This is something I believe. It is not something I can prove. But I feel it to be true all the same.
I find that so many fellow students of art and even a few professional artists that I know are so concerned with what they are expected to produce or about what will sell or appeal to the masses, that they completely smother their inner light and individuality in trying to present that confection of a façade to the world. People seem to be so afraid to assert themselves, state what they stand for and include that essence in their work.
Rather, they want to have the right background, the right qualifications, they want to produce art that is acceptable. They are quite content to slavishly copy another artist’s style, even sub-consciously, without really digging into the depths of their own guts to find out what it is that they are all about. And in a few cases, having discovered that, so many fail to take that next vital step of stating their essence with pride, courage and unabashed, brazen confidence in their work.
So I believe this is a bad idea. Don’t become another watercolourist that produces an endless series of twee brown, green and blue pictures that look like awful photographs (unless that really IS who you are, of course). It’s a waste of everybody’s time and a dreadful waste of art materials.
I think what matters is authenticity. People don’t just buy your work, they buy into your whole being – your philosophy, approach, mission, values, passion, drives, ideas, madness, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities – the complete artist.
That means that to be a good artist, what matters most is to discover what you stand for and stand for it. Stand for it in all you do. Make a stand. Stand by what you stand for.
Only then will you become an acceptable artist and produce acceptable art.
(Maybe they call it “stand oil” for a reason)