Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Red Eye.

The Red Eye.
One thing that is funny( sort of funny) as an artist... sometimes you try something different, like drawing with a different pen, a different way a different technique and you put a lot of effort into it and you’re super proud of it, but the majority of people who look at your image just go...”’s ok..” and you’re slightly upset.( I’m kidding.. you get really depressed ) And sometimes you just throw something on the page in a  few seconds and people go” WOW!! THIS IS THE B.E.S.T. thing you have EVER done”..and you’re just befuddled( I just like that word, Befuddled.
It use to really bug me .. but then I realized... IN GENERAL.. your audience doesn’t really are HOW you did your work... they just care about the result and the first impression they get when they see the art. If it speaks to them .. they respond to it..if they have to work at understanding the image, you’ve lost the emotional charge of the piece and just becomes a technical piece.
For us though.. we know how much work has gone into the piece and we feel like BECAUSE of the amount of time and effort and sweat it took to do it we should be rewarded with this particular piece being HA-MAI-ZZZING!! but it just doesn’t work like this. In art.. in my experience, people are dazzled by skills, but they are really moved emotionally by spontaneity and truthfulness which usually has the look of being effortless.
Lightness of touch... 
SO... IF ever you are in that position of putting a lot of effort into a piece and feeling like it just falls flat with your audience....know that you’re not the only one and that you should NOT give up being an artist.  
You should also NOT stop trying hard... you have to put the hard work over and over to discover, understand and eventually master something so you can use it effortlessly the next time.. if you don’t do that work, you won’t master it. ( And you WILL master it, you will instantly discover something totally different that you can’t seem to draw/paint/sculpt... but that’s another post).

All that matters in the end is what the audience sees and feels.
Just a thought.



Hélène said...

As part of the audience, I totally agree. Art is emotion, feelings, and if we don't feel anything, despite the work done, the point is lost.

But I can tell you're very good at creating emotions, feelings and souvenirs !

Expedition Jojo said...

This is really well said. I feel this way about photography too. Some shots that I spend lots of time angling and trying to find the right light just doesn't get the response as a random shot that I randomly take.

Keep up your amazing illustrations! I've said it before and I will say it again, I really enjoy your work because of how they make me feel. They spark emotions and memories.

Matthew Hartwick said...

Thanks for taking the time to write this out, and share not just your work but your process and the emotion behind it.

This is absolutely inspiring.

I work in advertising and data science, and on good days I create data visualization. Been doing it for years. I can't count the number of times I've worked hard to learn a new technique only to see it fall flat with my audience. Often that audience is one or two people, and those people are often not looking for art; they're looking for clarity.

I have no formal schooling in fine art (besides loads of high school art classes; I'm colorblind; my teachers were ... tolerant ... of my enthusiasm), and progress has been slow. It wasn't so long ago that I soulfully told my wife that I wasn't an artist. It was too hard. I had delusions of grandeur. I needed to stop pretending because the constant disappointment was too damaging to my state of mind.

She argued the other side.

So this is much appreciated.