Saturday, March 31, 2007

Practicing One's Craft

"Curtains" Painting copyright Amy Crehore
Seth Godin posted this on his blog the other day:
Art that's not for sale
Jordan Tierney and her colleagues have been working for months on the Periodic Tableaux, a one-of-a-kind art book that's not for sale.
Why invest the hours and the sweat and the talent in a piece of art you can't (and won't) sell?
Two reasons. The best reason is that when you practice your craft for yourself, not for the market, it drives you in new and important ways. And the other reason is that people are going to talk about it. Ideas that spread, win."
I totally agree about practicing your craft for yourself first. That is what I have done all of my life and certain people who think "money first" tend to think I am crazy. I have actually had people say, "Why even do it, if you aren't selling it?" They just don't understand the creative process and the goals of an artist. I could have been strictly a cartoonist-type illustrator (I did plenty of it) when I was younger for money, but I wanted to learn how to paint in a more representational way. I wanted to come up with my own unique way of painting. Not realism, but imaginative painting that transports you to a place that is "realer than real". I needed the challenge of painting with oils. I had a vision. It was a long-term goal. I struggled for years. Over humps and into valleys. I devoured art history books. Sometimes a painting would take me months with a hundred paintings underneath. I persevered. It was all about putting love and my own experiences into the work and letting my humor and ideas flow freely without fear. And painting things over and over and over until they "felt" right. I think it was worth it - to get to the place I am now.
(Thanks to Marshall at for the link)
(above image from my "Little Pierrot" series which started as an experiment and has evolved into 3 different series of works.)

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