I was late for Todd’s talk in class today as I was researching for a design project. I was able to come in for a sizable portion of it though. Todd’s take away message was, in regards to both writing about art and creating art, to listen to yourself, and let your own intuition guide your insights. I thought this was helpful as I am going down a more personal path for my article than I previously anticipated (like I stated in blog 4). What I plan on writing about is vinyl toys or similar collectable art toys from a local artist. I planned on researching a lot about them before I interviewed them, but based on what Todd said when I asked him about researching context, I think I don’t really need to. Todd gave an example when he went to a show called “Not good with words” (or something along those lines). Rather than going into this show with context, he rather went to the show just to ask the artist/curator directly what they were thinking, and make insights that way. The insight he got was the artist is a mailman on the side, handling “words” all day. He probably could not have gotten this insight without going and talking with the artist directly. After the show he went online to find out any additional context, but by talking with the artist first gave him a better way to frame his article authentically to the original artist and himself as a writer.
Todd also talked about being authentic with his own practice as a painter. His subject matter is nature so naturally one would assume that just by being in nature would be “authentic” enough. However he brought up how he gets inspiration from things deeper than just nature. His anecdote he gave was about painting his father after he died. He wasn't happy how it turned out as a portrait (he hadn’t done a portrait since high school) and smeared all of his paint together in a black canvas. He decided to let himself think or meditate on it for a little while. Then, when he saw an apple tree’s shadow out his window the next day, he was reminded of the apple tree from his childhood, which in turn reminded him of his father. His dad also happens to be named “Ray”. In his painting he decided to paint a tracing of the shadow, on the black canvas of smeared paint, which was once a portrait of his father. The shadow itself had a greater presence of his father to him personally than a portrait would, because of his personal connection with nature within his childhood. Being able to make deeper personal connections like this, and projecting it onto your work is a way of being authentic as an artist. As an industrial designer, I hope I can provide the same profoundness but just in a more subtle way.
How do you try to be authentic as an artist or a writer? Tell me in the comments!
Until next time,