Thu 2 Sep, 2004 03:32 pm
I was listening to the Talking Heads today and keyed in on the "I don't have to prove that I am creative" line of "Artists only.
This set me off thinking about feedback and its importance in creative endevors.
As a studio photographer I find that I can follow a certain formula and get the results that earn me a living -- thats a type of feedback I suppose. But I really don't consider my studio work art.
The photos that I do for myself bring a different kind of pleasure, as does the writing, and some other "making things" activities. I've always been a bit of a coward about showing this part of me but lately I've been trying to show more because I feel that I need some feedback. Internet forums make this a bit easier for me since nobody really knows who I am.
I'm curious about how important feedback is to you in the creation of your art work or your thing-making.
Is it enough to be creative or do you have to prove that you are creative?
Hey, boomer. Frankly, I have to prove it to myself, and if others find it meaningful, that's quite rewarding.
Well put, Letty.
I too think of it as something I do for myself but creativity is such an odd thing.
It is really self indulgent, no matter if you keep if for yourself or look to others for confirmation. But it doesn't feel self indulgent.
I'm not really sure what I'm trying to get at here but I'm guessing that the "meaningfulness" is enhanced by the sharing but the sharing doesn't really give it any meaning.
Does that make sense?
Absolutely, boomer. I am certain that there are many people who only create for themselves, but find it awkward without another's eye into the soul of the creation, but when they say, "Hey, That's fantastic.!" We're never quite certain if they are being kind or don't feel the need to go further into the expressions. When I posted that thread on Duchamp, I looked very carefully at all the responses. There seemed to be a nice balance of opinions.
I will have to search out your Duchamp thread.
The only modern artist that I've never figured out was Dubuffet. When I lived in Chicago I made a point of visiting all of the monumental sculpture by modern artists. There were ones I loved (Chagall's Four Seasons) and one's I didn't care for (Christo's Bat) but the Dubuffet completely stumped me.
I know Duchamp has the same effect on many people.
You're right in that you never know whether someone's opinion is simply flattery or whether they like it. One of the reasons I posted part of my new portfolio on here is that the anonymous nature of the internet gets more honest opinions.
Still, it was hard for me to put myself out there for criticism. But it was necessary too.
I find it pleasureable when someone says something nice about something I did... even though I'm sure they sometimes do it just to be nice
Hi JoeFX - there is nothing wrong with nice.
But most likely they really mean it!
I think a function of art is communication, and to know if it is successful, you need to know if it has communicated. To do so, you have to ask a communicat-ee.
If that makes any sense.
while there might be nothing wrong with nice... I really prefer truth over nice
while there might be nothing wrong with nice... I really prefer truth over nice in most situations (most of the time I find it's easier to tell the truth to avoid the moral dilemma)
Boom, "proving" whether you are creative or not is just not on anyone's agenda unless they might be feeling insecure. There appears to be a spectrum of artistic expression that encompasses all manner of art forms. Creativity seems to be achievable in all of them. Many professionals earn livings and live their lives with no apparent need to be considered "creative". As a commercial portrait photographer you can be successful by "cranking out" routine photos by the mile and never be accused of being creative. Those who gain that distinction seem to be rarely self-proclaimed...they achieve this status from others in the field,schooled and trained to recognize singular and extraordinary achievement. Rather than rely on your personal experience with exposure to a few famous examples, a better way to form your perspective might be to enroll in Art Appreciation Courses wherein an entire category of art can be thoroughly studied. And who knows? Maybe you may discover that you have been "creative" all along. Then you could move on to other things to wonder about.
Yes, soz. That does make sense!
I prefer the truth over nice too, JoeFX. I remember a particular college teacher who was very truthful. Each week we would hang our assignment on the board and he would begin the "discussion" by tearing up the photos that he didn't like. It could be heartbreaking to see something that you'd worked hard on torn up in matter of seconds.
But oh how good it felt if one of your pictures were left on the board after the shredding!
I minored in Art History in college so I think I have a pretty good understanding of art and a great appreciation of it.
Most people I know who actually earn a living in their chosen field sell out a bit on their own creativity. Nobody in photography school expects to earn a living photographing condiment bottles for advertisements -- but they can actually make a living at it. For me, when I don't have to worry about the bills being paid - in my case I pay the bills by cranking out sellable images - I find that I have more time for creativity. To me, working in a field I love, even if I'm not creating "art" is much, much nicer than earning money doing something I hate.
However, I don't disagree about the insecurity.
And it was David Byrne who said "I don't have to prove that I am creative".
Yes boomerang... that is one of my reasons for always telling the truth, compliments have 'de-valued' thanks to fake niceness... so if I always tell the truth, when I do say something nice it'll mean more
I work for me first and then, as Soz says, art being communication it needs a response.
I prefer an honest opinion - even if i disagree with it. it devalues genuine praise if someone always says something nice. An honest critical comment either makes you rethink or strengthens your own perspective on something and is valuable.
boomer et. al. I have seen art in the face of a hurricane; art in the face of a woman; art in the face of a child, and a specialness that can never be interpreted by anyone, but the most beautiful spirit of all, is the face that one may see in the look of the person who truly cares about you, and the exchange of one person to another; the canvas of being needed no matter how difficult that splash of darkness may be.
I never cared for Kipling's "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted," but I now see that the man did not have to prove anything.
When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!
So good to be here, my friends
"The canvas of being needed...."
And the poem?
We change the art in our gallery spaces every month, with a new one person show going in to the main gallery. The artists' work varies, as you might suppose, from one show to another, and people have gotten into the habit of coming in to check it out. The responses are often strong, and what fascinates one person will near-repel another...very interesting for us to see.
yes, i went to an exhibition of paintings in Anglesey a few years back. 2 artists were showing paintings that were mainly of birds - one was the equivalent of botanical illustration, very competent, very good but not exciting.
The other was Kim Atkinson - she sketched the birds regularly out on the salt marshes and cliffs and her birds were so alive and free and beautiful. The curators said that more people related to the other 'tighter' artists work but it was a really strong division, that if you related to one, then the other just didn't work for you.
this isn't as free as most were but is the only one i can find on the net to lift.