— Stephen King, On Writing (via nickmiller)
— Stephen King, On Writing (via nickmiller)
“Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art.” - Neil Gaiman (by Sally Franckowiak Kinetic Typography)
Daniel Blight writes:
Combining radical notions of performativity and the body as liminal space, my practice interrogates the theoretical limitations of altermodernism. My work, which traverses disparate realms of object-making such as painting and performance, investigates the space between metabolism and metaphysics and the aporia inherent to such a discourse.
Are you impressed yet? These forms of writing are scattered across the contemporary art world. You can find preposterously complex, jargon-laden artist statements on the websites of galleries and pop-up project spaces all over the English-speaking world. If you don’t believe me, join the e-flux mailing list. I regularly visit such exhibition spaces in London and beyond, and read – with total, dulling indifference – the often pompous ramblings of what Alix Rule and David Levine call International Art English…
My feeling is not that the vocabulary of artspeak is without meaning, but that it has a specific place. Academia is only one part of the art world. My dislike is not for the language of art speak, more the effect it has on the art industry in its ability to engage with a wider audience. Not to mention what such language does to the reputation of writing in the arts, as well as the wider practice of writing itself. Writing about your work should be an open and compelling activity, not a labyrinthine chore.
Read the whole article by Daniel Blight: Writing an artist statement? First ask yourself these four questions
“I feel like the programmer, and the visual artist versions of me are very similar, and function in much the same way (not to mention many other facets of my personality and habits).”
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, an artist whom I deeply admire, wrote this and I can relate! :)
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The path of my career has often elicited surprise from people: the fact that I went from working as a software programmer for several years, before striking out to pursue art full time. And contrary to what some might suppose, I don’t dislike programming. In truth, I enjoy the challenges of working with computer languages and designing program structures quite a bit. Not as much as I love (and need) to create art, mind you, but it’s a part of me as well.
Recently, while reading an article about author (and Physics PhD) Catherine Asaro, I came across the theory of “conceptual blending”, which illuminates how elements from very different spheres can be combined in the human mind, often in reference to sciences and arts, in creative thinking.
And it got me thinking about how these two seemingly disparate elements of my mind are combined, because I don’t feel at odds with them. In fact, I feel like the programmer, and the visual artist versions of me are very similar, and function in much the same way (not to mention many other facets of my personality and habits).
My art is known for being very detail-oriented. Many elements that a viewer can come to and see for the first time with each successive impression of a piece. I spend a lot of time working out the flow of these individual elements, and in how they can merge together to make a cohesive whole. In a way, when I brainstorm and figure out compositions, it is the same part of my brain that designs programs and the architectural structure of code. They are both a form of problem solving, followed by close attention to detail and smaller components.
Artwork has a logic to it. From the mechanical nature of application of paint, and the determination of how exactly and in what order to layer colors to achieve desired effect, to the observation of life references that is required for knowledge of how to represent and depict something. Process is a meticulous thing. More intense in some mediums than others (intaglio printmaking, which I did over a decade ago, for example, is notorious as a very process-heavy technique), but present for all mediums.
And on the other hand, software has a very creative aspect to it as well. Yes, there are algorithms, and well known structures for various optimal implementations, but how you choose to pull all those disparate elements together into a program can be the difference in a clunky hack piece of code, or a wonder of flowing design.
I’m a detail and logic person, as well as being very focused on overall structural design. These elements are evident in my approach to programming, in my art, in my dancing, and even in the way I deal with scheduling and deadlines. It’s all wound up together in a multidisciplinary knot, and it all comes from the same place.
How do your underlying traits dictate your creativity?
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Wow, I feel like I could have written this about my art! :) I also dabble with HTML/CSS/PHP although I wasn’t formally educated in programming. My art is also very detail-oriented. I love how elements from one field can be so relevant in another field that at first seems totally different. Another creative person I admire, “information architect” Oliver Reichenstein, also has a background in philosophy. So does Jan Willem Wennekes, a visual artist I once collaborated with. :)
Think of all those pre-photography scientists who had to go exploring and documenting species on their own… they went on long ship voyages for their scientific expeditions, and made beautiful botanical/zoological illustrations by hand. I guess at that time, artistic and scientific skills were not only compatible, but expected!
— TED interview with Abigail Washburn
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. - Andy Warhol
Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.
When I make this point in teaching, I am met by instant, defensive hostility:
“But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play?”
Yes … the same age you will be if you don’t.
— Julia Cameron
“Most artists and designers I know would rather work all night than turn in a sub-standard job. It is a universal truth that all artists think they a frauds and charlatans, and live in constant fear of being exposed. We believe by working harder than anyone else we can evaded detection. The bean-counters rumbled this centuries ago and have been profitably exploiting this weakness ever since.” — Linds Redding
“I used to fear that my ideas were drawn from a limited pool and that at any moment this pool would dry up.
This is true if you think of creativity like a pool. A pool is a still, stagnant body of water…
Instead, idea generation needs to be like a river. There is life in a river. And death. There is love and hate. Fresh input flows in and out… there is always change.
Make a new friend. Learn to chainsaw juggle. Read a book. Go hand gliding in your underpants.
If you have done all of these things and you still don’t have anything to write about… don’t write.
Comments can be a good thing; they can create a dialogue within your work. But they can also be a very, very bad thing. Remember, there is such a thing as destructive feedback, and when you read comments about your work, you open yourself up to that.
And not only can it be poisonous to the content creator, but it can spoil the experience for the reader as well.
Not all comments are bad… Art is not born in a vacuum, but it’s not born inside a tornado of shrieking trolls, either.”
How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection? An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination.
That is all wrong.
The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.
Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind