Perceiving art wrong

Since the dawn of this blogs existence I had intended for this blog to be a journey about my life and progress as a writer as well as an artist; it is quite obvious that I get distracted from this aspect of the blog a lot.

The update for today is that I have decided to take my artist-self more seriously in a less serious manner than before; I have grown in confidence regarding my place in the creative world in general because I have had a huge epiphany and that epiphany slapped me in the face and left me in awe of how simple it all really is.  I used to believe that in writing as well as art that there are certain rules you must follow in order to be a creative person, especially a creative person who is to be taken seriously by the world – but it can’t be further from the truth.  The moment you start to become serious in your creative field, it is the moment you start killing your creative self. 

How did I learn this?

As a means to start learning about art so that I could take it more seriously, I decided that my art looked a lot like three particular genres in the art world, abstract, impressionism and abstract expressionism.  But I wasn’t confident I understood abstract art well enough to dare call myself an artist in that field – perhaps I need to evaluate everything and see a deeper meaning in everything in everybody else’s work in order to appreciate my own and have other people appreciate it first.  In other words, I felt like my lack of knowledge of the art world and lack of experience meant that I felt like a fraud.

So I got reading and researching online a lot about art, particularly abstract art and abstract expressionism to help me to understand it more and perhaps even help me to understand myself more and why I might like that art.  The thing is – I learned that the best way to appreciate this genre of art is to give up all cognitive reasoning and see what you want to see, art is what you like.  Art is what you see.  Art is not about trying to imprint an impression on the observer, it is literally purely about aesthetic and your own feeling toward the art as an individual.  It is an act of freedom, which helped me understand a core thing about art and society’s opinion regarding art and that is that art is seen as an act of rebellion to some cultures.

Learning that one thing about abstract art “give up cognitive reasoning” felt so freeing that it bought about euphoria so to speak.  I understand now that there really are no bounds in art and that means the same for writing and anything else which may be considered creative.

People, who try to define art, assess it and or dissect it, kill it.  They kill it for themselves and not only that, but they unwillingly become a sort of fascist regarding it.  They can’t help it, they haven’t learned that fundamental rule that creative expression in all forms, painting, writing, music, sculpting etc., is all about freedom and your own personal feeling about the piece whatever it is.  They haven’t learned that art means you can be free and express yourself, that you don’t need a meaning, it can just simply be pretty, but usually everything a creator does, does have meaning, because we are all creatures of our subconscious and our dreams or nightmares even.

A simple little thing like this, can keep millions of people both stumped and afraid of the art world.  I believe it is why many people do not go to art galleries, they feel that art is beyond them and yet everybody in this world has indulged themselves in art daily and buy art regularly, they just don’t see those kinds of arts as important as those from the big fancy galleries such as The Tate Modern.

They don’t see the art on a can of beans or on their favourite CD album, they don’t see that they had paid for that art in some way and that some artist somewhere thanks them for their purchases, because all they are interested in is eating those beans and hearing their favourite singer on the stereo.

They see a beautiful painting mass produced at some major store and take it home with them as it is nice above the fireplace and they do not realise the process that that piece of art had undergone, they might not know the name of the artist even – yet there it is, seen by them every day without a thought about it other than “isn’t it pretty”?  These same people sit there drinking their beverages unaware of just how involved they have been throughout their life in art, how you don’t need a degree to understand or appreciate it.  There is no reason to be intimidated by art when you are literally drowning in it everywhere you go.

I think for many – I know this to be true in my family.  We have people, who are great artists in our family, but they are afraid to do it as a living because they believe that in order to be a good artist who can sell their work, they need to have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding for it.  I thought this myself ten years ago and still to a certain extent yesterday, before I read that post.  Wrong.  We are all so wrong.  If you can make shapes on a piece of paper, if you can write words or play a piece of music on an instrument, you are engaging in an art form.  When you daydream and you wish, you are engaging in an art form.  When you shoot photographs from your mobile and duckface with your friends, you are engaging in an art form.  Yes, art can be silly, because it can be anything!

I understand today that mocking art is a form of social suppression; it is an act of coercive bullying to keep someone from expressing themselves in the manner that they wish to express themselves.  The point of art is freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and much more.

Some abstract art can look as though a toddler did it, but so-what?  The best forms of mental health therapy are those which involved releasing your inner child and nurturing it via self-parenting; I should know, I have been there and because no therapist can help me with my mental health I have learned to parent myself and I have learned to play with my inner child a lot.  This has got me through some tough times.  Not only that but random nonsensical splashes of paint on a canvas can be very beautiful and encapsulating.  I remember last year, I spilled rose gold ink on my sketch pad and I dabbed at the spillage with a tissue and when I pulled it off the paper I noticed by sheer dumb luck that the tissue had made a pattern that looked like a bunch of roses, so I dabbed around the whole paper and made a beautiful rose sheet of writing paper.  A happy accident, but art is formed as simply as this.

In fact, a lot of my art never started as a plan, it started as accidents or deliberate accidents.  For example, I will take a spoon of paint and let it drip or splash onto the paper for a couple of seconds, sit back and think about its shape and I let the paint tell me what it is going to be that day, then I select further colours for the piece.  I like to play, I never grew up and it is something I pride myself on.  I will do the strangest things in art and writing in order to come to the conclusions that I do; such as taking a pencil and putting it between my toes and try to draw a decided shape, such as a line or a circle or a triangle, just one thing.  I will say to myself that after ten seconds of trying this, I will stop and see what I have got and then work with it.  I do this with a pencil between the teeth, with my non-dominant hand, with splashes of paint, with a tissue or some other item dipped into paint and the result is always astounding.

I once decided I would create a picture of an ocean with a yacht and I accidentally spilled too much paint onto the ocean and dabbed it away, again with tissue, this time it left a big white imprint on the paper which was shaped like a cosmos flower and to me, all the picture then needed was a green stalk to the flower head and the picture was done.  I never did the picture with the yacht after all.

Little games like this can do wonders for your creativity.  I often play games of hypothetical situations regarding a theme I am interesting in at the time and this often gives me ideas for new projects in writing – the problem is, I do this daily and for hours sometimes and I am more full of ideas than I am actual work!

I am one of these people who can make a picture of a story out of any idea, but I seldom sit down and do it because I enjoy the process of thinking too much!

I often joke that when the technology comes where we can record our imagination and dreams and show it to others, then and only then I will be the hardest worker in the creative world!

Thank you for reading and please remember, art isn’t complicated your perception of it, is.

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