I'm working to get the word out about this great product from Ancient Magic Art Tools. There's no school like the old school and this is definitely the way to go in terms of visual experience. This old technology, like any old photography, is much more beautiful than anything in our digital age. My experience with camera obscuras, ambrotypes and tintypes has opened my eyes to the craftsmanship of these modes of visual interpretations.
I love working on commissions because it drives me to try as hard as I can to produce a refined product. And as I work, I hone my process to try and find my own path. I am completely unaware of anything except the translation of my idea to the canvas. Being a paint brush for hire is very appealing to me, in terms of portraiture or any other subject because it is my job to create the image that hopefully will satisfy the patron. It's all rather like a puzzle that needs to be solved or like being a detective using a process for discovery. That is what really motivates me.
I really appreciate well crafted paintings of other artists, but I always have a hard time appreciating my own work. As a result, I form artistic technique crushes on artists and it drives me to obsessively learn as much about that artist as I can. I do not think this is a terrible thing because I have learned a lot of history and painting techniques through this obsessive drive. But lately, as a young artist, I feel like I am searching for techniques of my own. It is dangerous to over think the artistic process (i.e, color usage, brush stroke, medium recipes) because over-thinking leads to hesitation, which is something that I wrote about in an earlier blog post.
The fear that is associated with making a "bad painting" is something that I know that I struggle with. Truth be told, I want to make a beautiful painting every time I set out my palette. This is the wrong mindset for creation because production needs to rule over all things. Great composers of music churn out large volumes of music notation, not fretting about particulars in the beginning. And the same is true of great artists.
It may sound strange, but I encourage everyone to play the computer game: Super Meat Boy. It is a game where you have to run through an obstacle course without touching any of the spikes or pits, which result in death. The key to this analogy is that in Super Meat Boy, you have as many lives as you want and so there is no finite number that you need to obsess over. You can die over and over until you reach the end of the obstacle course. Once you reach your destination, the game replays all the deaths that your meat boy has gone through, knowing that only one of the meat boys makes it to the end. Painters can paint as many paintings as they want; the majority of paintings will fail, but getting back up and painting another and another and so on will produce the results. It all comes down to the quantity over quality, especially in the early stages of a painting. Be yourself, paint naturally, and learn to paint by painting. And watch this super meat boy youtube vid.