardens: I feel uptight and stressed contemplating creating it myself. It's not going to work for me. My faith should be obvious in my life, but that doesn't mean that EVERYTHING I create will concentrate solely on that aspect of my life.

I'd prefer to stay simple. I like to create. My vision is my own, influenced by my faith. If others enjoy what I've made, that's great.