The original challenge edited for succinctness:
Look at the work you have currently hanging on your studio wall or work space or in progress on your easel or your work table and pretend that you are someone else. Someone who does not know you and imagine what they might think of the artist who created it. Write those things down and keep them for yourself, to help you determine whether what you are creating is tied in with who you are or what you want to say or express. Post your thoughts.
Do you find that the statement “You can tell a lot about a person by the art that they make” is true? Does this exercise give you some clarity or ability to see your creations differently? Do you know someone who’s art clearly reflects who they are? Is the work you did ten years ago different? have you matured artistically or just improved your skills? Is there a difference? Is the content or the media the same?
Many of you answered the questions without doing the exercise. If you did this I tried to get you back on task by asking questions, hopefully you then did the exercise…
Because if you did not do the exercise you will not have garnered the insight necessary to answer the question, can you tell a lot about a person, by the art that they make?
I humbly submit to you my thoughts and I am just thinking out loud and again I am no authority its all just my opinion:
Its an interesting question for me personally because people have for as long as I have been putting my art out for the public to see, always been surprised when they actually meet me. They are surprised by how “normal” I am. And vice versely people who have met me or known me before seeing the art often do a double take, “you made this art”? I concluded long ago that by my personality and and my personal appearance people expect that I will paint monet style images, or flowers in vases. Art that is decorative, safe. So, what does that mean? well, it means, they are not able to know me by just my personal appearance, that the depth of a person is not superficial, that when it comes to art there may be more than meets the eye. That taking the time to see beyond the surface, to read between the lines, may elicit a new found appreciation or understanding of a piece, may mean that you “get it”.
I often feel frustrated by people who are instantly dismissive of art work, they “don’t like it”. It took 30 seconds and they walk away. The aesthetics rub them the wrong way but there is no effort to understand why. Its making the effort, that makes the difference, that is the challenge. Why does it rub you the wrong way? Gaining that perspective and understanding can change you as an artist. Can take you from mediocrity to brilliance. And that is why, looking at art through another’s eyes with as much objectivity as possible, is a helpful exercise.
Dynamics, symbols, colors, metaphors, line, perspectives, distortions, light marks, heavy marks, negative space, positive space, glitz, media, time span, history, location, all offer up a bit of info about the person and the ideas they are attempting to express. i have heard it said that all art is autobiographical! How can you get away from yourself~~
Is a landscape artist just a landscape artist? Or is he Van Gogh, painting sunflowers that you can feel and skys that are alive and breathing. There are landscape artists and then there are landscape artists. One is mimicing a scene while the other is making a statement.
Clearly some experience and some history has to be had to determine a meaningful bit about who the artist is, or what they are like. If there is only one piece to view then probably some quick assumptions may be made but if there is a whole body of work, a sense at least, can be made of the artist. conclusions can be made like, the artist must be fearless, (large massive, hard edged works) or the artist must be a woman (flowers, feminine colors, a softness), the artist probably rides a skateboard and is in his twenties (grafitti artist) its all just a guessing game but one that can be interesting if you are an artist intent on projecting a certain kind of content, or idea. And yes, to quote Lalainia Lloyd “I think people see you as THEY are. We all have filters through which we see people. That is why art is so subjective-because we see what we want to see.”
Yes,we all see work through our own filters but a painting of an ocean is still a painting of an ocean, regardless of the meaning that one may personally attribute to ocean…An ocean is still an ocean is still an ocean. And there is an inherent meaning attached to ocean. Which is why when an assemblage artist incorporates something like a bell for example into a piece, even if they used if only for its formal aspects the bell still carries meaning and the viewer is going to see a bell and make some conclusions about the meaning of the piece.
There are many interesting points of view and topics of consideration from all the responses and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to most of all the discussion but I may put you to sleep if I carry on with my thoughts and opinions. cuz, I really could go on and on.
But there is one thing I wanted to comment about and that is the fear thing. So many are fearful. You must do the work to get to the good stuff, ie you can’t paint just once a year then expect it to be a masterpiece. You have to put the time in. But no need to be so hard on yourself and judgmental, just do the work and post. art and post art and post. It dosn’t matter what medium you use or how you label yourself. whether you sew or paint, it can all be taken to a high art form.
One of the statements that touched me was made by someone who deleted her response, ” I guess its okay that I am just a crafter of sorts, but I do feel that something inside of me is about to explode”. Love that statement!!! LET YOUR ARTIST OUT, no fear!!! NO FEAR. Play, play and play some more. Leave that ego shirt behind, go stuff it in a drawer and don’t put that shirt back on!!
The response i liked the most, maybe you will understand why if you go back and read it again, and it belongs to Bridgette Guerzon Mills
thanks again everyone