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Author Topic: Where does art come from?  (Read 1063 times)
MrsMoe
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2023 @263.69 »

.....This whole thread has been fascinating to me as a beginner artist who hates their work.

I have such a hard time getting myself to enjoy drawing because how awkward everything looks kills me. I get told all the time "it doesn't need to be perfect, you just need to have fun!!!" but my art looking bad is what's ruining the fun for me. It feels less like a gift and more like an insult to myself. That probably makes me sound like a huge perfectionist (....and I am one), but it's the truth.

But after reading all this, about art being about vulnerability, I'm starting to wonder....can art be appreciated and enjoyed off of that alone? Can people look past imperfection if there's some clear emotional weight behind it? I'm asking because I've barely tried to be expressive or intimate with my art. I've just been practicing anatomy and feeling disappointed over and over again.
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2023 @368.52 »

.....This whole thread has been fascinating to me as a beginner artist who hates their work.

I have such a hard time getting myself to enjoy drawing because how awkward everything looks kills me. I get told all the time "it doesn't need to be perfect, you just need to have fun!!!" but my art looking bad is what's ruining the fun for me. It feels less like a gift and more like an insult to myself. That probably makes me sound like a huge perfectionist (....and I am one), but it's the truth.

But after reading all this, about art being about vulnerability, I'm starting to wonder....can art be appreciated and enjoyed off of that alone? Can people look past imperfection if there's some clear emotional weight behind it? I'm asking because I've barely tried to be expressive or intimate with my art. I've just been practicing anatomy and feeling disappointed over and over again.

i will preach that art is for the artist until my dying breath... or until i experience something that adds to that naivety. i constantly feel horrible about my music - especially with my voice - but i always feel better after reminding myself that i am creating for me. not for anyone else. i still feel stupidly awkward regarding its composition, but being able to dismiss myself as a critic relieves a lot of that burden.

as for being a perfectionist: i've found solace in modernism, in that i will stand in my kitchen and write until i can write no more. and that's that. reading back over things still sends unwanted shivers down my spine, but i appreciate the authenticity of having something that reflects my thoughts in a moment, instead of something that's refined diachronically.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2023 @383.19 »

My dad used to put on Alan Watts talks in the car for us to listen to on the drive into school :grin: That's an interesting little one to focus on though, what do you think of it? For some reason I find when I listen to Alen, I totally enjoy his talks, yet somehow everyone seems to like me a lot less when I start thinking the way he does - maybe it's a personality moire pattern :ohdear:

being honest: i don't know anything about Alan Watts! i think my brain jumped the tangent between you talking about walls and some vague memory from sociology.

that being said, i think that he's got a point. this semester i was studying language acquisition which partially entailed children picking up language. there's a lot of discourse surrounding nativism (language being biologically innate) and empiricism (language being a learnt thing) that goes into some depth surrounding how children construct things like tenses: "i goed" being grammatically non-standard but logical as an overextension of the past simple tense; and how children develop biases based on shape, color, novelty etc.: a child might refer to a zebra as a horse because it's roughly the same shape. anyway, my point being that maybe artists and non-artists categorize work differently based on something(s) external; maybe the discontent that i know a lot of artists have stems from what they've learnt from other people that they're projecting onto their work instead of their own innate values. i can't speak for everyone, of course, but i know that i learnt that i did that with my art a few years back.

how do you feel?
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2023 @524.44 »

But after reading all this, about art being about vulnerability, I'm starting to wonder....can art be appreciated and enjoyed off of that alone? Can people look past imperfection if there's some clear emotional weight behind it?
Definitely. I think that's what happens with art that isn't realism, and like maybe with art that is surrealist, and especially art that doesn't even have anything more than simple shapes or colors, like abstract art.
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2023 @554.43 »

This feels like an easy answer, but from inspiration! any kind. I have had my share of hurt, pain, and animosity, but I do not feel like that is the creative driving force between my art. I end up making my best art on my best days! Pain can be a source of inspiration for some, but mine tends to be things that make me happiest. Silly little guys, goats, old crying clown paintings, a ruined clay sculpture, a cool light fixture, a cool color of dirt, my wonderful girlfriend, and a weird small fish I caught once, are all things that have inspired me in the past. Sometimes its just that. something!
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MrsMoe
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2023 @196.31 »

i will preach that art is for the artist until my dying breath... or until i experience something that adds to that naivety. i constantly feel horrible about my music - especially with my voice - but i always feel better after reminding myself that i am creating for me. not for anyone else. i still feel stupidly awkward regarding its composition, but being able to dismiss myself as a critic relieves a lot of that burden.

I hear that argument a lot and I get what you're saying, but...

