Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The following question was asked by a fellow artist to the group of us at Art on The Lane: "Given all the time and energy you put into your art including the criticism and disappointments, is it worth it?"

 Here are the answers:

Given all the time and energy I’ve put into my art, it has been completely worth it to me.   My jewelry making started as a hobby.  I made too much to wear so that's when I decided to start selling.  Only recently have I started to show my work at craft fairs and the response has been overwhelming.  I needed to know the reaction that people would have to my work and putting myself out there was the only way to find out.  It also gives me good feedback on what people are looking for and what they want to pay.  I am so happy with my craft; it gives me great pleasure every day!

Fran Hosmer

Click to enlarge image
One of the positive effects of the digital revolution in Photography is allowing the photographer to do what was done in the lab. Once you have dropped off the negative at the lab, the end product is left to the lab technician. And lot of the time, the end result is not what you wanted. As you learn the Photoshop program, it allows you to be in complete control of the final product. Besides fixing red-eye and cropping, you can add several effects that can improve the photograph. See the attached photographs.

The only real downside to digital photography is the file size. You need to know how large you want the end enlargement before you shoot. Trying to enlarge a small file size image does impact the quality of the photograph. And shooting the maximum file size every time eats up your digital storage.

So, have a good idea of what you want the end result to be before you shoot.

Rich Mcvey

click to enlarge
I would say that art is a very worthwhile passion...worth all the time spent, setbacks, and criticism.  One cannot very easily deny their passion no matter what it might be. Criticism and disappointments come with the territory, but they can't keep you down if you believe in what you're doing. Without setbacks your art cannot grow. Making art means digging deep and not giving up. It means many hours spent agonizing over a painting in the studio, hating it one minute, loving it the next. All worth it when you achieve that certain effect or solve a color/ composition problem that is so personally gratifying that you don't care what others say.
These are the moments that artists give so much to attain. Sometimes it takes a lifetime of work and sacrifice to have just a sprinkling of these precious experiences. I believe it may be the same in any profession where there is a passion for skill and mastery.

Linda McSweeney

In answer to your question that would be an unqualified YES! What criticisms and disappointments?  I only hear favorable reviews (most people keep the negative comments to themselves) and I am delighted every time I have a sale. It motivates me to keep on creating--even though I don't need any more motivation--the process is its own reward.
                 Charles White

“Fetish Robe”
acrylic on canvas, 48X24
Right now there are three paintings leaning against the wall in the living room, one is finished, two still need work. They would be hung if the walls were not literally “dripping” with paintings already.  There is a large one that needs tweaking in the studio, where the cats are asleep in the sun. Paint tubes, brushes, paper, canvas, scissors, brayers, reference books, easels and frames are randomly arranged around the cats, where only I can find them!  My partner’s photos line the walls of our entryway.  My brother-in –law has just emailed photos of his new studio in Paris and the name (unintelligible) of the gallery where he will be showing.  Notes from Art on the Lane are in the Inbox and on my calendar…. 

TMI?  Probably, but what I am saying is that art and I are really not separate.  It is a part of my day; sometimes a lot of work, sometimes a high when it is going well; sometimes the grit to go back into the studio and try again if it is not going well.  Compliments are nice; criticism can be helpful.  But neither one would ever, ever keep me from my work.  

Lee Audia

Mendocino Red Rose, in Oil
Of course criticism is never easy because I pour my heart into each piece. But I think without it we don't grow as an artist. Compliments are great but the other side of the coin is necessary so that one doesn't become complacent.

I think in any artistic endeavor there will be disappointments. The key is to work through them to achieve our goals.
Joanne Robinson

Celestial Expression
I feel all the time and energy put into my creative life is energy well spent.  Maybe it didn’t always feel that way in the beginning when I was struggling to learn and be accepted as a professional, but once I got over some personal hurdles and challenges of growth, I can honestly say today it is WORTH IT!  This career is not for everyone.  You need to develop a tough skin to survive criticism and know and live the meaning of “perseverance.”  In the end compliments always outweigh the criticism.  Creating art can be a joy and other times a struggle, I’ve learned it is simply part of the creative process an interesting adventure always.  The more you pursue this creative outlet the more you are drawn in.  It is a satisfying addiction and a healthy one.   As an art teacher I see the struggles in my students to grasp technique and when I see them finally get it and produce beautiful art, the happiness in their faces is invaluable.  Art inspires and enriches so many people’s lives.  .

Kathy McCartney

Yes... Although making art can be incredibly frustrating, it can also be amazingly rewarding.  It is like playing golf, that one perfect stroke keeps you coming back.  It is worth all the time and effort when you are able to capture your vision and share it others.
Barbara Davies

Paul Gauguin anwers the question in his Tahitian journal "Noa Noa"
He came to me of his own accord, and I feel sure here that in his coming to me there was no element of self-interest.  He is one of my neighbors, a very simple and handsome young fellow.  My colored pictures and carvings in wood aroused his curiosity; my replies to his questions have instructed him.  Not a day passes that he does not come to watch me paint or carve…One day I put my tools in his hands and a piece of wood, I wanted him to try to carve.  Nonplussed, he looked at me at first in silence, and then returned the wood and tools to me, not saying with entire simplicity and sincerity that I was not like the others, that I could do things which other men were incapable of doing, and that I was useful to others.  I indeed believe Totefa is the first human being in the world who used such words toward me.  It was the language of a savage or of a child, for one must be either one of these-muse one not?-to imagine that an artist might be a useful human being.”