Are You Really Asking How Do I Paint?

Murdering Creative Genius for Monetary Gains

This is the modern technological age! I find it amazing how many people enter art groups and start asking people “How can I get started painting?” There are classes, articles, BLOGS like this one, and several other examples all around. People have gotten so lazy that they no longer want to wait and learn. They no longer want to research. They just want to sit back and collect dividends from selling great masterpieces with their names on them. That is not reality. Being an artist is not really a career option, it is part of who you are. Meaning this isn’t really a decision that you make one day…to paint. You are more or less driven to do it, regardless of everything that you are told about a career in the arts.

I realize that my last blog post was really about being a business entity and marketing as such. That is true, as an artist you really are your own business. Your business is selling yourself, your art to others and hoping that people accept you and your talent. Though it all seems so mechanical to say to someone that they are a business, there is really a lot more to it than just creating a website and saying that you are an artist. I am not talking about a formal education in art either, I am talking about a way of living…a way of being.

I do believe that you can teach anyone the basics of art. YES, ANY…ONE…PERSON…CAN go get an education in art and even do art actions. I teach people how to paint things all the time, and YEP….they can do decent work. Some of them eventually can be great at it. It really does depend on the person or the “X-factor” that people have that make them excellent at things. There are people that actually enjoy it and want to learn things, but they never know what they should paint and they never have the drive to form a project in their minds and see it through to completion. I do believe that anyone can paint…to a point. You have to WANT it. You have to WORK at it. I am very much in the Ratatouille mindset with Gusteau saying that “Anyone Can Cook”. I believe that art and cooking are very similar types of art because you literally can teach anyone, but a true Chef or Artist has a deep love for their craft, they have a need to do it, and if they are not doing it they are not complete. A true Artist leaves their soul on the canvas.

I say it on my website, “Anyone can learn the techniques and styles of art, but nobody can teach you creativity.” I find that this is inherently true with art. Sometimes I think that people want to do it because they feel that it gives them some sort of mystique saying that they are an “Artist”. Or they think that they can find fame if only they are an artist…..or they think it can make them a quick buck. These are usually the people that you find scribbling on paper or canvas or they take a splotch of black paint and make a mess….then they attempt to find some poor idiot that will think that it was a genuine attempt at art to buy it for a couple thousand dollars. People can argue whatever they want, but we all know that these are vapid attempts at arting and those who do it are making a mockery of real art. Even some legit artists have been reduced to this tasteless practice simply because they see some idiot willing to buy this assholes “work” and feel that this is the only way to get their name in someone else’s face. Sometimes they think that if they do something this aimless first in order to gain momentum they can eventually get to make the kind of art that they wanted to make all along. Wrong! If that is what you make in order to “get there” you will generally have to continue making that in order to keep selling. Eventually, the people willing to entertain the stupidity will either wise up or run out of patience with the thoughtlessness of the pieces you are creating.

I see artists doing things all the time that are obvious attempts at gaining public acceptance. I have been guilty a few times of thinking that it would be easier to do what they are doing and make money, but I know that I wouldn’t be happy with it. I know that I have seen a visible DROP in the joy and sincerity of the artwork that these artists are putting out to the public. It’s kind of like witnessing a murder….a murder of creativity. This is how an artist loses their way or even how they forget their real identity. This is what creates blocks to creativity.

There are plenty of ways to see what other artists are doing and to develop your own personal style. Just make sure that if you are developing anything it really is YOUR PERSONAL STYLE and not the adaptation of a personae or style that is not genuinely you. People will know if you are genuine. As shallow as people can be at times, they still want you to be sincere…whether they can recognize it entirely or not. You can find inspiration in almost anything if you know WHO you are. If you are aware of your own abilities and talents you won’t need to hang on the foundations of what anyone else has created…you will be too busy creating all of your own things that you were unmistakably called to create.

The bottom line here is that you can develop your own creative talents. You shouldn’t have to ask anyone “What should I paint?” You can ask your audience questions as to what they want to see next or what version of this or that they prefer…but you should never have to take a prompt from random strangers in order to get started. As an artist I always have lots of ideas brewing whether I can start on them immediately or not. I like the idea of art journals and things that give you a prompt for play or practice time, but don’t try to get someone to tell you how to make it as an artist. Their visions don’t give you the validity you crave as an artist. See things that make you think and make you feel and then paint what they make you feel. Don’t wait for someone else to take charge of your art. There is a huge difference in asking about basics and materials or techniques and asking someone to form your artist identity.

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