Month: May 2014
I have recently had an epiphany that I have set unrealistic expectations for most things in my life. This in turn makes me frustrated when things don’t play out. I think sometimes our views can be polluted by external sources such as media and history and these views are not in keeping with reality and the times that we live in. Sometimes panic washes over me that I am now well into my thirties and I haven’t got a mortgage or 2.4 children, but if I did I wouldn’t be well on my way to an art degree or have freedom or choice. It may have suited the average Joe back in the 20th century, but we are not there and I am not him.
Even the smaller things in life can be tainted by expectations, from how a film should be enjoyed or how a night out should pan out. I find myself striving for idealisms that just don’t exist and things that I think will make me happy don’t. It’s then that I miss out on true happiness, because if you are always striving for this unattainable reality then you are never going to be satisfied. Although it’s simple enough to say “lay back and enjoy the ride” of course it’s easier said than done. But maybe it’s a useful affirmation to remind ourselves when life seems to be getting out of control.
So it seems it’s time once again to question my whole existence as an artist. A regular occurrence it seems, tending to fall oddly enough just after my biannual assessment at my current institute. I am starting to see where the problem lies; I have no trouble contextualising and presenting my subject matter through the medium of writing. The trouble seems to come when I try to relay this visually. Quite a problem it seems for an artist, and one that needs solving.
Maybe it would make sense to look at why I chose a fine art vocation in the first place. I was a portrait artist for a long time, with a fascination of popular culture. I had a love of colour and form and loved to explore this through my artwork. I have also always been an analytical contemplator. When I started to learn about the art world, in particular about modern contextual artwork, I learnt that I could make artwork with meaning, about subjects that interest me. Ironically however, the beauty that I admired previously when creating artwork does not sit comfortably with the dark and sometimes transgressive nature of my recent subject matter. And when creating contextual visual artwork, it has only illustrated rather than explored. My use of popular culture has also been questioned. I wasn’t sure that I knew what my fascination with it was, but now I know; It’s hard being an adult, but knowing that everyone goes through the same trials and tribulations as you seems to help somewhat. You feel like you’re not completely on your own. Popular culture connects me to the world and stops me feeling alone. I can relate to others from all walks of life. Troubled and complicated individuals fascinate me the most. Because if the most admirable of people can be troubled then maybe I’m not doing so bad after all. And if others have the same view as me, then maybe I’m on the right path.
I learnt to write by reading, researching and learning. The more text I read, the more words I learn which makes it a lot easier to put across what I am trying to say. The more things I read about the more my knowledge grows. I think the solution to my problems is therefore a simple one (as they usually are), I need to research visual mediums… thoroughly.
Answers often come from within. You just have to search for them.