Artistic Foundation.

(i) looked into the mirror and found my reflection, and (i)
began to see the world from a different perspective, and love
showed me a sight that was brilliant and bright, and peace
taught me to see beauty and reason connected with music 
we sang for the people and so i placed my perception on the cross
taught me to see beauty and reason connected with music 
showed me a sight that was brilliant and bright, and peace
began to see the world from a different perspective, and love
(i) looked into the mirror and found my reflection and ( i)Revolution.

Tuesday, August 5

Translation

Sometimes, I have a hard time with compliments. As much as I'm beginning to understand artists and how they deal with their insecurities, I remember we all have the same needs. Compliments confuse me because they are so dangerous. I want your compliments as a reader, to be honest I desperately seek your approval and your warm open arms, but I know I don't need them. If you see my work and it makes you smile, it makes my day because I made it for you. If you tell me how great my work is, how beautiful and pretty and "awesome" it is, it doesn't mean much to me. Those compliments, though I truly appreciate the heart of what you are trying to do, leave me saturated and fat with my own ego. If I become comfortable, I'll be come "satisfied" and if I become satisfied, I'm afraid I'll die as an artist. Words can be lethal.

On the other hand, contributions mean the world to me. When I see you smile, it makes my day. When I feel you smile, it makes my week. When you tell me why you smiled, when you tell me what I did, in my small isolated existence, that made you smile, you bring me pure passion and joy. I want to know you and my work is for you. I give my art to you and make it available for you because I want to understand you. I want your love and respect, but more I want to be able to love and respect you and your brilliance. If you won't let me know you, I can never love you. If you don't let me love you, you'll be alone. Maybe that's what you want, but if you think that's true, I submit that you are lost without an identity and hope you will discover it before you become invisible.

Compliments are difficult. One artist might weep at a work of art, one might cry a single tear, and third may smile. Emotion is beautiful. Share your emotion with me, if I stir you, tell me how, don't thank me. I don't need your thanks, because I should be thanking you for allowing me the opportunity. Don't thank me, just let me love you because that's the greatest appreciation you can truly show me. That's what I want most.

I want to lead you step by step to becoming an artist if you aren't one, but I find that the path is quite different for each individual. I'm beginning to lose hope in my ability to "lead" you, but I believe I want to shepherd you instead. I will continue to expose myself, for a time, in hopes that some will understand before I post my art. I suppose the lesson here is to know yourself and your identity. Understand embarrassment with it's shallow limitations. Know who you are, find that artist in isolation. Don't be afraid of the other artists, embrace them and encourage them. Tell them what you love about them in your language, but also try to tell them in theirs. If we don't try to step outside of ourselves once in awhile, I don't think we are any better than the others trying to destroy our creations and set fire to our open fields.

A good attempt at communication is a valid compliment.

4 comments:

The Go In Betweens said...

oh how i love communication. it's nice to see compliments, to know that they exist, but communication and dialogues of ideas and even disagreement are so much more satisfying than any amount of praise could ever be.

JeffStormer said...

You make an exceptional point here about compliments vs. critiques which I really agree with and seek out in my own life. Compliments are nice, but rarely serve any purpose but take up space. It's the criticisms, the critiques, the helpful tips, those are what make your work better, and what I think the artist should seek out in their personal relationships. Not avoiding compliments per se, but perhaps pushing those who would compliment into building criticisms. Don't discount anyone. Make them better in a positive way. That's what the artist does in a perfect world, improve the world by contributing.

And as an artist, I agree with the go in betweens, it's more satisfying to read someone's reasons why a piece is good, or even why it was bad, than to read THAT it was good or bad.

Vicki said...

I like the idea of your blog. Nice to see a discussion here too. I agree with these comments. Communication of ideas is so much more rewarding than often (though not always) artificial compliments. Also on this topic... I liked a quote from Damon Alburn I read the other day:
"What is there in caring what people think? I care that what I do is good… It’s nice to be told you’re great, it’s not so nice to be told you’re rubbish, but if you take it too seriously when they say you’re great, you deserve to feel shit when you’re rubbish.” (was here: http://www.xfm.co.uk/news/2008/damon-albarns-monkey-is-magic)
It is good to encourage feedback though. I think you need to listen to what other people think to grow as a person. I also agree with Damon Alburn. How do you find a balance?!

Jess said...

I agree. Sometimes i feel that each compliment steals a part of who I am as an artist. I wish that i could feel comfort in encouragement.