Painting by Johannes Vermeer
I was contacted by www.artsy.net to help them out and link an article they have done on the amazing Johannes Vermeer, so please check it out and click on the link. Check out the beautiful website and stay while and enjoy the information!
I was recently reading an article about the modern art movement, which sounds like I was catching up on the latest art news in the world, but what I'm actually reading is an article on art from the 1890's. In the article a statement is made comparing the thinking of the 1890's to our present art predicament, asking if we have lost "the belief that there was plenty to explore."
This expression stunned me, I sat for a moment slack jawed and in awe. Like a switch clicking in your mind, I imagine it might be like the last turn on a rubik's cube if I had ever made it that far. Maybe it's like watching an old movie for the first time and seeing the origin of your favorite catchphrase, or reading a classic novel and seeing something of your persona coming from nearly a century before. Connecting to something you never new existed,
All during contemporary art school, the halls ring "NOTHING IS NEW!" Every corner we turn there is someone waiting to tell us our creation is a remnant of this or that. That our work is merely an imitation of so and so, and how our creation is always lesser than the original. This happens and our momentum stalls out, our train of thought derails and we become obsessed with discovering our own style so we never are put in that situation again. Instead of getting labeled as "so and so who is trying to be so and so" we push aside any new ideas we come across (they might not be new ideas to the art community but to us, the searchers, they are gold) and worry about making sure we only display originality. This hurts us so much, i spent so much time trying not to look like someone else that it made me not produce work, period. I became obsessed with personal style that I stopped exploring styles or ideas that interested me, instead trying to find things that would make me unique. This is something I still struggle with, this weird hang up with my own voice, as if somehow people cannot see my style peek through my work anyway.
Your worst critic is always going to be yourself, so get another set of eyes on your work. Have some one walk through your studio, make sure someone proofreads your writing, let someone listen to your music, you are a terribly biased judge, but a fresh set of ideas and opinions are waiting in the company you keep. Let your friends show you your personal style if you are having trouble finding it.
It takes many years to discover your own voice, not that it wasn't there all a long, just that in order to truly hear it, you had to learn to read and understand music.