An idea, a feeling, a response begins with a ‘trigger event’ and grow ….. spread like cracks in the windscreen. The impact site is small but the cracks which emanate from it are the places of weakness which causes it to shatter.
So it is with responses to many impacts. Impacts are neither good nor bad but our reactions can change the course of our lives. At times disempowerment results from the shattering. Other occasions the shattering is an opening to a new perception of our beings. Either way the only time an impact occurs is when we are open to the effects of vulnerability…. living with an open heart.
Being an artist is a rare opportunity to expose myself to other people that most avoid. Many people feel they have a right to critique something I have created and tell me how it could be improved. Some people will say they like a piece and some will say they do not. I have friends who always critiques my work at any stage if it is on view around my home. It can be daunting. It can be daunting when someone says I don’t like your work. Equally daunting when they want me to explain it to them because they want to relate to because they don’t like it. All of this is something which non-makers don’t have to encounter. Others don’t question their works in progress or expect explanations of it.
There is a relationship of sorts with a piece that develops during creation. It is of course with myself as I am putting something like an idea or a feeling outside of my word driven being and responding to it. It is like thinking out loud and having a conversation with myself. A voyage of discovery to borrow a saying, into knowing something which might immediately appear or in most of my instances take time, sometimes years, to unearth. Yet as an artist the world around me wants to value my worth as an artist by whether they like it or not….
Being me, I can’t say it matters anymore. I don’t even have to like a piece for it to have value and meaning. Creation is for no one else but myself. If I create without relationship to the outcome then for me it is soulless and looses worth to me and yet, often they are the things others like. Should I create to please others and not myself then if I want to be profitable?
Anymore, my answer is no. I can’t stay with it and it sucks all the joy out of how I get to a picture in the end.
After the best part of my life pleasing others and making situations pleasing to keep peace, I have stepped back from enacting other people’s agendas. It is freeing but it is not necessarily profitable. In a work sense I am not really very employable as my boundaries say that my boss needs to be aligned to my values and always have a socially acceptable behaviour system. That is hard to find.
It is likely why I have always created.
The art of drawing has become so integral to my life my days feel incomplete without it at some stage. It is the one place which as always been my place. It is my soul’s poetry in a way… and this brings us back to the idea I began with: liked by another V disliked by another. Drawing and painting do not have the same effect within me. One is strong, the other soft…. when I feel within my creative experience.
Irony is I don’t feel the same way about drawing in public. Folk speak differently about images without colour in them. There is a difference in there I want to explore sometime, about how colour and painting varies in intent, form and feeling for me, from images drawn with a pencil or pen. I think I am beginning to know but not everything needs to be shared right now.
In a world in which we increasing cling to the notion of ‘like’ it is okay to be ‘disliked’. Equally in this social world in which others feel an open invitation to critique without consideration of the feelings of others discomfort is a common experience. I just want to record that I think discomfort and even pain sometimes is normal and our responses to the critiques of others are ours. It is a vulnerable feeling to expose a part of the inner-ness of my being in the stages of creation.
Whether I trust another or not, it is still an unknown experience to have them judge my work without invitation. I don’t read their diaries and offer comment on the spelling and sentence forms. I currently realise it is why having a studio to work in is making creative life feel more comfortable. My inner journey in stages has a door. Living open-heartedly does not mean I have to expose every part of myself for observation.
What it has taught me is to try to be kind: 1) To speak well of what I like about my friends or their artwork if they like me are creators. 2) No matter how I feel about what someone else might like or dislike in my art or in my life, I am the only one who is creating it and I don’t create to please them. 3) The relationship between myself and the object I am creating needs to be robust and fluid so that I can find my way to the end of the idea even if it means painting over things I like to leave a truer picture. 4) Courage is necessary to publicly create and reveal my work…. and I should only listen to people who are willing to do the same with their creations, when I would like support and advice.