When you think back to when you were young with just notebook paper and crayons - or if you were special, your grandmother got that pack of colorful construction paper - there were no boundaries of what you created. If you wanted to make a portrait of your mother with an extra arm it was cool, because you were in control of the art. The most important thing in the world was that you were happy with what you made.
At some point during our grown professional art lives, sh*t mattered (sorry Ma for the curse word). Artist get placed in boxes that equal a certain number of sales per quarter, and their work rarely strays far from their bread basket. The people love when they paint XYZ, so they paint 3 million variations of XYZ. Fantastic! Congrats to that artist and their bank account.
Then there are artist that are SO afraid of criticism, they don’t try new things. They are afraid to experiment with new materials and ideas, with the fear of people not liking it. What happened to the kid with the crayons and construction paper? Why do we kill that child?
That little skinny butter pecan kid still dwells within me. I draw, scribble, doodle in margins, doodle on paintings, add ink to watercolors, paint on top of collage work - I DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY. Yes, I love when people appreciate my art. I LOVE all of my collectors. I adore the news articles and blogs in which I’m mentioned. However, I can’t let any of my previous success dictate every piece of art I create in the future. Sure you have to pay attention to how the public responds to your work…… but you can’t be trapped in a cycle of creating art that no longer challenges your inner child. Every piece of art is an answer or response to an internal question. How can I finish my life test if I’m stuck on question 10, giving variations of the same answer month after month - year after year. You are no longer a river of flowing creativity - you become a stagnant pool of rainwater in the grocery store parking lot.
This month marks my 46 year of breathing Gods good air. That's 46 years of collecting data, ideas and feelings. I am not afraid to regurgitate those ideas in new ways. That's why my solo show this month at Blanc Gallery features works you won’t normally see from me. I do hope its received well. The title of the exhibit: BLK HND SDE
If you are reading this, and you are not an artist, I still advise that you live and move without fear. Pull out some construction paper and crayons and just get busy living.