So I’ve always been a fan of boredpanda~ not all of the content on there, you understand, but a whole huge hefty chunk of it ^_^ Not just for things like this ^o^ But understandably for things like this and this and this. Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to catch a video or two from them on Instagram.
So you’ll understand when one day out of nowhere, as I mentioned last month, I’m over our one natural satellite because someone from boredpanda asks if they can interview me for an article. I was happy to oblige because it was something I had rather marked opinions about and that I’d written about before.
You’ll understand again, I hope, when I tell you that I was happy to acquiesce to a request for an interview for a second article about delusional artists. The request came in the middle of the constant whitewater of my day-to-day about a week or so ago, but I couldn’t help answering on the spot.
I can’t say the concept of the ‘delusional artist’ was something I’d never encountered…
…but I have to say it never, occurred to me to think of it this way, really, before. I gotta tell ya I, felt kinda awkward to be asked about it and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a smidgen of impostor syndrome. I mean, it’s not as though I’d never gotten comments like this before:
An actual comment I received for the ink drawings (not prints) I was giving away a couple months ago ^^;
I confess I actually saw my younger self (and not so younger self) in some of the ‘bad portraits’ and even some of the other works in the article that the boredpanda writer shared with me as reference in asking for the interview. In the interest of full disclosure I gamely told the writer about the comment above and about a portrait I did back in college (which I did not sell, if memory serves).
The writer mentioned this portrait in the article in passing but suffer me to tell you the full story (without full details ^^): Back at uni (the first time around, so not art school LOL) a classmate of mine wanted to give another friend a portrait of her for her birthday. I agreed to do it and long story short, it wasn’t exactly an Ingres, you know what I mean ^0^;
I did it in chalk, I remember. And again, if memory serves me correctly the friend who asked for it was too nice to say anything. She had, however, expended all her energy in restraining her speech to have any to spare for hiding the disappointment on her face ^^; If I don’t still have it on me I think she must’ve just taken it and trashed it when I wasn’t looking XD
In fact I’m fairly sure those square bits of chalk pastel (meow I don’t know why there’s chalk-chalk mixed in with it 0_o; ) were what I used for that piece of~ I mean, portrait ^^;
What I didn’t tell boredpanda was this other incident when my aunt asked me to prepare some tags to go on the loot bags at my godson’s birthday party. (He’s on his last year at uni now, so it was a while back ^^) I think I was supposed to have Photoshopped his head onto that guy who had that blue dog for a pet, and I needed to stick a hand on there, as well.
Anyone who knows me well enough knows I have two left thumbs when it comes to digital, but I didn’t want to say ‘no’ to my aunt. I made the tags, which were not only badly done but extremely low res and reminiscent again of something I’d seen in the boredpanda articles above.
(But at least I had them laminated? XD) (And again, in my defence, no, I did not charge for them.) (I think I still have one of those tags but unlike the pastels I’m not inclined to dig it up just now ^o^; )
I think that what the article has beef with are people who do actually charge~
~an arm and a leg, even~ for these sorts of things.
Even when I do give things away or do things gratis (which I actually will, for a good cause or out of gratitude)~ I think I can say I do, do the best I can to make something nice.
Okay, so we’ve settled that.
But I think what really got to me was the part where they described these ‘delusional artists’ as being ‘a bit too persistent’.
If you’d read the article in question you’ll see I mentioned people who aren’t ‘honest-to-goodness’ artists but who maybe might be ‘just’ ‘up to something shady’. Persistence for them is something I might insist on them giving up (and perhaps, on getting a ‘real job instead’ same as everybody else ^^; )
But who’s to say whether they’re really ‘delusional’ or really just… (or wait, I suddenly caught a glimpse of the poo-stained… ^^; ) (Hey, I have actually come across some work where actual faeces was used (cow, I think it was) as pigment, and I think it wasn’t just in a gallery but a government-sponsored museum-type place.) (But I hope you know what I mean ^^; )
I admit this post is a lot more ‘rambly’ than usual…
…and you must just put it down to that constant whitewater I mentioned ~ but there are a couple more things I’d like to share in relation to this subject.
The first is that persistence, or what I’d like to think is more, perseverance or determination or singleheartedness is a pre-requisite for being an artist. I think I’d mentioned that in the article and I’m pretty sure I mentioned it when I wrote about what it takes to be considered a professional artist.
