Monday, August 31, 2009

Artist Myth #8e: Your Art is Totally Original

Myth Eight: Your art is totally original

My art studio used to be across the hall from the sculptor, Tom Friedman. Tom created very unique sculptures that sold internationally for hundreds of thousands of dollars. One piece was his name written on a piece of paper until the ink ran out. Another was a piece of bubble gum stretched from the floor to the ceiling. All of his work had a very autistic-like quality to it, much like something Rain Man might have created.

After sharing a space so close to his I began to dwell on signature styles a little bit more. I don’t think a signature style is something that can be reproduced. For instance, if I wrote my name on a piece of paper until my pen ran out of ink it wouldn’t have the same effect as when Tom created it. Though imitation is an essential part of the process of finding it, sometimes you have to exhaust yourself trying to be everyone else until the only one left is you.

I finally decided that artistic style is really about finding the effortless place within yourself where your deeper voice is able to shine through. So many artists have the idea that in order for something to be worthy it must be difficult. In terms of artistic creations though, I don’t think it’s so much about pushing the envelope to discover something brand spanking new as it is finding something that is unique only to you, buried within. When you find it, it’s about sharing your discovery publicly and so repetitively that others can’t help but take notice.

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