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Author Topic: Art can be anything people care to experience  (Read 16687 times)
st326
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« on: March 18, 2007, 03:29:08 PM »
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I'm not trained in art. I've not studied it academically since the age of 12 or so (my art teacher simply didn't understand me and threw me out of the class, darlink!). Yet I've always loved it, and in one way or another always made it. Music, photography, 2D illustration, 3D CGI, occasional cartooning with pen and ink. I've had friends over the years who made other kinds of art, including the weird conceptual pieces that don't at first sight make much sense. I have to say, I've enjoyed making art and enjoyed experiencing other people's art. Not all of it -- there's plenty of rubbish in any genre in any time period.

Had I not had so much resistance to my attempts to study art (I was blocked from studying art and music at secondary school -- art, I think, because I wound my teacher up too much, music because my thing was synthesizers, and as this was the 1970s, my instrument didn't officially exist as far as my school's head of music was concerned, despite the fact that I could play piano quite decently despite never having studied it), I think I would quite possibly have gone in that direction in my life. As it is, I did (and do) electronics and computing, though often with some kind of arty application.

One thing I learned many years ago is that it's impossible to make good art if your heart's not in it. Back in my music business days in the late 1980s, I was involved with a dance music project. There were a couple of DJs involved, who knew the dance scene intimately but weren't musicians, and me, who was a musician and engineer/producer, but who didn't really know the dance scene. The result wasn't bad. I didn't really get off on listening to it, but the DJs liked it. Anyway, we took it along to an A&R person at CBS Records in London's Soho Square -- at the time, just getting through their door was something of a coup. Anyway, we played our tape, the A&R guy said he quite liked it, but it wasn't for them. Then he did something interesting -- he looked at us, and said, "Your heart isn't in this, is it?" It wasn't, he was dead right. The DJs were in it for the money. I was kind-of along for the ride. He said, "come back with something that you really care about." Needless to say, given the three of us, that wasn't going to happen. I probably should have sent him some of my personal work, but never did. The project fizzled out, but I learned a great lesson: art only really works if your heart is in it, if you really care about it. Secondly, making art purely for an audience's preferences and not your own doesn't really work.

Most of the art I do now is photography (kind-of obvious, that, or I wouldn't be posting this here!), but I only make pictures that I care about. This probably consigns me never to get anywhere in the art world, but so be it -- I honestly would prefer it if people like my photographs because they like them in and of themselves, or hate them and want them burned on sight, rather than have to make middle-of-the-road safe art that is more likely to sell. For me, I get a lot from making the art, *because* I care about it. If people like it, great. If they hate it, in some ways that's an even greater compliment -- people generally don't *hate* mediocrity, they ignore it.

Another great quote from Stephen King, talking about writing -- 'Never go quietly to the page.' It's the same thing again, I think.

Discuss!




(Gratuitous photos, just to show the kind of art I tend to make)



(Yes, a black and white shot with a large format camera in Yosemite valley, I have no shame)



(Gratuitous boulder in Joshua Tree National Park, large format again)



(More rocks and boulders at JTNP)



(2D illustration)



(Pure CGI -- nothing real here at all)



(Mixed media CGI/large format photograph)

There's more on my Flickr pages (I have to link back to them under their terms of service if I post links to photos).
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Armstrong
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 10:35:01 PM »
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You have good points in your article. I guess the main reason people argue too much about art is because it is very subjective and free. It is nice to hear some sound arguments from someone who knows how to appreciate art.

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sgwrx
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2007, 11:21:51 PM »
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when you mentioned having your heart being in it, my first thought was yes! and further i thought that art to me is something that is uplifting. if a photo i take can move someone towards feeling uplifted or peaceful or inspire them to have a better day than i'm glad. it sounds corny i know. i think of music that i really like... i listen with my eyes closed and let it show me pictures or images as it flows. i let it change my mood and thoughts and usually it calms me, refreshes me as though i've taken a nap or something.
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st326
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 11:40:54 PM »
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when you mentioned having your heart being in it, my first thought was yes! and further i thought that art to me is something that is uplifting. if a photo i take can move someone towards feeling uplifted or peaceful or inspire them to have a better day than i'm glad. it sounds corny i know. i think of music that i really like... i listen with my eyes closed and let it show me pictures or images as it flows. i let it change my mood and thoughts and usually it calms me, refreshes me as though i've taken a nap or something.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110726\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes, exactly.
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Ray
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2007, 03:54:04 AM »
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Definitely more interesting than your Avery weights, Sarah.
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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2007, 08:13:27 AM »
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Definitely more interesting than your Avery weights, Sarah.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110755\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Okay, Ray, I'm bitten: is it private or can we all share?

Ciao - Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 07:43:44 PM »
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Okay, Ray, I'm bitten: is it private or can we all share?

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110785\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I guess I got a little exasperated comparing shadow detail in Sarah's image of some round weights on a black towel in the 'Synthetic HDR' thread. These images here are much more appealing   .
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2007, 08:03:19 PM »
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I guess I got a little exasperated comparing shadow detail in Sarah's image of some round weights on a black towel in the 'Synthetic HDR' thread. These images here are much more appealing   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110899\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The trouble with Sarah's Avery weights photo of course is simply that the symbolism was too subtle for most of us to plumb the depths of the hidden meanings. And Howard would have been horrified if we had tried very hard to plumb the depths, because we might have left some toxic substances behind . . .    
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2007, 09:25:38 PM »
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The trouble with Sarah's Avery weights photo of course is simply that the symbolism was too subtle for most of us to plumb the depths of the hidden meanings. And Howard would have been horrified if we had tried very hard to plumb the depths, because we might have left some toxic substances behind . . .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110903\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'll leave it up to you to plumb those depths, Eric. What sort of subtle symbolism did you have in mind?  Breasts?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2007, 09:26:47 PM by Ray » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2007, 10:37:21 PM »
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I'll leave it up to you to plumb those depths, Eric. What sort of subtle symbolism did you have in mind?  Breasts?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110925\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I just figure that if I don't see them as especially beautiful, there must be some hidden significance to them that I'm too naive to understand.  
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2007, 10:54:17 PM »
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Heavy symbolism.
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st326
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2007, 12:36:06 AM »
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Actually, there is some hidden meaning, but I can't tell you because that would mean it wouldn't be hidden any more.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2007, 09:48:26 AM »
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Actually, there is some hidden meaning, but I can't tell you because that would mean it wouldn't be hidden any more.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110940\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think Dark revealed it:
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Heavy symbolism.
But the Joshua Tree and Yosemite images are weighty enough for me, and just the kind of thing I like to experience.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2007, 12:01:18 PM »
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I'll leave it up to you to plumb those depths, Eric. What sort of subtle symbolism did you have in mind?  Breasts?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110925\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That, Ray, is the best kind of symbolism; now you see it now you don't. By the time you discover it and get to understand it, it seems to lose its value. Then, just when you thought it was getting boring, along comes another set of symbols and the interest perks up anew - I just love symbolism , don't you?

Ciao - Rob C
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DDay
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2007, 08:29:32 PM »
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I'm no photographer but I kind of understood what you said st326. I wasn't trained a writer. I was actually trained as an IT professional. And yet, I opted to go for a profession I always loved which is to write.


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