Cult of Stuff part 8

“My art is better than your art.” My Art, Le Tigre

Flip that sentiment on its side and you’ve got what seems to be a popular sentiment (Your art is better than my art) in the art and craft community. The industry spends a lot of time making artists and crafts people feel that their art is inferior to what the industry is pumping out, leaving you with the feeling that you MUST have this new shiny tool.

I call it magic-bullet syndrome- you can’t conquer your inferior art without it and you are constantly on a search for it. You have no idea what your magic-bullet will be but you keep searching for it.

Here’s my take on it, tune the industry out.

All this stuff is perception. My art isn’t better than your art. Your art is just fine. Your art is a reflection of  you. You need to set goals for yourself and then strive to achieve them. I wanted to draw faces better, so I set a goal that by the end of the year I’d be able to draw and paint faces better. I set about doing this by practicing. (if you look at my flickr you can see my progression.) I put time in at my easel and with my art journal and I practiced. I enlisted people on FaceBook to send me images of their face. Then I drew them and I painted them.

In the end I didn’t need any fancy tools- simply paper and pencils, later gesso and acrylics and watercolors, and lots and lots of practice.

My point is that I didn’t need a magic-bullet and here’s a secret, neither do you. What you need to do is sit down with your materials and experiment, see what they can do, and what YOU can do with them.

You can make art with anything. Van Gogh cut his own pens out of reeds. Picasso and other artists drew by dipping a stick into ink. The truth is you don’t need all the fancy stuff, sometimes a stick will do.

There is no shortcut. The only way to get to your version of better is to practice and to experiment. Fill up art journals, draw, doodle, paint, and collage.

Enjoy the stuff you have.