After opening “Art and Fear” by David Bayles & Ted Orland the very introduction contains a quote: “This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart”. This book deals with “ordinary artists” as authors state in the book. How to make art and how to survive and to be considered an artist with your internal critic, how to get pass the criticism that spots you from creating the pieces of art that you always wanted. Authors display numerous problems that the artist himself has to deal with on day to day basics, from marketing the artwork to paying the bills, and that “art is all about starting again”, and learning every day to be better tomorrow. But I totally disagree with this statement that there are “ordinary artists and art not made by Mozart”.
Every person is a genius by his nature and it doesn’t matter if he’s a mathematician, artist or photographer. First, we need to define who is genius artist/photographer? Someone like Picasso, Dali, Frida among artists or Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Minor White among photographers will come to mind first but what made them genius in their time?
Many current contemporary artists forget that all depends on them and to grow to the point of “genius” to have a talent is not having all the ingredients for success. Everybody’s talented, the other question is whether one develops his skills or no. Artistic nature is drawn to creation by its essence, and to say that there are everyday artists but not geniuses is a bit not correct and fair. Because all depends not only on what you paint or photograph but how you promote it, which marketing strategies you apply to get known. Imagine the situation: yet to be known artist collaborate with a marketing agency full of professionals knowing what they do; artist himself does what he knows best – creates his masterpieces. Correct promotion and art industry marketing knowledge will make a millionaire out of this artist or photographer. Most people cannot understand art right away, it is created complicated to dive into, and that’s why it’s easy to thrust down their throat the opinions of “experts”, who exactly know what they do. Why we often see the art in galleries unclear to the audience, nobody explains it because the viewer has to come up with a conclusion by himself, if he cannot, he is not worth of this art. Ability to promote a service or a product is a guarantee of success, which is art as well – a product. The photographer may even not have a desire, talent or interest in promoting his soul, teaching art; and this happens to more and more creators. Talent is not a piece of cake, as it is said in the book «Talent may get someone off the starting blocks faster, but without a sense of direction or a goal... it wouldn’t count for much”. Because if your desire for art is stronger that anything else, talent is not a problem, you’ll reach any peak having given yourself to hard work.
Starting with childhood, further in schools and universities we are taught competition and developed inner critic, we are made to doubt in our power, actions, we start to ask ourselves: “Do I worth it? Do I really need to do this after heard criticism towards my creation?”. All depends on person’s environment, there are exclusions for sure when artist is criticised to suppress his talents, but he ruins the walls and proves his skilfulness. Other question is if artists really need to prove anything? As we read in the book “Art & Fear” by David Bayles & Ted Orland: “Fears about artmaking fall into two families: fears about yourself, fears about your reception by others”. Basically what they meant is that our fear about ourselves prevent us from doing our best work, the work that we are proud about; and the second one is the criticism from others stops us from making our own art, the art that is made from our innersoles.
Artistic person is vulnerable by his nature for the reason that all he does come from the very deep of his soul, he perceives his creations as children, but not just something torn away of his body and exposed for view and criticism of people who haven’t emotional attachment to this or that creation, photograph or painting.
We often see sold paintings on auctions of dead artists who lived in poverty during their lives and now are claimed geniuses. Question: when have they managed to become genius, while still alive or just now, when their paintings are sold for millions of dollars? Why fame and money come to “genius” only after death in many cases? Envy? Competition? Or the answer is an inevitable desire of collectors and foundations to pack up their pockets?
Nowadays lots of people are interested in art, we notice a great inrush in visual arts, music, dances, cinematography grows real fast, but on 7 billion of planet population just 1% of artistic people can sustain them and live without worries about money and the next day. Why do we see so many young people who live in New-York, San-Francisco in poverty and hunger? They are also genius, just without marketing.
The creator has to stay devoted to himself despite the criticism of inner critic, in my opinion an artistic person has to make up his mind and communicate with this critic to know who he is and how he appeared, what he tries to prove and how to be in harmony with him. This moment, as I think, is one of key ones, it influences conscious and subconscious world of an artist, whether it is society, childhood offences, inability to accept criticism adequately or simply unwillingness to be publicly exposed with his/her art.
I consider myself an artist although it is complicated sometimes to prove it to someone, because everyone’s got their own opinion about my art, whether it is positive or negative, but it will be. And as I see art in majority is perceived through the prism “like-dislike”, just afterwards there go scientific utterances and intricate criticism. But why one photograph is accepted for the exhibit while another is not, why they actually add to each other or exceed in technical and emotional aspects or perceiving. Then what is important in art: your talent or who you know?
In my art I try not to justify or persuade myself from what I like doing even if it doesn’t sell to art lovers right now, but it is useful to keep in mind the aspects of sales and need in photography and paintings on the current market. Artist’s path is thorny, it is true, but any path leading to success is not straight up, we learn step by step, as well as being a kid we learnt to walk gradually. We both learn to handle brushes, paints and articulating our art close to heart. It is easy to do what market needs; you should just feel it but stay true to yourself. There’s just one way to become successful - do it once again.