Sunday, April 19, 2009

Working in Isolation...the mind of the artist

I'm blabbering again.

It took me many years to realize this, but creativity - in any form - is an isolated act. Yeah, you can brainstorm with co-workers and can jam, improvise, challenge - but each new idea that crops up in your brain came from within/from nowhere... from [as Deepak Chopra has said] "the thinker behind the thoughts."

So - here's a blank canvas, or sheet of paper, or lump of clay or pile of glass - whatever medium. The artist approaches it with a spark of an idea, a thought, a vision, an image - and a certain amount of time goes by and something amazing or potentially mediocre is on that canvas or paper!

It's a little lonely, but rewarding in a way that can't be explained. I spend the time in my studio alone [albeit the radio, music or a book on tape] thinking, dreaming, talking to myself... every image, every piece I've created came out of my brain [with inspiration from something somewhere...] and on to [mostly] canvas... some masterpieces, some just so-so [I'm my own worse critic].

When your work is ready - the isolation ends. You present this extremely personal object to the world and wait.

But, then - what if it is a masterpiece [in my mind] - how do you deal with it?
Can I say "I am a genius! What a masterpiece!" or does that make me a conceited jerk... or do I deny my innate talent - remain modest or die a thousand deaths worrying about the critics?

The artists who are bazillionaires are not modest. They're not shy. The world of art is no longer about the glimmering light hidden under a bushel basket... no longer dying in poverty and shame. Read an interview with Julian Schnabel, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Chuck Close, Cindy shrinking violets. But no matter if you think they're conceited bastards - that painting, that crystal encrusted skull, that giant balloon animal, that wig - it was a spark in their minds that was conceived in isolation.

I'm still working through my responses to admirers... read my Q&A below and you'll either laugh or think I'm a jerk.

1 comment:

Niteowl said...

You know, there is so much negativity, from without, from within, that it seems one almost needs to be a blustering windbag and inveterate egoist to cut through it all and construct some semblance of self-confidence.