Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The myth of the artistic gift

Don’t tell me I’m gifted. It’s insulting. My ability to make pictures is not a gift. I suppose you could say that I have been gifted the faculties necessary to make art, sure; my hands, my eyeballs, they could be considered gifts. I did nothing to earn them, so I suppose that counts. Thanks mom and dad, and countless years of mutation and selection. But the thing is, pretty much everyone has access to those biological tools. If you are reading this, good chance is, you’ve got them too. Having strong artistic abilities, however, is no gift.

A gift is something given to a person. Artistic skill is never given to someone, and I am no exception. I busted my ass to get to where I am, and I’m not even good. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and when I am not making art, I am thinking about making art (or sometimes the sex – what’s a guy to do?). It’s not some talent I have; it’s a skill cultivated through years of hard work and countless failures. I was not born with this. It was not handed to me in some gilded chalice. I was not blessed with it. It was not free. Don’t call it a gift.

If you look at a truly amazing piece of art, know this: Whoever made that thing, poured everything they had into it. They may have made it look easy, but I assure you it wasn’t. It took all of the effort they have mustered over their entire lives to make that piece. Art is hard. Don’t ever be fooled into believing otherwise. If you are an artist, don’t let anyone make what you do out to be less than it really is. And if you don’t think making art is hard, then you are probably a shitty artist. If you are not exhausted after every painting you do, you’re doing it wrong. Everything you make should be the best you can make it, and that means working harder than you’ve ever worked before. Every time.

I know I am not very good at what I do. Not yet. But I intend to be the best. Maybe I cannot be the best artist in the world (art is subjective after all…) but I can certainly be the best artist I can be. The only way to become the best, however, is to throw the yolk over your shoulders and plow. The cliché goes, “suffer for your art,” and it is a damn good cliché. This doesn’t mean starve yourself, or that you have to be emotionally distressed, or be constantly filled with angst. No, it means something far simpler. Bust. Your. Ass.

That all said, it’s time for me to shut up and draw.

end rant

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Flying Machine

Here is a little drawing I did for sketch contest. The theme was 'flying machine.' It's not much, but it's something. Pencil and gouache on some grey paper.

He's got some pretty tiny hands.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guess Who's a Bad Blogger, and Has Two Thumbs...

This guy. I know, I know. I never post anymore. We've grown distant, you and I. I'm sorry. Please don't leave me; I don't want to hurt the kids.

Groveling aside, I do have my excuses, namely that me new apartment is far too small to oil paint in. They make them mighty small in Seoul. I know it's not much of an excuse, since I could always draw, or do some sort of less toxic painting, but I am also just bad at posting the things I do make. I thought it was time I gave the sharks something else to nibble, so here you go. And don't be offended at being called a shark; they are noble, majestic creatures, and they get a whole week on the discovery channel to themselves. You should be honored.

, here is a logo I whipped up for my father for his birthday. He is a meat-smoking maniac. Which, it turns out, is nothing like a PokeManiac. Fact.

Here you go:

B&W and 3-Color.

Super limited edition woodburn.