Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fear of Commitment in Writing about Your Art

Shoup, Lynda Diane. Work in Progress. 2017, Private Collection of the Artist.

As I look through artists’ statements, look at their websites and Instagram feeds, I notice that professional artists specialize. Strong writers are specific and let you know exactly what you are going to get from them. Those of us who are late to the party, those of us who are heeding our artist’s calling later in life after doing other things, those of us who want it all, well, we have a hard time being that specific.

Let’s face it, we see specificity as limiting. We don’t want to be put into boxes. We want to be free to create whatever we want to with no holds barred. Listen, we’ve put our art on hold for more practical matters, art has been the joy in our lives. We don’t want to put a damper on it or demand things from it. It might stop being fun. 

But limits can be freeing. 

Shoup, Lynda Diane. Work in Progress. 2017, Private Collection of the Artist.
Limits allow us to say no to things. Limits allow us to focus. Self-imposed limits are wonderful because we can use them as our road map, but when it’s time to change direction, we can. Maybe you still want to make many things. Maybe you want to create as the spirit moves you. That’s great, but what do all the things you create have in common? What is your common thread?

The artist’s statement can and actually should, be revisited, reviewed and rehashed from time to time. Yes, we evolve and grow as artists. No, we are not going to remain static unchanging, art machines. Change is inevitable. So allow yourself to commit, for now, to focus. Or at least find some commonality that brings a sense of cohesiveness to your work. 

Shoup, Lynda Diane. Work in Progress. 2017, Private Collection of the Artist.
What is your reaction to these ponderings? Have you found this to be true? 

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