The Artist’s Paradox
Life is a little overwhelming these days… just a lot going on! It’s all good stuff at the moment (and I’m so grateful for that), but a lot. When I’m juggling six texts about six different things that have to be decided or done IMMEDIATELY, I just remind myself to keep swimming.
Speaking of swimming, it’s summer and I’m going to Mexico! Going to swim in a pool and swim in the Caribbean! I’m bringing my art supplies, of course, so who knows what might emerge from two weeks of Mexican bliss? Vamos a ver…
In the meantime, I have now uploaded every setlist artwork that I have done so far… and two of them have sold! Hallelujah! Nothing makes me happier than knowing another human enjoyed my art enough to put down their hard-earned money for it… I cannot imagine ever taking that for granted.
I wonder often about who an artist does their art FOR, exactly. Like most truths in life, I believe the truth is a paradox. Of course, an artist must make art to please themselves if it is to be honest and authentic. It seems to me that if one makes art to please others, then is it really art? Or is it marketing? I don’t have an answer to that… let’s just say, it’s not the kind of art I want to create.
I’m not a successful enough artist to have yet faced the issue of whether or not to continue making the same KIND of art because that is what your audience loves. It’s a velvet trap… and artists do have to deal with that. Especially if they have come to rely on income from their art. Maybe an artist like Damien Hirst can continue to change up his style and still sell millions of dollars of art… but maybe now he can do that because he has enough money to not care anymore? I actually think he might be such a famous artist because he really doesn’t care. These are the mysteries of art.
Then of course, as an artist, if your style is so wide and deep that you can continue exploration AND please your audience, that is the sweet spot! As I see it, art IS exploration or it is nothing. (Probably true for life as well.) Check out this amazing artist, Benjamin Sack… talk about exploration!
Anyway, there is something deep inside me that cares very much if people see something they resonate with in my art. There is nothing to compare with the feeling when someone tells me they love my work… it’s not the same as loving or liking me as a person. It’s not the same, and yet it hits as deeply. And while as an artist, I will continue to make art whether you like it or not, it adds another layer of satisfaction or reward when you do.
So I make my art for me and don’t care if you like it. And, thank you for liking it, I care very much.
Leave a Reply