Have you ever been assaulted by an apathetic comment from a member of the art police ? From my perspective, art police exist in both mind and body. As an artist, I see and hear art cops everywhere. They manifest in my head spouting counter-intuitive self-talk every time I show up to work on a canvas. They exist as actual people who express their off-handed opinions whenever I dare to expose myself as an artist and show my art in public. Comments from members of the art police can truly suck the joy, or potential life, out of any creative endeavor. Your personal art cop may have a zillion theories about where art comes from, who is a better artist, and what counts as art. The reality is that art police are just ignorant wind-bags who dole out inspiration-deflating jabs on a whim. Enough already!
Negative off-handed comments are always hurtful. My personal defense tactic is humor. I tend to make jokes about my own creative abilities (and art work) before others do. I’ve also learned to embrace imperfection in art and through the pursuit of imperfection I have discovered what makes my art unique, and how to define my artistic style. Generally, I don’t let paint blobs, or watery marks bother me. I usually just dab paint on top of the blooper and carry on.
With years of art production under my belt I’ve learned to ignore most comments from silly art cops; although, recently I had a very nasty encounter with a member of the art police whose comment truly tested my resolve. What happens when you find yourself winded by an art cop? Where can you turn for creative and emotional support? I highly recommend taking a workshop with fellow artist, Lucie Walker who recently helped me patch things up between my battered creative ego and my wounded muse.
If you believe comments such as, “Art is a waste of time”, or “What were you thinking when you created that?” Or worse yet, “I’m not an artist,” then you have an art cop in your head too. Want my advice? Give the little sucker a karate chop and then push his preachy little butt out of your head. Good riddance!
Conjuring artistic inspiration takes courage and maintaining creative confidence is always a huge challenge. Because artists create using their honest emotion, the energy they expend to create art is often connected to vulnerable feelings and creative blockages may manifest through encounters of genuine fear and pain. Therefore I believe every artist sets herself up for a torturous experience whenever confidence wanes and an art cop stands at the ready. Yes, there is an art cop living inside the head of every artist.
When I stepped into Lucie’s art studio for the first time, I was excited to be there, I was excited to paint again. I looked forward to the support of others (like me) who sought inspiration. At the end of the day I felt truly supported and inspired again. I was connected to my muse again and it felt great, and the feeling continues. Lucie gave me some effective tools to help me fend off art police, for sure.
Even if you have no desire to paint, yet you seek some creative stimulation in other ways, Lucie’s artwork will give you an emotional lift. I’ve been following Lucie’s career as an artist from the beginning of her journey with paint. I continue to visit her web site and cruise through her gallery to catch a glimpse of her latest paintings. I love the color and light and feeling that Lucie’s paintings exude. I catch myself daydreaming as I gaze into each of her many painted scenes. Maybe you will too. http://www.happyaccidentart.com
Thank you, Lucie, for your genuine friendship your helpful guidance and your heartfelt support. Thank you for helping me to overcome my recent creative stumbling blocks. Thank you for giving me permission to play without feeling guilty. Thank you for helping me to diminish the weight of indifferent comments from my art police. Thank you for allowing me to deeply and profoundly love and respect myself as an artist. Most of all thank you for helping me to realize that every time I show up to create a painting, I can expect and enjoy only happy accidents.
You can find out more about Lucie’s art workshops at: http://www.happyaccidentart.com