In keeping with my last post about always being yourself on the pages of your sketchbook, I offer this recent sketchbook page. It’s interesting to see how people react to what I draw. I showed this page to a friend recently and she said, “That’s a bad word, I know that word. Why would you write that in your book?” Her reaction serves as a perfect example of the misconception most people have when it comes to art and artists. The first thought that came to my mind when she asked me this was, “Why the hell not?” This is exactly what I talk about all the time; you cannot do work in order to please anyone but yourself. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you do. Fuck it, who cares, screw them, it’s not important.
In the end, being yourself is what it’s all about. Finding your own voice doesn’t come easily. For some people, it comes early, and for others, later in life. For some it never comes at all. It doesn’t matter how you find that voice, it just matters that you find it. We all start by emulating the work of someone we admire — it’s completely natural to do this. Sometimes, you do that for a long period of time because it feels right. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s part of the process of developing. The development of talent seems to be a mystery to most people. Everyone expects you to develop by yesterday. It doesn’t work that way. Anything that’s great has, in most cases, had a long gestation period. The public in general doesn’t understand this because they don’t have the patience or perseverance to wait it out. As an artist, I feel that I’m essentially chasing a goal that is invisible to everyone else. Unfortunately, because of the time involved in developing and whatnot people tend to look down upon artists. It’s sad but true. They heap all manner of derisible adjectives upon people who don’t do the nine to five thing. What’s worse is that a lot of people will tell you how they love or support the arts while simultaneously heaping scorn upon you for doing the very thing that they claim to love and support. Recently, I watched a couple of videos that really shed some light on this topic. Throughout history many great people have been ridiculed and looked down upon for not being a raging success at 25. They videos excellent and I urge you to watch them.
In the end, I say this to you: follow your heart, draw every day, and never ever give up on your goals. There are always going to be those people that don’t get it. Some of them are failed artists and can’t stand the fact that you’re doing what they wanted to do and others simply don’t understand what an artist does. You will run into these types of people more than you think; it’s part of the game. Whenever I encounter one of these people I simply smile and thank the universe that I’m not in their shoes. Life is short, idiots are in abundance, and art is forever.