No Fooling.

nofooling

Happy April Fool’s Day.  I never much cared for the tradition.  Institutionalized lying?  No thanks.

Instead of faking some sort of shocking prank today, I would like to share a short interview I just completed with a friend, over on the message boards we inhabit.   This is as close as I can get to the real truth of my life.  No fooling.

Noir: Stu, what’s the most meaningful gift you’ve ever been given, and who gave it to you?

Me: The really deep and important ones, I can’t talk about.  Some things are too special to speak of. 

These questions, and the letter that accompanied them, and your continued presence here on the boards, are very meaningful gifts in themselves. 

And, of course, the original art from the Mulletman.

Noir: How does it feel, to be such an inspirational figure, to this community, and to the people who inhabit it?

Me: Tough question, it reminds me of the questions they ask the winning player at the end of a big game on TV!  It is very rewarding.  It feels like I have accomplished my intentions.  It feels like God is smiling on me, and patting me on the back.  It feels wonderful.

Noir: If you could give anyone a single piece of advice, about anything they could ever experience, in this world, what would it be?

Me: Enjoy it, as often as you can, no matter what it is.

Noir: As an artist, you’ve obviously dealt with criticism, and potentially, the doubt that it can breed, in your artwork. How do you overcome that, and find new inspiration?

Me: I realize that the only critic that really matters is me.  Art is a way of communicating with the gods, not pleasing the other humans.  It is a closed feedback loop between me and my maker.  Earthly accolades are just gravy.  It’s too bad schools thrive on critics, because art critics are full of shit for the most part.  Craftsmanship and composition can be improved, but art itself is only true to its author.

I have always been okay with that.  With a self-reliance born of confidence and clarity.  With the fact that some people will always find fault.  With my self and my art, just the way it is.

If I am uncovering new truth and new inspiration for myself with each new thing I create, how can that be wrong?  It can’t. 

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7 Comments

Filed under Art I live with.

7 responses to “No Fooling.

  1. Wow, I totally forgot it was April Fool’s Day. Weird …

    “… art critics are full of shit for the most part.”

    So true.

  2. “I realize that the only critic that really matters is me. Art is a way of communicating with the gods, not pleasing the other humans. It is a closed feedback loop between me and my maker. Earthly accolades are just gravy. It’s too bad schools thrive on critics, because art critics are full of shit for the most part. Craftsmanship and composition can be improved, but art itself is only true to its author.”

    While this is true for abstract and “purely expressive” art, representational art (ie, pictures of Batman drawn for a card game because someone paid you to do it) [i]does[/i] have rights and wrongs. Critics have no right attacking your message if you have one, but they [i]are[/i] a valuable QA tool to help you figure out of the representational aspects of what you’ve made are as effective as they could be.

    I’m a terrible critic of my own work. When I publish “finished” work, it’s always full of problems I couldn’t see. It’s only when a fresh set of eyes looks at it and points out a flaw I’d just gotten used to seeing that I can actually notice the mistakes I made, or the things that didn’t work how I intended them.

    Critics aren’t a bad thing. Criticism is a positive force because it’s the only way we can move forward– every time you eliminate a bad idea, a good one can take its place. Granted, some critics go a bit far and get pretty annoying, but we can no more eliminate critics than we can police, or lawyers, or Italians– or whatever other group you don’t happen to like. 😉

    -Spud

  3. I don’t remember saying “eliminate critics”, but I sure as hell wouldn’t trust my soul to them.

    The artist himself should be the one who decides almost everything, in my opinion. Art is its own reward. Pleasing the audience and the critics is a very different thing.

  4. My art rarely pleases me. There’s always something that bugs me that I can recognize, but that’s beyond my skill level to fix. If my objective is to be happy with my own work, I will always fail.

    Other people, on the other hand, don’t seem to care as much as I do about the problems that bug me, so I’ve adjusted my standards– if they’re okay with it, then I’m okay with it. 🙂

  5. Sounds like a problem to me. You must have learned it from somewhere or someone. Judging yourself instead of celebrating yourself? Yikes.

    Unlearn it.

  6. Stu, how come you don’t post more original art by yourself on the blog?

  7. Because no one ever asked! I’ll work on it.

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