another page from
A Creative Hand/Book
by Aisling D'Art
Left page: a hand printed on a vague b&w photo.
Right page: "Don't let it matter if your works are not 'accepted' at once. The better or more personal you are the less likely they are of acceptance."--Robert Henri, in The Art Spirit
When an artist begins to accept the opinions of others as better than his or her own, it becomes difficult to trust oneself. Our own opinions cannot be worthwhile. The fact that we like our own art and others sometimes don't, is proof enough.
What a lie that is.
Too often, the public--having never had the advantages of an artistic eye or a good art class--rely upon museum curators to determine what is good art, and what is not. And, with the museum budget determining his future employment, the museum curator's choices are often determined by a Board of Directors, or popular tastes. (A casual survey of "popular" music on AM radio will show the merit of that! *grin*)
However, the public blindly (in more ways than one) often learns to judge art by what they've seen at the museum. If it looks like the work of someone famous, then art is "good," even if it's a blatant copy without a morsel of originality. Absolut advertisements are on solid ground when they mimic or commission the work of established artists.
The more original your work, the less the public will understand it. The less it looks like Rembrandt, DaVinci, or Picasso, the more nervous it will make them. They only know what "good" art looks like, and it must look like those artists'.
Until an "art authority" cues the public that your work has merit, do not accept popular appeal. It's only when you can reach a person deeply, or find a way to make him smile, that you can bypass the need for this external cue.
Keep using your own voice. It is the one you express the best.
In time, your work will be accepted. And you can raise your "I told you so" eyebrow at everyone who'd been too timid to reveal their innate recognition of great art.
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All original text, photos, and art are © 2000, Aisling D'Art.