Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dark Matter...Antimatter...What Does Matter?

Faceoff! 5 x 7 oil
Moving on to day two of the Your Turn Challenge, the prompt is to talk about something that is important to us. I could take that prompt in many directions, but as the focus of this blog is supposed to be the creation of art - my art, specifically - I thought I would address that.

Only...these days I'm seriously questioning how important art is to me.  Sure, in the greater context, I believe art is important - humans have been creating art for a seriously long time, so there must be something to it, right?  But...is my art important?  I'm not convinced.  Is making art important to me?  Right here, right now...I'm not so sure.

This post is far too serious.
 I know there will be some who will admonish me for those thoughts, but I think they're legitimate.  Overall, I consider myself a fairly practical person.  I've been blessed for much of my life to be able to make my living doing things I enjoy - working with horses being the primary source of my income.  While there are definite ups and downs, in general, it makes me happy to be able to spend much of my day talking to horses, instead of people.  I'm better at it. And when they talk back, well, it's easy to admit they're right.

Artwork, contrary to how many artists feel, is work.  Producing art is not the work part, per se; it's the marketing that is so painful.  It would be nice if talent alone equaled success for an artist, but many of us know too well, that is not the case.  I am the first to admit, I am quite horrible at marketing myself!  Self-promotion is tough, especially when one is experiencing something resembling a crisis of confidence.

I can produce the work.  I know that.  If I can't sell it...I have to question producing more work.  So right now, outside of the commission commitments I have, I'm not feeling compelled to churn out anything new.  I'm feeling my time is better spent working on improving some of my artistic skills - hence the sketching people, and painting landscapes - the stuff I'm not letting anyone see at the moment.  I guess that means I'm not completely abandoning my work;  I just can't rationalize painting something new.  I either need to get my head around believing my work is worth promoting, or content myself with relegating my work to hobby status. Maybe somewhere along the road, I'll figure out if it is important or not.

If you haven't seen the Fifth Wave cartoon to which my title somewhat refers...check it out here!

Leo says, "Can we all just lighten up now?"


sheona hamilton-grant said...

Linda this is uncanny on so many levels! You have put so much of what is going through my artist mind into words.
Hitting the nail on the head.
Does my art matter? It does of course it does. If so why? It's beautiful and eternal and that in its self should be enough. Not sure then why the question arises and follows me/us around for days!
I wonder could it be referred to as an art mid-life crisis?
Off to to try and find out ...

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in this line of thinking, Sheona! If you have any breakthroughs, please share! :-)

Karen Thumm said...

You're definitely not alone in this thinking, Linda! I've been going through such thoughts for several years now.

Does my art matter? Well, it does to me very much, and when I stop to think about it, I realize that it matters to others who tell me so. That is enough to keep me creating if only sporadically.

And, I'm right there with you on the marketing. Not my favorite thing by any means.

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Feeling a bit the same myself could be the January blues but I've felt a bit off kilter for a while now. The Bruce ethic will keep me plodding on though and hopefully my painting mojo will make a comeback....

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks Karen! I know I have a real mental block when it comes to self-promotion. I admire the people who are able to do it!

Linda Shantz said...

The January Blues definitely don't help, Elizabeth. Horses are starting to loose coat...spring can't be that far off, right?