Artist’s Voice


I just went to an art opening at the Walker’s point Center for the arts (WPCA). I realized something while I was there, it seems obvious, but it just clicked today. Great artists have a point of view. They have something to say, an idea that they want to convey. I need to figure out what I want to express. I have been afraid to articulate what I believe and what I have to say.

What topic do I want to explore now? The idea that there is an invisible interconnected interdependent web that connects everybody and everything across time and space. We are all connected to each other in a meaningful way. That sounds spiritual. I’m also interested in art itself, what makes something art? What role does art play in our society? What role does the artist play? I don’t have a good answer for myself. I need to redefine my world, what is possible? What do I believe? What unseen assumptions are holding me back? Those are fascinating questions to me.

I believe in questioning, following your curiosity, and that there is value in art. Expressing my own unique point of view is part of my job as an artist. One role that the artist plays is that of the questioner, the disruptor. I don’t believe in absolutes, black or white, the world holds so many shades of gray. In exploring opposing viewpoints I clarify my own. No one needs a wishy-washy artist, but at the same time, as soon as you are certain of something you are wrong. Painting doesn’t have to be my medium I think that I’ll return to doing to fiber and installation art.

The unseen relationships fascinate me. What can I explore that is interesting to me now that will bring value to others? What new spin can I bring to those age-old questions? I want to start a long-term project, Maybe about overcoming fear and the resistance, about showing up every day in the face of uncertainty.

Uncertainty will always be there, It’s what you do in the face of it that counts. What am I passionate about, what lights a fire under my ass? I wonder why I’m afraid to articulate so many things fully. I think it’s a fear of commitment, once I put something into words, it becomes concrete and real, even though stating an opinion is not an obligation to hold that belief forever. Having an opinion and being wrong isn’t the end of the world. In the end, I want to be known for something. I want to stand for my convictions, but at the same time I need to hold on loosely, I’m not a fundamentalist. Maybe I already know the answers to all my questions, I need to start asking the right ones.

When I ask myself, “What do I believe in?”, “What do I stand for?”, “What is my art is about?” and “What impact do I want to make on the world?”, I hear the fear and resistance whisper to me: “What if people don’t like it? How will you support yourself with that? How are you survive?.”

First of all, “everybody’s” opinion doesn’t matter to me, I need to choose a select group of people who I care about, Whose views are of value to me. Secondly, worrying about money hasn’t gotten me very far. I‘m not making money from my paintings now, and I’m not sure I ever will. Why not start doing something more interesting? Something that has a strong point of view, that wasn’t created from a place of fear, but from a place of love for the craft, from passion? I need to stop trying to do everything and just do what I’m good at, the future will take care of itself.

I need to let myself have ideas and dream big. I want to create meaningful art, I’ve been so afraid, I need to start stepping into myself. I can only create the art that I can create, I have to stop trying to create someone else’s art. Having a strong point of view is an asset, not a liability.

 

 

My art
My paintings on display at the Magnet Factory during Bay View Gallery Night

 

14 thoughts on “Artist’s Voice”

  1. Hi! Carley, Your last sentence rings true…at least I think, and Rosie’s question about trusting your own instinct is apt and to the point. No matter who one is or what positions one holds, not every one will agree or understand, and some will always be found to want their own opposing views to be known. Few artists make a living in their chosen field. Some persons believe success might be (a) making a living…or a lot of money thru sales (b) gaining notoriety and celebrity (c) participating in the creative process is reward enough (d) finding one’s own “voice” as part of the creative process (e) we are one of the thinking creatures in the Universe, perhaps the mind of the Universe as a result, and we extend the universal creative evolving impulse by being creative ourselves.

    1. “we are one of the thinking creatures in the Universe, perhaps the mind of the Universe as a result, and we extend the universal creative evolving impulse by being creative ourselves.” Thank you for that, I really enjoyed your comment.

  2. “The unseen relationships fascinate me. What can I explore that is interesting to me now that will bring value to others? What new spin can I bring to those age-old questions? I want to start a long-term project, Maybe about overcoming fear and the resistance, about showing up every day in the face of uncertainty.” – I think it would be really interesting to see what comes of you exploring those larger ideas through your art. Thanks for sharing!! Your writing and exploration of your art through your blog is indicative of your progress as you move forward in your art and searching for it’s meaning/your passion.

  3. Carley, your blog post was an art work to me. Maybe writing is one of your mediums. Not sure why writing a blog post might be not be seen as art. You have/had a message, and you were so driven to convey it that you used the medium that resonated the most to you, writing. Your message, opinion and purpose are all there in your blog post.

    Your writing and ideas resonated strongly with me. We’re all connected, there’s a ton of gray in the world, nothing is definite, uncertainty is scary as fuck.

    Writing could be added to fiber, installation art and you can have fun with painting.

    Good luck and please keep writing, I was asking myself the same questions as you and realized that writing is my passion as well, i feel better when I express myself in words, but my fear comes from my English writing not coming off smart enough or making stupid grammatical mistakes. When I was reading your article, I didn’t care nor notice any written English mistakes because what mattered to me is what you were conveying/communicating.

    Thank you

    1. Thank you. I really appreciate this comment, I think that writing is the medium that is speaking to me the most right now, which is scary because I’ve been calling myself and artist.

  4. I’ve been struggling with the same, and feel I always will be…One of my main fears is “what if I’m not making something original, what is the point?”. But I have to remind myself it IS original and it means something to me

    1. Thank you, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this struggle. This blog post was a hard one to publish because it was so personal.

  5. This is excellent !! As a fellow artist I face so many of the same fears, the uncertainties and hold myself culpable for an this unreasonable set of beliefs. Maybe this internal value system stems from my fear that what I create has to be perfect,and directly speak, with intention, to a whole audience; meaning, everyone who engages one my of piece of art. I forget that not everyone will love my art; yet I have this intense desire to please my imagined audience. As a creator, it’s easy to forget, that I am not alone in my struggles. So often, we are caught up in our own dialect that we avidly sit and try to circular reason our way out of these circumstances. This results in frustration and lack of productivity. Methodically it seems, this self doubt has takeon a new form of expression, Via- Artist’s Voice- This type of forum is a great way for u
    artists to foster relationships with one another while disrupting this internal dialogue. By voicing our thoughts and turning our confusion into words, headstrong this tool helps lead to more thought provoking art. I love this and have done this before, but alone where only I can see the words maybe this was for my own diplomacy. Your article stated that maybe you were a fundamentalist, maybe that makes me an opportunist because it too your voice to hear mine. I anticipate seeing reading more in your new medium of words. Thank you !!

      1. Thank you. I’m sorry for the misspellings..I wish there was an edit button. Haha..I’m on a small cell phone at work. ??

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