Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The fuzzy mythology about the lives of artists makes us believe there is magically tragic artist life that we somehow grow into or create as an identity. I believe an artist's life is authentic to the artist in forms that are myriad. Then I ask myself if there a core of values or characteristics that define this authenticity. I suppose I could just ask myself that question answer it for myself and assume I had the answer for everyone. And maybe that's all I could do and the best I could do. So I'll give the big answer a try.

-- Art should be wrapped in a creative approach to the world.

-- Hold on to personal integrity as an artist for as long as possible.

-- The desire and passion to do art are not enough, even if practiced. The intention must be to seek something profound.

-- Art must never lose sight of its humanity.

-- Art must never lose sight of its responsibility.

-- Art must never become complacent, spoiled, condescending, flabby or compromising.

Living the life of an artist

Recently, I've heard or read from students that they want to live the life of an artist. Is the the life of inspired madness and eventual suicide of Van Gogh? Is it the corporate marketing of America's most collected artist spilling over onto tea cups and lounge chairs? Is it the drug-fed-art-super-star life of Basquiat? Is it the obsessive and closeted life of Henry Barger, only becoming an artist after his death? Is it last year's hot artist of the moment, written about and endlessly examined into oblivion? Is the artist whose coffee table book status made him status quo? Is it the artist who will have no life until he is dead and discovered?

I've got to go now. Answers to come later.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

10 Ways

10 ways to know if it's really art:

1. It makes you envious.

2. It makes you want to rush home and make art.

3. It's confusing, but in a brain-activating way.

4. It's embedded in you somewhere.

5. You keep returning to it.

6. You want to own it.

7. You feel a little (or alot) different since you first experienced it.

8. You still haven't gotten all you can from it, and you probably never will.

9. You're discouraged and elated at the same time.

10. You wish you had done it first.