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Feeding us candy and telling us lies

Artists!

Is someone feeding us candy and telling us lies ... and we believe them?

It could be that we believe them because we do not know what we are looking for as artists. It’s the difference between perception and reality.

Believe me, for years I looked everywhere for validation, satisfaction and affirmation in the art world and finally after years of searching I found where it comes from and where it doesn’t. Interesting enough, it hasn’t come from any place where I was looking for it.

Have you ever fallen in love with an idea of how it should be? Or maybe it was a person; you were in love with the perception of an image rather than the person.

Reality hits!

Art can be the same way. It’s like love and marriage. Art starts out very simple, you want to create and you fall in love with creating, next you want a name, title and position.

Then the art world comes crashing in and you have shifted from the love of creating to the business of it. It demands market savvy, selling your product, inventing and re-inventing yourself and your style. And then there are the people who tell you how it should be and you listen. It becomes an unpleasant job if you forget why you entered into that love relationship.

Is your perception of the art world reality?

I was interested in an interview with Eve Arnold, a famous photographer who photographed Marilyn Monroe and other movie stars. Eve said that when the camera was on, whether it was an amateur with a box camera or a professional, Marilyn would immediately pose, her breast lifted up, her back arched and her rear came out. Eve said poor Marilyn was short, dumpy and small with swollen ankles, but she made herself look tall for the camera and fans. Didn’t we all have a different perception? But Eve should know — she was Marilyn’s personal photographer.

Eve said that Marilyn loved the fantasy of being Marilyn Monroe as if she was playing the part of Marilyn. Eve believed when Marilyn was no longer playing the part of Marilyn Monroe, but had became the real Marilyn with all the pressures, that is when the actress’s world came crashing down.

Are we enjoying the artistic image or the reality of being an artist? If it is validation from jurors, affirmation from buyers or confidence from our peers, we will become discouraged. They will fail us. We are looking in the wrong place.

Art is a lifetime commitment. You either marry for richer or poorer, better or worse. When you are still in love, creating art in your old age, it will be your constant companion and those delicious creative ideas and sweet thoughts that are whispered in your ear will wake you up early and with excitement you will begin a new day with a new idea that you can’t contain. Now, this is reality!

The final brushstroke: Art is a relationship with your creative self and sharing the beauty of it with others. So feed yourself candy and listen to your own creativity. The world needs your uniqueness and will make room for you.

Reader’s comments

In the “Starving Artist” column I like the interesting twist you put on poverty, whether it be in finances, the mind or the spirit. As you pointed out we think of poverty as a negative when actually it can be that our definition is what is negative.

Julie,

Minnesota

I realize that listing the former owners of the Hub was not the point of your article in last week’s paper, but I think that Lou Poma and Billy Lynn should have been mentioned also. If not for Billy, Dairy Queen soft serve might not have been in Pagosa for decades!

Steve Hudson (former resident-frequent visitor — also old)

Artist’s quote

“You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event — it is a habit.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist.