Image by Sam Wolfe Connelly "Envy"
"Martha Graham’s advice takes this concept a step further by explaining that not only are you a bad judge of your own work, it is not your job to judge your own work. It is not your place to compare it to others."
I really like this quote, I was reading the article and it stood out to me as something that I should be more aware of , something that I should get better at understanding. Instead of getting hung up on all the critiques that I give myself, how I will never be able to paint like Nicolas Uribe, or that my color will never be as amazing Euan Uglow, I need to take a step back and stop the comparisons. I will never be able to accomplish what they have accomplished, for one they have already done it, but the second reason is that it is not my path in life or as an artist. I would much rather be an Allen TenBusschen than someone else, which is a lot tougher of a road to travel than you would think.
I have spent the last year journaling what interests me in art, what I find beautiful in others work, things that draw me into painting, and asking myself why? about everything. Trying to figure out where I fit into the history of art, what style I am searching for, where I can look to discover new ways to help me develop my technique, and throughout this all I seem to just be an amalgamation of other peoples art, which I think might me a step in the right direction, If an idea is nothing more than a new combination of 2 old things (thanks Huntsman and Grover) then perhaps a style is a combination of different pieces and style of other artists?
This quote come with a bit of baggage as well, as I start to actually go insane waiting to hear back from graduate programs and start to feel the overwhelming depression that comes along with placing too much of your personal worth on someone else's decision. Then having the crushing blow of having to open that rejection letter (which I have a stack of in a drawer, waiting to become a weirdo art project later in life) and close the door on that particular path in your imagination. I am currently struggling with this and trying to figure out what is best for me, what the next step is artistically and what is going to improve my quality of life. Isn't that what art is, a way to improve your quality of life? that might be an idea for another blog post.
Be willing to destroy
Images from the Jealous Curator
I love this little image, I think I will print it out and place it on the wall of my little studio as a reminder that sometimes losing is a good thing.
Sometimes you have to just get rid of it, just rip it to shreds, burn it, find a vat of "dip" and drop it in. I have a stack of paintings, a literal stack in the corner of my little room/studio that is just taunting me, I have a board a 24 X 36in board that has been the bane of my art existence for the last 2 1/2 years, seriously it has about 10 false starts on it and every couple of months I get a boost of courage and I think I will put something great on it, and then it punches me right in the face and I am unsure why I even tried, or on some really bad days, why I try in general.
I think we as a species get a bit to tied to things. And this message is something to rally around, a battle cry to shout as we find ourselves attached to things that are doing us harm, whether it be a physical or mental harm, maybe a bad painting or a bad habit (that stops us from painting or creating). Sometimes things cannot be salvaged, somethings are worth the waste of just getting rid of it, and sometimes the destruction unlocks the potential you never saw.
Just something to think about.
If you recognize these images you are my favorite. The story of van Meegeren is one of my favorite art crime stories and the book The Forger' Spell is such a great read. The one on the left is Han van Meegeren and the right is our hero 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. The more we all know about art the better perspective we get on what is happening around us.
The irony being that when I spell (impostor, imposter) it tells me it is spelled wrong. But the always 100% true all the time, never wrong website wikipedia tells me I can spell it either way, so who is truly the imposter/impostor?
Wikipedia Entry 1/21/2016
Impostor syndrome (also spelled imposter syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
I struggle HARD with this. (That's what she said.) I'm extra bad at taking compliments, I feel most of the time that I am getting away with showing someone a incomplete work of art. Or I feel that because my work is not the same quality of the work I obsess over in art books I am unqualified to present my work as art. Instagram has helped me a lot, showing me that it is okay to let people into your process and show your work unfinished. I may not have received critical success but I have received my fair share of compliments and encouragement (special thank you to Nama) all along the way, but I still struggle with the idea that it is deserved. I think this might be something that I "deal" with for my whole life, which is probably a good thing in a way to keep myself grounded.
I think you should enjoy and learn to accept the compliments and cherish the good moments. Which is maybe harder than dealing with imposter syndrome. In the current art world, and in almost every aspect of our current society there is so much pressure on producing, the market is focused on quantity and quality together now, that in order to find success you need to work yourself into such a frenzy that if feels as if there is never any time to slow down and really enjoy the successes you have, no matter how small they may be. When I finish a painting I have to start another painting right away in order to absolve me of the guilt of not "working." This gets me into a vicious cycle of producing without stopping to truly think through a thought or concept before putting the brush to the canvas. Jasper Johns was a champion of that, he would stop and work out his next piece in his mind before producing it allowing the work to be fully matured before it entered reality. I don't think this is the only way, but another way to think about creating anything.I think there might be a happy medium in there somewhere.
Allen TenBusschen has thoughts every now and again and wants to share them with you.