I just straight up can't enjoy what I make if it's bad. It's not just about what other people think about it that bothers me. Making something for myself feels pointless if it's going to make me feel bad or repulse me. Sometimes I feel like the only person who can't get over this, since you're argument seems to check out with everyone else I've ever met.
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2023 @768.34 »

Quote from: MrsMoe
I just straight up can't enjoy what I make if it's bad. It's not just about what other people think about it that bothers me.

that's ok! i used to feel like that a lot - it's one of the reasons i used to edit my drafts for things i wrote so heavily. i don't know how i changed my mind, but i know learning about mid-20th century modernism in high school helped a lot. maybe it's worth considering whether this is really something to get over? accepting your own art is important, but that doesn't mean you need to accept everything you've ever thought about making. maybe it's just a case of having different thresholds for what we like from what we make? how do you feel?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2023 @933.77 by j » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2023 @899.18 »

@j I think you may have mis-attributed that quote  :tongue:
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2023 @925.34 »

I kinda get what you all mean about not liking your own art and thus being "not for the artist" and I honestly feel the same way about my "bad" art... But I still think it counts as "art for the artist". Even if that doodle I was making didn't turn out right and I deleted it, I still experienced the feeling of brush strokes, I still plugged in my tablet and created something, I still wrote something even if I don't want to continue it. I actually draw things I don't like pretty often, but I still feel like I am experiencing something "for myself" by getting to shape something into being (be it visual art or other mediums) even if it doesn't turn out right. Like, at the very least I did  stimulate my brain/hands/whatever.

So I think the idea is less that the final product is for the artist to enjoy but rather that the process of creation is part of how the creator experiences their own work.
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2023 @934.03 »

@j I think you may have mis-attributed that quote  :tongue:

oops, thanks!
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MrsMoe
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2023 @273.96 »

that's ok! i used to feel like that a lot - it's one of the reasons i used to edit my drafts for things i wrote so heavily. i don't know how i changed my mind, but i know learning about mid-20th century modernism in high school helped a lot. maybe it's worth considering whether this is really something to get over? accepting your own art is important, but that doesn't mean you need to accept everything you've ever thought about making. maybe it's just a case of having different thresholds for what we like from what we make? how do you feel?

I suppose you're right, and that's similar to what I've been trying to tell myself. It's just that people always make the problem out to be that I struggle to enjoy the artistic process. I've just been assuming that it's meant to be difficult and stressful until you finally get decent at it. I'm fine with going through the pain if that's what it takes to get better. I'm willing to go through a lot of unpleasant things if it means improving myself.
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j
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2023 @495.83 »

I suppose you're right, and that's similar to what I've been trying to tell myself. It's just that people always make the problem out to be that I struggle to enjoy the artistic process. I've just been assuming that it's meant to be difficult and stressful until you finally get decent at it. I'm fine with going through the pain if that's what it takes to get better. I'm willing to go through a lot of unpleasant things if it means improving myself.

that can happen, and honestly that's fine too. as @wygolvillage has already said: it's not impossible to learn to love the artistic process more than the final product; it just takes a little time and effort. for instance: i really loved writing the lyrics to this, and i thoroughly enjoyed recording and mixing everything - but listening to the final product is excruciatingly painful. i drop out of key, fail to pass vocally and often miss my rhythm. that's kind of why the acapella version exists, because i'm more comfortable with rap and spoken word. i'm not sure what advice this particularly experience exudes but it's an example of what i'm talking about happening, at least!
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2023 @905.81 »

I think art just comes from humans naturally. I think it's like... a byproduct of our existence, like birdsong or beaver dams or other stuff from the animal kingdom. Humans just Make Art. Even people who don't feel they're creative... I see them doing artful things all the time.

i enjoy this sentiment and agree. everyone has the urge to express themselves even if they don't frame their self expression as art. i think art comes from satisfying an urge as primal as all speech. one of my favorite movements to read about is the "outsider" art movement, because it showcases people who simply felt an urge to communicate their ideas outside of the scope of how they "should be" communicated. their creativity and talent was an aftereffect of a very strong urge to communicate something specific and important to them, it can be an act of celebration (like grandma moses) or rebellion (henry darger).

art is communication. imo good art communicates well, and is aligned with its intentions.
so i think that's kind of why there is this notion that great art is affiliated with suffering. suffering gives a large incentive to communicate, but it's not the only one.
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« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2023 @244.93 »

art is communication. imo good art communicates well, and is aligned with its intentions.
so i think that's kind of why there is this notion that great art is affiliated with suffering. suffering gives a large incentive to communicate, but it's not the only one.

agree!!!

i've found writing specifically to be an incredible medium for communication -- like when it's difficult to express my experiences in a word as simple as "depression" or "anger", then writing fiction is something that works so well, because it's kinda like i'm creating this extended metaphor for the sole purpose of conveying that feeling.
i dunno, there's just something very compelling in the thought of lacing a story with this hidden message, a sort of "if you know you know" type thing where the people who know what to look for and are consciously looking for it will understand. i've always loved the use of symbolism and metaphor in writing, the way all these threads tie together to form a cohesive message. it helps to communicate those intense feelings and ideas that are otherwise impossible to properly convey through a more prosaic description.

there's still a part of me that's frustrated with the idea that suffering and creativity have some direct correlation, since i guess it feels a little invalidating. but i also won't deny that my experiences haven't had a significant impact on my writing -- i'm sure that if i were completely mentally healthy, i wouldn't fixate so much on dark topics, lol.

i hope i've worded this all in a way that actually makes sense, i just have a lot of thoughts about this.
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