a good artist knows where to draw the line
When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. he sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.
When I read this letter of Van Gogh’s it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *academical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on.
But the moment I read Van Gogh’s letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it.
And Van Gogh’s little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care."
kate’s trouble-free guide on how to tell if drawings are reposts:
- the op will not have an art blog, regularly post art, or have an art tag. basically, if they don’t also have some other work in a feasibly similar style, they probably stole it from somewhere else
- the images are often cropped weirdly. this is because the op is lazy and can’t even screenshot things properly without wrecking them
- the images might be arranged in an order that doesn’t make sense. this is because the op has browsed an artist’s tumblr, screenshot things haphazardly and then re-uploaded them. as a result, the post will probably have no clear direction or sense of continuity
- there’s no artist comment, and trust me on this: we artists like to say why we drew a thing. we will rarely just post a drawing with no caption - and if we DO post one with no caption, our tags will have some frantic garbled explanation of the drawing or why we did it or what went wrong when we drew it. trust me.
how should you deal with a repost?
- don’t reblog it
- don’t reblog it
- please don’t reblog it we artists are poor and frazzled so at the very least, please let us keep our dignity!!
People have written a lot of touchy-feely pieces on this subject but I thought I’d get right to the heart of the matter
My advice for losing passion or drive is kinda different than most my friends so take that with a grain of salt, but I can only say what’s worked for me: Make yourself work. Doesn’t matter what you’re working on, don’t let yourself sit around not doing anything. You don’t have to take on, like, your opus or anything… but you need to be doing something with your art. You need to make a project, and hold yourself accountable for finishing it. Even if it looks like trash or its a failed experiment, its okay to make bad stuff. You learn from making bad stuff. Just keep your hands busy, keep your brain busy.
If I waited for when I felt my “groove” or had passion for it, I’d probably be out of a job because there was a 3 month period not long ago when I was burnt out and tired of drawing/writing, but I had to cuz its my job. I did good work I was proud of, regardless of being in my groove. I just had to find a motivation that wasn’t passion for those 3 months… which turned out to be “fear of not getting paid” and “refusing to drop quality.”
I am not of the opinion people should only work when they feel inspired. Sometimes, you just have to do it. You have to sit down and work. You have to find a reason to keep going at it during the times when the passion isn’t there, cuz the passion will not always be there.
like I said, take my advise with a grain of salt. This is what’s worked for me and how I function.
This is very good advice.
I also find that it can help to do a *different* kind of art to build up your groove. I got burned out on digital art after I had 3 big projects plus working full time in a one-month span, so I took a break from photoshop and did a lot of mixed media arts & crafts. I had another friend take up glassblowing when she lost her passion for jewelry-making.