Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's UN-Resolutions or How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

This list has been floating on my computer desktop for several months. I can't remember where I first saw it, but it's a good reminder (with a tad of editing) about not letting negative thoughts invade the creative flow:


1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.

2. Base the success of your entire career on one project.

3. Stick to what you know.

4. Undervalue your expertise.

5. Let money dictate what you do.

6. Bow to societal pressures.

7. Only do work your family would love.

8. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.

9. Set unachievable/overwhelming goals to be accomplished by tomorrow.

10. Expect to become famous/rich/understood.

Now I don't like negative thinking. It sucks the life out of things, kills incentive, undermines your attitude, and blocks progress. So I find the above list a bit of a downer. I like to think of art as a continual process.

It's my observation that art is always moving, changing, progressing. I want to explore and constantly change my work. New thoughts, new ways of doing things, new discoveries--that's the exciting thing about art. An artist makes new discoveries all the time. It's part of the doing of it.

Sometimes it takes the form of a big loop. Sometimes I make something and go on to the next step in developing a surface treatment or shape or technique. But sometimes I go back to where I started and try the same idea again, only going in another direction or using another technique. The possibilities are truly endless.

So here's to 2008! May it be a wonderful year filled with work and discovery.