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A little less than a happy high
Hair trigger
I’ve not been throwing with any consistency for months now. This is not a good thing, and has likely contributed to the cyclical angst that’s been plaguing me. The pattern is frighteningly simple. Find something I love and throw myself headlong into it. Have some sort of realization that I’m lacking somehow, and that mastery will forever be unattainable. Get depressed, drift away, and come back years later wondering what it was that led me to stop. And truly, there is nothing like the infernal noise of self-recrimination to dampen one’s spirits.

Yesterday, I pulled out my big very little book of random musings and came across something that Darrell had said and that I recorded: “Everyone’s an artist.”

To allay any confusion, this wasn’t some feel-good observation acknowledging the need to create that can be found within everyone. No, this was a comment made in a conversation where another student whose office was sponsoring a showing of art created by employees was in the process of tearing apart the paintings and photography of one of his colleagues. The best that he had to say about her work was that it was “okay for someone who’s beginning” but that she was crazy to think of herself as an artist.

Since he discarded all semblance of constructive critique in that conversation, I don’t feel ashamed noting that his pots tend to be heavy, arrogant pieces that are reasonably competent from a structural standpoint and utterly devoid of aesthetic merit. They are, in a word, ugly. I can’t even begin to imagine what his photographs are like.

Darrell surprised me, though, with “Everyone’s an artist.” Granted, he’s a professional artist and will have a certain perspective that stems from that, but the statement was so disdainful and dismissive that there was no mistaking his meaning. Art is made by the gifted, and anyone not gifted should not be able to call themselves an artist.

I felt like I was swimming around that dock all over again.
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wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: November 10th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why did you record this quote? To remind yourself of the arrogance of it? To remind yourself to not succumb to thinking like that?

Don't succumb, Peter. I do not think I am the only one who reads your journal/knows you who feels that you are an artist. Sure, you could use some work on your technique, but it's the willingness to see one's imperfections in technique that bring about growth. Darrell sounds like he has become so sure of himself as "artist" that he has stopped truly being an artist. He has become a technician. Go back to the studio. Face your fear and dare to create again. Tap into the strength that I know is inside you.
komos From: komos Date: November 10th, 2004 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

In context

Who are these people who just decide to be filmmakers and writers? What is the source? I'll be hitting 36, and I've nothing to speak of. Hobbies. I have hobbies. Is it really so wrong to question the point of all that?

"Everyone's an artist."
Now there's something that will toss doubts onto everything you're doing. I tend not to think of myself as an artist until it reaches a negative. Yeah, ok. I'm not an artist, but every once in a while the convo overheard simply reinforces that I can never be one.

[...] You yourself admit that you probably don't have the sight.

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komos From: komos Date: November 12th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Is is safe to say that yours is a variant of "I paint because I can't not"?

"The sight" as I envision it is not strictly visual, even though I tend to speak about it in those terms. A way of looking at things perhaps. Or a way of communicating, maybe solely with parts of your Self or directly with the medium with which you work. Your words couple in ways that convey meaning that transcends what the raw symbols say. The sight is in recognizing what is sublime in that and striving for that again and again.

Have no idea if this makes sense.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: November 10th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: In context

[...] You yourself admit that you probably don't have the sight.


I'm guessing you're referring to another conversation we've had at some point, perhaps about photos? I don't know how one "gets" the sight. If I spent more time on it, maybe I would develop one. For those who have a natural talent, I think it's just a matter of putting it to use. I've gotta go, my carpool is waiting. Will write more later...
komos From: komos Date: November 12th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
It can't strictly be limited to a medium. It's also not necessarily visual. An inspiration perhaps.
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komos From: komos Date: November 10th, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm aware that I'm guilty of being a critic, too. Though I likely wouldn't have said anything if he hadn't spent the entirety of a 3 hour class tearing his coworker apart.

The story about the dock was told some time ago. If I have a chance, I'll find it for you.
komos From: komos Date: November 12th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
7 comments or Leave a comment