Whatever it means, I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen overnight
Lately I’ve been hearing quite a bit about this or that artist having the potential to “grow”. What does that even mean, anyway? That said, it made me wonder whether I’ve grown as an artist myself.
Take the case of this one artist, who I don’t know personally. (Forgive me if you’ve heard this one.) I was speaking to a certain gallery manager (who was also an artist) not too long ago, and this manager was telling me about how this particular artist seemed to be fixated on a certain insect.
The thing about paintings~mine for me, anyway~is how they remind me of what was going on with me at the time I was painting them. Unfortunately, that’s not always a good thing, but like *Sir Ulrich* said, we need to ‘take the bad with the good’ ☺️
I find it amazing how they remind me of things more vividly than any photo or journal or anything~the same goes for drawings or doodles in my notebooks. It’s a little bit scary, that way, and sometimes when I make things I wonder what the thing I’m making will remind me of, one day. With my luck, it’ll be everything, lol.
Anyway that’s what crossed my mind very recently when this nice new gallery very kindly invited me to join their opening exhibit. Being large, the gallery needed works of a size to match, and they needed them in a relative hurry.
Even if I chugged all the silver and blue cans in the world, there was no way I was going to be able to finish even one piece that I’d be able to live with showing in public.
Long story short, they’ve agreed to take on some pieces I did a whopping 16 years ago, and they’re asking me for a write up to go with them. So I figured I’d murder two avians with a single concretion and share the lowdown on the works from this old Romp with you.
Last year I was in a group show called Breaking Barriers, to which I submitted the painting above (rather unimaginatively titled Breaking Tikbalang). I remember I arrived rather early at the opening, feeling very awkward because I didn’t really know anybody else there.
So there I was, floating around like a lemon, looking at all the other works when one of the other artists came up to me and asked me which piece was mine. Jillamonsters have zero social skills, so, *stutter-stutter*~ so the kindly gentleman looked around, saw a Georgia O’Keefe-esque painting of a flower, and asked me if that was it.
He seemed kind of surprised when I pointed at the horsey above. ‘Whoa!’ he said, or something like. I didn’t know what that meant, but I gathered he didn’t figure me for the type who would paint something like that. Must’ve been the stutter or the skirt. Anyhow.
In preparing for this month’s post I did a little looking around (i.e. Googling) and saw there didn’t seem to be a whole lot about inferring the personality of artists from their work. Can’t say I researched very thoroughly, or anything, of course, but all I seemed to see was about the personality of collectors based on the paintings in their, well, collection 😅 (Here’s a quiz if you like.)
So everything else you read here is based on, well, how I read into a painting~for what it’s worth. I’m not a psychologist or an art historian or a detective 😊 or anything like that. I’m just someone who likes to get to know people (in a detached, third-party, outside-looking in kind of way 😅 ) who just happens to have an art degree and paints, too. And someone who’s obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, lol.
Just thought I’d share in case it helps people look at art or, enhance their experience or appreciation of it. I’m talking here, of course, about visual art, but it miiight be applicable in sooome way to other art forms, too.
In doing my homework for a client I was working on not too long ago, I came across this article (which actually had nothing to do with the client or what I was doing for them lol).
It was called 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Become an Architect by Michael Riscica, and though I am not an architect (although I’ve known my fair share both within and outside of my family), I could so totally relate.
Many of the items (if not all) on the list are so completely applicable to artists. After all, architecture is an art in its own right~and I could really feel that the author really dug deep when it was written.
So much so that 1. I felt like giving the author a hug after I read it, and 2. I felt like coming up with my own list. It had crossed my mind recently to write a sort of ‘open letter to aspiring artists’ in the same vein, but this is probably *neater*. Some of these reasons are adapted from the article, while some of them are so totally mine.
It’s been two weeks, as I write this, since I took the children to the gallery ^_^ I did prepare some exhibit notes, which I’m not sure how they’re going to be used; in any case I’m not going to go into concept here.
But with my Rogues’ gallery set to be unveiled toward the middle of next month, I thought I might do what I did this time last year and share the stories behind the monsters who were kind enough to sit for me.
In so doing, I’m sort of hoping that you’ll give them a chance or rather, give yourself a chance to get to know them better as persons who, like yourself, have feelings, personalities, issues, insecurities, idiosyncrasies, hopes, dreams~you know ^^
So I freakin’ ❤️ Sherlock, right? (As in strictly the books, although I do love Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone ❤️) And in the memoir where he introduces Mycroft, he and Watson talk about atavism~Watson says Sherlock’s gifts must’ve been the result of his own systematic training. But Sherlock says~
'…my turn that way is in my veins, and may have come with my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.'
'But how do you know that it is hereditary?'
'Because my brother Mycroft possesses it in a larger degree than I do.'
In this jillablog post, I’m taking another one of my ‘not too deep down the rabbit hole’ looks into that whole ‘nature vs nurture’ thing (or ‘talent vs training’, if you like). Are some people really just born with it? And can people who aren’t (if others are), acquire it somehow? Does it even really exist? Because there are those who say there’s no such thing as talent. I don’t know. What do you think?
‘In the zone’ is the term people use, if I’m not mistaken; the term I’ve been using is ‘stopping time’. That’s sort of a semi-secret I let jillafriends in on a little while ago, and when I did, I wondered whether there was any ‘serious science’ behind why it was so effective~for me, at least.
Turns out, there is, and I found out quite by accident quite recently through an almost completely unrelated channel (this Fast Company post, in case you were curious). Seeing as I was one of the last people on earth to own a mobile phone or get on social media, it shouldn’t be too surprising for me to be one of the last to find out how experts refer to my ‘stopped time’ as a ‘flow state’.
As it turns out, I’ve had to do a little impromptu reading today on flow states which very naturally roused my curiosity~considering the not unimportant part it plays in my ‘painting factory operations’. So I thought I’d look a little closer into ‘the state to be’~all the time, if it were up to me~at least, whenever the painting factory is up and running.
I can’t remember the last time I was sick like this. Probably when I went to spend Christmas in Cebu in 2019, when I had the worst cough and cold I’d had in a long time. I’m always getting sick at the most inopportune moments, and by such moments I mean either when I’m travelling or when I’m *arting*.
I’m writing this in bed in the middle of everyone’s favourite virus ~ I wasn’t asymptomatic, unfortunately, but gratefully lucid and able enough to write (and even log into work the other day, and hopefully again tomorrow). I’m resting as hard as I can, haha ~ which means, *the painting factory is closed* at the moment.
My art and my ‘other job’ overlap in a lot of ways. For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m also a writer ~ the kind that works at ad agencies, marketing departments and media (the publishing and broadcast kind).
I guess this overlap can’t be helped in that creativity is a requirement for both ~ admittedly, maybe not as much for some of the companies I’ve worked for. So I guess it also can’t be helped that my other job gets talked about here on the jillablog, like how I wrote about what happened with my ad agency co-workers once.
…that is, after working all day and without pulling an all-nighter. 😛
Anyone who knows me personally knows how I’ve led a *double life*, i.e. working as a writer during the day and *arting* at night, for a really long time. For good or ill, it’s been the only way I’ve been able to keep the *painting factory* going.
Thing is, the older I get, the harder it is to keep it going this way. But I want to keep it going ~ and I think I can, too. It’s just, I’m having to find other ways, other things to help me do it.
I’d like to share these six things in the hopes that they may help anyone who’s got art or anything they’d like to work on but can’t during office hours. These six seem the most viable to me now that end-to-end all-nighters for months on end aren’t such a good idea anymore. 😅
I mean I hate to admit it, but I guess even jillamonsters need sleep like everybody else. 🤣