“When people say ‘I want to be like you’, I tell them if you want to be like me, then be yourself.” –Marilyn Manson
In painting class we had a critique. Critiques aren’t that interesting to me in and of themselves. I love looking at art – any art – but watching it be picked apart is usually pretty uninspiring. However, this time the professor went a little off topic and started talking about the concept of being original. He said in order to really make an impact with your art you have to learn how to be an original. Being able to reproduce famous works is nice practice for building skills, but coming up with your own unique signature is what art is really about. He went on to discuss many great artists from the past and contrasted them with all the millions of people out there who paint. He even confessed that he, too, continues to work on being an Original.
1) If you want to be original as an artist, you have to be original in every other area of life as well. You really can’t do as you’re told, be afraid to be the first one to do something, and follow all of society’s arbitrary social rules in all the rest of your life and then expect to be original when it comes to your art. The greatest artists were considered eccentric at best because they did what was in their hearts to do. Their relationships were abnormal, their lifestyles were abnormal, and their work was abnormally great.
2) You have to be willing to be misunderstood and even disliked. This is the one that sinks most people. We all crave love and acceptance but society (and even our families) often withhold these gifts to the extent that we resist being socialized. So out of the fear of loneliness and rejection we go along with things we don’t believe in. We don’t want to be ostracized. But, again, some of the best artists had few friends, spent long stretches of time alone, and had difficulty maintaining relationships. This isn’t to say that you have to purposely be a loner. You just have to be willing to go that route when your principles are at stake.
Have a great week. And go follow your bliss!
This first slideshow is of the latest show at El Camino College’s art gallery. The artists are Jamie Sweetman, Fred Rose, and Meeson Pae Yang. Under the slideshow I’ve posted a few pictures of my work..
The following are some of my works from this week: