Audio Version of the Chapters is Here.
“Don’t look back – something might be gaining on you.” – Satchel Paige
Chapter 4 – Fears About Others
Oh here we are, what are we to do about how others respond to our artwork? Yikes! More importantly, more frightening and more of a noose around the artistic neck, what about the TEACHER? I know you know that I am interested in you making your artwork. You know that I am in it to help you understand why something is working or why something isn’t working. “Say WHAT FKorb?” I am in the art teaching gig to help you become better at understanding the world, the world of the arts, the “rules” of art and how to live in, with, among and break them. Thank you for not taking the criticism as personal attacks, but rather as teaching tools to learn from. The final statement, just above Understanding is that you have “laid yourself bare by exposing your artwork,” and any critique or criticism can be unbelievably painful. You, however (and again), are in it more for the learning than you are for the pat on the back, and for all of that, I thank you.
The above photo shows what understanding is about on a personal level… AMAZINGLY, there are those who are in the arts who are still put off by artwork that is “different,” but more surprisingly by individuals that don’t “fit” into an easy category, or that they far too easily fit into a specific category. “You’re not like us; you’re weird; you’re crazy.” Yep… I am ok with that description of me (or you may be ok with that description of me, or yourself, or others…) and what do we do with that? I hope that, as many of the written critiques have stated about any artworks you have created, we can LEARN from that difference, that strangeness, that uniqueness and put it to good use. 1) The individuals that are “different” from you are full of great ideas and great abilities and great greatness, just like you are, 2) I can sure learn a lot about the world by surrounding myself with those that are “different” and lastly… well… C) imagine what you’d never learn, taste, hear, see, feel or smell if you didn’t allow yourself to experience differences? I’d never know the joy of a perfectly grilled piece of calamari.
While this is not necessarily what the chapter was about, there are things that you can learn here. Understanding may be something that, at this point in your art career, is something very different for you than for me. You are at a point where, unlike me, you cannot put a 5 year gap between what you did then and what you are doing now. Your artwork at the age of 12 or 13 is so very removed from what you are doing now at 17 or 18 (I hope so at least). For me, however, 38 and 42 aren’t all that different (although I can say that the look of Mr. Korb has changed dramatically – someone even told me I had a grey hair!). The work I am doing IS different, but is also very much the same. I can put a bit of distance and understanding between then and now. In addition… the work you are creating now is important to you and means a lot to you, but in the grand scheme of “ART” it is not the most Earth shattering work (nor is mine for that matter). You can connect to the 17 and 18 year olds, but to connect with the 27, 36, 45, 54 year olds who have more of an art history/worldly understanding. That being the case though, they may not be the connection you are looking for anyway. Don’t give up, do understand.