Double Chin

Friday, July 07, 2006

art on the internet

Browsing the internet can bring such a bittersweet mix of delight and despair. There are so many talented artists, plugging away every day, and it's such a wonderful, inspiring thing to view. And that the interweb has allowed our generation to almost effortlessly share our art, ideas, sketches, the shining glories and the charming little blips and artistic regressions... we are so lucky. When I let the competitive side of me take hold, I'm filled with intimidation, discovering how many people there are with drive and talent and vision; it makes me feel insignificant, and that I'm really nothing special. For every inspired outpouring and study I produce, there will always be someone else taking it further, someone more worthy. The internet is an effective way to face the fact, that there's always going to be someone better than you. Always.
And any artist who denies ever comparing themselves to others, nor feeling competitive, nor intimidated, is lying. Or just arrogantly dillusional.
So what is there to do? The cliches, I suppose. Pick myself up and keep, ehem, "following my heart"; keep creating, listening to my own muse, regardless. And "be thankful" for the blessing it is to witness the achievements of other artists, to be able to converse with them, to learn about them, to delight in their ideas and successes. And be inspired, not intimidated. One of the best things about all the art on the internet, the forums, the webpages and sketchblogs, is seeing that absolutely incredible things are possible, and by lots of 'ordinary' people. And the privilege to witness them progress from struggling beginners, to technically and conceptually brilliant creators.


  • [wry chuckle] too true, am afraid! have you also noticed that there are some artists/pieces you really like, but which don't particularly 'inspire'? and then there are the ones that somehow inspire, that make you want to go and do something GOOD. not the same kinda thing, necessarilly, not even the same theme. just set you off, somehow.

    By Blogger featherbone, at 11:51 AM  

  • Duuude I've been thinking about that sort of stuff so much lately, as well. It really is a bittersweet experience, to see all that wonderful stuff that amazes and inspires you, but then intimidates and crushes your ego as well sometimes. I find that it's usually when I spend too much time looking at other people's work that the experience falls into the bitter zone. When I start to think "Man, those people have achieved so much more than I have, they must be so much more diligent that I am, wah wah wah". But then if, on the other hand, I just quickly browse through some galleries I like and just look at the art without really thinking about the artist who did it too much, it seems like I'm just inspired and not really so comparative of myself as an artist/person. What I'm looking at isn't the proof of my inferiority, it's just an exciting inspiration brought down to earth by who-knows-what. Like when you look at Disney art when you're a kid (naivety is a bliss). The whole thing's a big relative ego issue I think.

    Sometimes I do wish I was more naive and blind to those artists around me. It seems to some people that comes naturally, and they just create without worrying about others or whatnot... but then again maybe it's not that many people. I like to remind myself of the book "Art and Fear", thinking that those artists who intimidate me are probably intimidated by others themselves. It's a problem that comes with the artist way of life, I guess. So then I think: "why am I doing this (art)? Because I like doing it and I enjoy getting better at it and learning new things, not because I want to become better than others or beat whoever at it".

    But in the end maybe the doubts never completely disapear, we just need to deal with them and remind ourselves not to be angsty fearful artists (talking for myself here, huhuhuh) and just enjoy doing what we do for it's own sake. Shuting up your brain is also a good thing sometimes. Because hey, following your heart might be a cliche, but when you think about it, it's still probably a much better guide than your brain.

    By Blogger Guillaume, at 1:27 PM  

  • For some more inspiration/letdowns, check out the Toronto Outdoors show going on this weekend in the T Dot. It's at that square at City Hall that I want to call Nathan Philips Square but something in the back of my head says that's wrong.


    By Blogger Cooked Art, at 11:57 AM  

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