Audio Version of the Chapters is Here.
“Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.” – Stephen DeStaeble
Have you ever felt the above quote in your own life?
In order to be one of the few artists who do not quit, you need to make sure that you confront the troubles of being an artist… the troubles that are faced by ALL who choose this life. As an artist who continues, you may deal with an idea for a length of time, take it to an endpoint, decide that you can no longer get anything more useful from it, and then return to a starting point. Take Pablo Picasso for example (can you think of a better example in the art world for darn near anything? Alright – Robert Rauschenberg is an American example… that is true… good point). He might begin dealing with realistic figurative work… go abstract / cubism for a while… take it to an end point… and return to the realistic figurative work… begin again.
What is your destination for all the hard work you put forth in the creation of your artwork? At this point, it might just be the crit. At some point it might be a gallery / museum. GREAT! Just remember that it is important to have many goals (at least more than one) in mind for yourself and your artwork. What happens to you when GRADUATION comes around and the support, the unwavering, free and sincere support, ends? YIKES!
Answer the following questions that are posed below: What are your fears / doubts about being an “ARTIST?” or worse yet a “REAL ARTIST?” The authors give a few examples that they have seen their friends, students and even themselves have had.
Some more points about the remaining headers in the chapter I feel are important for you to consider. Vision and Execution: Why is the vision always more perfect than the execution?
Imagination: “The development of an imagined piece into an actual piece is a progression of decreasing possibilities,” (16). I love the final statement in this passage “The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because he imagines it to be fast.” My brain works much faster than my hands can produce the artwork (no question – just my comment).
And the Materials: I believe in the statement about the materials doing exactly what your hands tell them to do. It is a challenge to get them to do what you are imagining for them, especially at this early stage of the game in your art making experience. Another bit of this I struggle with is the idea of being too comfortable with a material (or a technique) and not challenging yourself beyond it. That said, what materials do you find that you are TOO comfortable with at this point in your art making career? Why does this material work so easily for you? On the other hand, what materials are you afraid of (and why)?
LASTLY… On page 12 is the Operating Manual for NOT Quitting. I’d like you to write this down on the BACK cover of your sketchbook so you have a continual reminder of how NOT to quit.