So I’m not sure whether there’s such a thing as being ‘too persistent’ (if your intentions are pure ^_~), actually. If anything, it’s all about finding the strength to keep going, to keep arting.
The second thing has to do with ‘waiting until you’re ready’.
The ‘delusional artists’ selling the ‘bad portraits’? Maybe ought to have waited until they were ‘better’ at it before putting it out there and selling it (for Monet-level mo-ney ^^). I know I said this in the boredpanda article, and, as I’ve shared, have had this said to me as well ^_^
Seeing as I’ve probably already danged myself by sharing what I have about that comment, chalk portrait and goody bag-tag~ I might as well go all the way and tell you what else I think about waiting.
Call it 100% Gorgonzola or the influence of my most beloved sister’s upcoming betrothals, but art is a lot like a relationship. I’m fairly sure about having written about art as something you had to be married to or something you love to do.
If you really love something (or okay, someone) you’re going to do all you can to spend all the time you can with that thing (or one ^o^) (They do say ‘loved ones’? ^o^; ) ~ this really applies to art, though.
And while I’m all for waiting and looking forward to spending aaall your time with the one (because like Aunt May said, you don’t want to get into it ‘with nothing to count on but love’) ~ let’s face it. Sometimes, you wait too long and the thing you’re waiting for is gone. (This, too, I have seen.)
In that old-school anime about the killer swordsman who got a reversed-edge sword because he didn’t wanna kill no more? His loved one (who was also a sword-fighting sensei) once said that the ‘best way to learn how to fight is to just jump right in and go for it.’
Maybe that’s what some of the ‘delusional artists’ were doing, it occurs to me. And hey, if you were my age or older (like I’ve met and come across some artists who qualify for their 20% off), who has time to wait? ^^
In any case, to proceed to dang myself further…
See, I waited before I had my first show, which I didn’t have until I was 30. I knew I wasn’t ready. I remember people giving me advice, like why don’t I try for so and so gallery and so on and I didn’t because that was my reason ~ that was my excuse.
Come to think of it, if I had waited until I was ready for INK, I doubt I would ever have been able to get in given how hard I hear it is to be accepted these days.
That I just jumped in and went for it when I did is ancient history by now, and looking back I reckon I still wasn’t ready ~ whatever ready means, anyway, right? And even now in my old age I’m not sure I already am, ever was, or ever will be, haha.
I’m fairly sure I’ve shared before how I’d heard someone (an established artist, I think?) at my first show saying how I was ‘very brave’ (i.e. to show that Scheiße in public) ~ and, having received the comment I shared with you, maybe I haven’t come so very far since then, after all ^_^
Incidentally I’ve, um, recently, repeatedly been told I shouldn’t, say things like this, but sometimes I do it to remind myself that I’m not all that or to stay grounded, you know? Because I’d be lying until my nose reached the Andromeda galaxy if I ever said I never had delusional tendencies (i.e. like the caveman). So yes, I confess I feel the need to remind myself of this (painful? LOL) truth sometimes.
Point being, maybe you shouldn’t wait. Or if you really do need to wait, don’t wait too long. And don’t wait passively, like, don’t just wait for, say, a bus to come pick you up~ get out there and look for the bus stops. Or don’t just wait for your plant to grow~ water it, sun it, you get the idea.
So again, maybe, some of these ‘delusional artists’ (not the ‘shady ones’) are doing just that ~ not waiting (any longer) x just jumping right in and going for it. Maybe some of them are ‘just’ persevering (and not ‘merely’ persisting). If either of this is the case, then… regardless of the output, I think I can say I sure can respect that.
Simply because, it could be said, that I am in the same boat as these artists ~ if they really, and truly, can look another person or a fellow artist in the eye and say ‘I really, truly worked hard and put my whole heart and soul into this’, then I reckon I can call them artists.
And the writer of the article did say that ‘squashing anyone’s dreams’ was not the point of the whole thing, after all.
So before I catch a glimpse of another *found art object with an ex-president’s profile on it* going for $8,500 and gag on everything I just said XD, I’d like to end this month’s post with just three words: Florence Foster Jenkins <3