process

The Amplification of Reality

About at month ago I was sitting in the studio pondering the concept of creating art, when I was struck with a rather profound thought. “Art is the process of amplifying reality in order to create an emotional response.” For a long time I wanted to build this idea into a live show, but there isn’t much here for that. Thus, I will expand on the concept here.

While this isn’t meant to take the place of my “What is Art” post, it instead should supplement it and give you greater insight into the creative mind. So what about this concept of “amplified reality.” Think about it logically for a moment. Whether we’re talking 2D or 3D, Traditional or Digital, Contemporary or Historical; art in every age, medium, and style from abstract to realism seeks to mimic and amplify reality into something profound. Even absolute photorealistic painters understand this very well. A brush stroke at it’s very core imitates reality. To imitate something and make it seem believable you often are using techniques to trick the brain into processing images into different emotional states.

Take for example optical illusions, most famously the work of M.C. Escher. Much of his work while yes is mathematical, still needs to have a visually artistic and aesthetic portion to seem relatable to the human eye. Escher’s work is primarily architectural and he knew how to bend the visual rules in order to change the perception of reality. Looking at one of his works you are forced to debate in your own mind if such a structure is even possible in the first place. Just when you feel confidant you’ve figured it out, your eye tells your brain it’s wrong again.

For a painter it’s often about using brighter or duller colors to create a mood within a painting. Such a mood of color, paired with complex psychological color theory, triggers the viewer in and emotional response of anything from joy to anger and everything in between. Scientifically speaking a painting is just an image and an image by itself doesn’t have meaning. However, as culturally educated humans, we give meaning to color, shapes, symbols, and forms that both as artists and viewers create a connection within the image.

Abstract art takes what is already familiar and distorts it. An abstract reality is distorted from one emotion and often works to make us feel another. Abstract landscape painters are often understand this well. Using texture in their paintings rather than details on the forms, they can manipulate emotion through movement. A textured horizon line in red and yellow, can be just as impactful as a details in a sunset if executed properly.

So I say it again... “Art is the process of amplifying reality in order to trigger an emotional response.” Let your art not simply be something that imitates reality, but enhances it in your own unique way. Being able to amplify, enhance, and interpret the world as you see it and then turn it outward to create art, is the core of being an artist.

Infectious Creativity

“Infectious Creativity: The Key to a Successful Art Career”

To begin, I will give you this premise to consider: “Love your art until it becomes infectious!” This concept came out of a conversation I had with a friend and fellow artist early last month, but has stuck with me in principle. This concept of an infectious form of creativity is what I believe to be the driving force of what makes an artist successful or not.

The more I thought about it the more it seemed to ring true for my work, and the work of those artists that I admire. Creating your art should always start as a passion for something you love. For most artists that is what creating art is. However, in the process of being self-taught or taught in a rigorous program, it can be very easy to lose your passion for creation in the pursuit of perfection. While it is vitally important to your success to refine your skills and pursue mastery of the fundamentals, if you forget why you love creating in the process, then you will have lost the most important part of being an artist.

This idea of loving to create, and loving what you do, is what makes all successful artists stand out to us. While yes, the beautiful images they create are also important, ask yourself how many grumpy artists you follow? Would you want to learn from an artist who is indifferent about their work? Or how about an artist that hates everything they do? Ok, there is a certain sense of creative humility and realization that ever artist has, in knowing that their work needs improvement. However, if they continue to say “I suck, I suck, I suck,” then you as the fan will also start to think they suck as well. If you the artist are not passionate about the work you create, then what hope do your fans have to love the work that you do?

This is really the idea I want to drive home for all of you. Love what you do. Painting, drawing, writing, composing, whatever your creative outlet is do it because you love it FIRST, then worry about marketing and making money. Forget about client work. Forget what kind of art your friends and family like. Make art for yourself, because you love to! Maybe that sounds a bit selfish, but when you become crazy passionate about your work and your process, then other people will be excited to see, read, or hear your next great masterpiece! Yes, the first impression of a great piece of art brings people in, but what keeps them coming back is that they know you are an artist in love with creating.

It is only when we love to create that our passions infect others with creativity to create something of their own. Success isn’t a dollar amount. It’s not a number of shows or a single great piece of art. No, success is about community! It’s about sharing your creative love with the world, and having of the world answer back with their own unique creations. So in case you forgot along the way, “Love your art until it becomes infectious,” and then you will truly be successful.