Thursday, June 18, 2009

insight from another artist on art and being an artist... (moved from my other blog)

For those of you who may not have read this before I want to post up a quote from another artist about art... and if you have read it? well, here it is again ;)

Juliana Hatfield (view her Blog here!) happens to be one of my favorite musicians and has been for going on 15 or so years now. I have a lot of respect not only for her talent as a musician, but also for her remaining true to her artistic vision over the years. Unlike Juliana I have a difficult time quantifying and/or explaining my thoughts as an artist into coherent descriptions, as I often prefer to let my work speak for itself... a few months back she wrote the following regarding the artist and an artists process in her blog and, simply put, I could not have said better:

An artist can’t have a full-time day job and be an artist. Well, he can for a while but at some point he will reach the point at which he realizes that there will never be enough hours in the day for him to fully explore and discover and develop all he needs to with his “real” work (his art). That’s why artists have and have always had patrons. The patrons understand what is at stake. An artist working full time at a day job, even if he likes that job, may never reach his full potential as an artist because life is too short. There are special cases – super-energized and -confident and -motivated freaks of nature with otherworldly metabolisms, who need only two hours of sleep per night and so can Work in full stride before and after “work.” Those people maybe can do it all. They can Work all night long and then go to “work.” Me, I like sleep too much. Without adequate sleep, I can’t Work. Or “work.” Definitely can’t do both.

Most artists need time to be “idle.” “Idle” is another word for “ready” and “prepared” and “available.” Like a doctor on call. “Idle” time is time in which to wait for inspiration to strike and then flow freely. An artist must be able to jump on it at any time. The muse can be a capricious bitch-tease. We have to always wait for her. My door must always be open for her to walk through – if I go to “work” and lock the door, I may miss her when she comes. Or if she comes to visit me while I am at “work” I may have to shrug her off (“go away I love you and I need you and I so hate hate hate to do this to blow you off and I want nothing more than to sit down in some quiet spot with you and give you my undivided attention for as long as you want to be here”) because I am busy with some “work” task and I don’t want to – can’t afford to – get fired. And that may piss her off and she may then not want to come back for a long time. She may want to punish me for not being there for her.

You may think Vincent Van Gogh was a bum for spending so much time painting and drinking absinthe in bars when he never had any money; for scrounging off his brother Theo who would lend Vincent money and/or send Vincent the paints and canvases that Vincent couldn’t afford. But Van Gogh wasn’t a slacker. He was the opposite; he was an insanely dedicated artist. If he had had to go to “work” every day eight hours a day and couldn’t paint all the time I think he would have lost his mind a lot sooner.

Dammit... I gotta pay the bills.

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