Words of wisdom

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mdmattin
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Re: Words of wisdom

Post by mdmattin » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:14 am

Welcome back! As you probably noticed, the site has a new URL, thesketchingforum.org. Russ is enjoying a well deserved retirement from running the site, and I am taking on that role and hoping to carry on the tradition.
I hope to see you around,
Matthew

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Rebecca
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New Words: How to be an Artist, by Jerry Saltz

Post by Rebecca » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:03 pm

I noticed this going around:
https://www.vulture.com/2018/11/jerry-s ... rtist.html

It's long. I would paste it here, but there are likely copyright issues in doing that. If we discuss it, I hope it doesn't disappear over time.
Rebecca

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mdmattin
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Re: Words of wisdom

Post by mdmattin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:35 pm

Interesting... there's a lot there, it's kind of a sprawling collection of observations on life. Some parts I agree with, some not. Some parts seem to contradict other parts. Some parts remind of the drivel they spoon out in college art classes. After reading though it for the first time I wondered who was this artist who was proffering this advice. Further investigation led to this article, where he describes his journey as a "failed artist." He achieves success in the hyped up gallery world of the Seventies but suffers angst and attacks of self doubt and eventually quits. It seemed to me that he was not a failed artist at all, but a successful writer, whose problem was one of mislabeling. After all, his major project was a schematic interpretation of Dante's Divine Comedy, unintelligible to anyone else. He was fixated on being an Artist, but not highly motivated to make art, in the sense of work that engages and communicates primary through the visual channels. He was obsessed with the close reading and explication of a literary work, using an invented language of graphic symbols to explicate his ideas. Once he found his calling as an art critic, it all fell into place.
Matthew

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Andre Jute
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Re: Words of wisdom

Post by Andre Jute » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:14 am

I thought that maybe he'd just missed his time period; perhaps he would have fitted well with the Symbolists which was particularly both an artistic and literary movement.

It's perfectly ordinary that literature should inspire visual art; many have mined the Inferno. And the Bible for an artist is a roll-call of great painters' names.

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Rebecca
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Re: New Words: How to be an Artist, by Jerry Saltz

Post by Rebecca » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:11 pm

Reading this, I get impressions about my own career path blind spots. Unfortunately, they're just impressions that don't reveal any previously unseen avenues. The article is an opinion from a disappointed, jealous man who has some power over other artists seeking their way through a narrow opening, or the way it seems, seeking how one can recognize the invisible trail through aggressive breeding seals. In fact, Saltz looks a lot like one of the barking seals on the beach.

"How can I be an artist?" The answer to that question most often comes from gatekeepers. Gatekeepers assure that inquirers get at least two messages: A] Hey, everybody wants that thing you want, and B] I got stuck in line for that big break, so I'm certainly not going to make it easy for you to cut ahead of me. In fact for the time I have you in front of me, I'll make sure you see me rage against your presumptuous request. It feels like gatekeepers have made entire livelihoods out of the spots where they got stuck, in a line they perceive they are in. And that's where they set up their advise booth, primarily to bring attention to themselves, and possibly to obscure the way to aspirants who wish to pass. But why would they have the full answer, anyway? They know their own strategies, and they know a lot about the enterprise they got stuck in, but something -- perhaps their blind spots -- pulled them out of contention for the artist they wanted to be. The last steps eluded them, so they don't have experiences that could provide the most satisfying answers.

I posted this link because I think some of what Saltz writes is actually very good advice. I like his idea that sketching triggers new ideas, and going through the motions of making art should go a long way to cure feelings of being stuck. Most readers in the sketching forum are not focused on anything beyond better drawing, but you have something in common with those who have art career aspirations -- sketching. And many of the feelings professionals or more advanced artists experience are the same as yours. Saltz addresses how to work on those issues, and some of that is what I find works well.
Rebecca

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