Hey everyone, thanks for continually checking out the blog. I've been thinking a little lately about living as an artist. I think the artist (and by artist, I mean the lifestyle. It's a way of life, it's not a career) has several things they should be doing at all time that carry them forward, always growing as a person. Some people don't do their art full time, maybe they work a job and do art in spare time, so can they be an artist? Absolutely, it's not something you arrive at. It's either something you are, right now, or are not. The more you live as the artist, the more powerful you will become as a person. Here's a few ways that the artist lives:
- Understand yourself and the world. You've got to become a philosopher. You need to understand why you draw but you also need to understand what you want to say with what you draw, and also you need to try to understand living so you have something to say. The most technical draftsman who has nothing to say is worthless.
- Get technical knowledge. You have to know how to use the tools you want to use. Learn from copying masters, learn from books or DVDs, and learn from somebody who knows (go learn from an artist you respect).
- Practice often. Take the knowledge you have and apply it to problems that are in front of you.
- Work often. This differs from practice in the end goal. The end goal of practice is to learn. The end goal of work is to get the result that you are looking for. Let go of things you know and let the emotions come out as you fly toward that result you're looking for.
- Eliminate most fear in your life. You cannot be afraid to fail. You cannot be afraid to try. You cannot be concerned with what other people think. The artist who considers what other people want to see or listen to creates a work of art they have already seen. Be careful though, it's not about novelty. It's not uniqueness for the sake of uniqueness. I am the only me who will ever exist in the history of existence. If I take the time to develop myself, develop my skills, and develop my life then anything I create will be, by default, something nobody has ever seen before. It's like handwriting. We all use the same alphabet. We all learn how to write. But all of our handwriting is so unique, even moreso over time, because we eventually do what works and let what we want to come out. So it is with many other things; so it is with art. Trying to be different (for the sake of being different) causes a person to throw out all the best things about themselves, their true uniqueness, in favor of the outlandishly bizarre. If you can focus on being yourself, you will be so inherently different than anyone else that any effort to do something different is unneccesary. The difference is automatic.
Keep up the good work, peeps! Hope you're kicking some ass!