Art, Society, and our place in it: Where do you fit in?
I won't be answering any questions today but rather sending more out into the world for us to ponder and in turn ask each of ourselves so that maybe one by one we can bring art back into society's broader appreciation.
"ART plays no clear role in our culture.
ARTISTS have little direct contact with their audience.
ARTMAKING is indulged, but rarely rewarded."
These are the larger issues that Ted Orland feels artists today face. So the question becomes, How do we change that?
"....there was a time (and not all that long ago) when artists were employed to make new art every week-art that addressed the deepest issues of life and death and spirituality. We have nothing like that today-and it makes you wonder: how would art and artists be received today if we made work that spoke for the community rather than to the community?"
As much as I don't necessarily feel that every piece of art has to "stand" for something, I will say that artists that speak for a community do tend to stand out more and get more praise and critical acclaim. Think of rappers that bring certain atrocities to light or artists who paint murals about the environment, etc.
So what to do if I really just want to bring beauty to your world and not hash out every outrage of our society? I have lived in darkness and don't want to go back there!
Ted goes on to discuss being productive and making art vs. believing the myth of creative genius and natural talent. He discusses the "creative process" and how getting better means making a lot of art; ".....having a working command of the creative process-that is, all those elements that lead to the making of art-is truly essential"
"...................take comfort in all those small steps"
"If you develop productive working patterns and learn from the work itself along the way, you will always be on the path toward making the best work you can."
"The common ground shared by artists who make continuing progress in their work is that they have committed themselves to working on the things that really matter to them."
"So what (if anything) does all this mean for you?....................................stay at work on the things that are really important to you, and you will reach your potential as an artist"
Two weeks ago I received the second rejection of a book proposal. I Love the designs within the book and so does everyone else who has seen them. Still the job isn't getting done somewhere along the way. The knee-jerk reaction is to have a pity party about how it isn't any good---STOP! They are good-great, in fact- and I need to "stay at work" on this path. The universe around me is pushing me in this direction as well through no nonsense friends and a supportive husband and multiple paths that I can traverse down until I get the desired outcome.
Society does not need to dictate to us about our art, but does this bring us back to 'speaking to the community' with our art?
We are in charge of our own destinies though and can be successful with our art with lots of hard work. Weren't we all raised to believe that if you worked hard enough, you could attain your goals? First we must know what the goals are though and so I challenge each of you to choose one very large and one very small goal to work toward. Place a completion date of December 31st, 2010 for the small goal and December 31st, 2011 for the large goal and make it work!