In The Eye of the Beholder

steven_2_eyesI am an artist, by nature, self-description and action. I create images, objects and various and assorted “things” for my own pleasure and by commission, on occasion. It is what I’ve been given to do, I believe.
For the first time I will be working from a studio/gallery environment. With other artists around me producing and showing their own work, I now must enter into that phase of my career in which there is a type of direct competition, for lack of a better word. Not that there is a defined sense of competing with others, but there will be a recognition of the sales and attention that each piece gains from the viewing public and potential clients.
I’ve done numerous things in my life that require other people’s approval in order to be successful. Unlike completing a task or filling out forms, waiting on customers, etc… performance of any type is an ego altering experience that is not for the faint hearted. I’ve done musical work, hair salon and the ever present artistic endeavors, mostly murals. I got work based on other people’s recommendation, which, while flattering and fundamental, still conjurs up the possibility of no one liking what I do.
As this new gallery experience unfolds, I hope to learn and grow, gaining as much from those around me as is possible. Hopefully I can absorb some of what makes them love what they do, learn new techniques and increase my appreciation for the work of others. This is a beautiful opportunity that can’t be wasted on self-doubt or narcissistic envy. I’m moving into a community that will be classroom, showcase and proving ground.
I don’t think you can fail as an artist. Certainly, in music, mistakes are obvious and can’t be taken back once they’re played. If you forget part of a song, faking it might work, but the moment is gone forever. Do a haircut wrong and it will show. Haircolor can be disastrous…I’ve seen green hair when it wasn’t for fun. I turned my best friend’s hair orange one time, and it wasn’t possible to accurately describe the color until, one day, we saw a leather purse in exactly the same shade. Thankfully, we didn’t have to stand her next to the purse for the comparison, as her color was finally correct. But, still, orange, green and red…crayon colors!
But art is always subjective. Even the most hideous rendering of an object or person might turn out to be the next great impressionistic movement. Not to mention you can paint over it if it’s too offensive. Over and over and over again I might work on the nose, until, at last, it really is the nose I need it to be. If it were the last bar of a piece of music, people would get up and leave. But with a painting, no one will know until I say it’s finishished.
The future is looking good from here. I am anxious to start this phase of my artists’ life, knowing that if I never did this, I would eventually regret bypassing this milestone.
Choices surround us, and we have opportunities to live larger. There’s no time like the present.

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