Sunday, May 24, 2009
In a yahoo group that I am involved in an excerpt from an interview was shared with Rice Freeman-Zachary In which she was asked to give advice to artists starting out. Her comments were great and were about the whole ball of wax of work and practice to become and artist. I really enjoyed her statements and thought I'd add my own.
The young people I teach at CFCC often say to me things like: "I don't think art should be graded. Or why are you making us do it THAT/YOUR way? Or why should it be better or perfect? there shouldn't be any 'perfect' in art, it should just be fun right?" Wrong.... Personally, most of them are just trying to get out of work or get away with sloppy, lazy projects. I constantly have to explain to them that they are in SCHOOL, and there have to be criteria of judging whether or not they did the work and "got" the concepts to earn the credit. And I have to constantly stress "craftsmanship". I have to over and over again explain that you don't learn a process jut watching me do it, or just doing it once. Musicians don't play a scale once and go, "Great, that's done. I'm all ready for Carnegie Hall now!" Why should we? A singer finds their voice through work so should an artist. But it is so hard to get across the concepts of artistic "work" to a button pushing,
vending machine society. There are reasons we use the word "art" and "body of work" in the same sentence (and have for hundreds of years). We are elevating a craft to another level when we use the word "art" or "aesthetic". We are working to perfect, or better yet achieve something. As Rice says you have to decide what that is. Working at your love can, and usually is, fun. When we work we discover. Accidents happen just as in a lab and the scientist discovers an new formula through trial and error. Our studios or dining room tables should be viewed as the crucibles and labs where we "work" out our visual play and hopefully arrive at "Art" however we define it.