Great post from artist Nicholas Wilton about more than art
Can We See You?
ready to be seen? This seems like a pretty basic question but I am realizing
that for many people the answer is not completely a yes. I am speaking of their
Art, whatever that may be, but because your Art comes from you, it is actually
quite a bit closer to home than your Art. It is actually about you.
It is a
natural desire to want to bring more creativity into your life. I see this over
and over again with people I meet. Most people are not able to drop into this
arena as much as they would like in their lives. The tricky part about
Creativity is that there is always something, be it a painting, a song, piece of
sculpture, a manuscript—something that will be created. This thing will be
outside of ourselves. It will be seen and then it will be judged by others.
There in lies the fear.
bigger our statement, the more daring we go with scale or audience, which in
turn increases the potential for judgment. Just posting on Facebook, or putting
up a website, potentially exposes you to thousands of people. This can be
challenging. It is this reluctance – caused by fear – that can so easily stifle
our creativity or block our dreams from materializing.
stuck in this place too. And then I remember this: the best work, the best art,
the best writing, the best conversations all contain within them this element of
vulnerability. It is almost as if good work of any kind should have at least a
small amount of Fear associated with it. I believe that is what good work
actually is…work that is born out of taking a risk, going a little further into
the center of the stage, allowing your work and as a result, you, to be seen by
others even if you are not sure.
trick I do on paintings that are turning out to be just mediocre is to do
something bold, something unplanned, something irreverent, something that I do
not know will work. I just totally wing it. This “deliberate mistake” in
midstream can really bring something interesting to the work. We think struggle
and unsureness are limitations but I see them more as fundamental building
blocks to great work – of any kind. When we are nervously moving away from what
we know, into uncharted areas, we expose ourselves. When we allow ourselves to
be seen even when we don’t know the answer, then and only then do things get
interesting, not just for us but for everyone else as well.
regards to our work, simply stated, the more we can show of ourselves the more
personal and different our work will appear. This is a crucial little idea that
is at the heart of the only business plan I teach to creatives who are trying to
expand their following. The idea being that work that is more like you will be
more unique (because everyone is utterly different from everyone else!) and if
you are willing and brave enough to make work that feels like you, to really
figure out what you love to make, then and only then will the outside world
really start to take notice. The world, it turns out, craves things that are as
different and unique as you. But first, you have to be willing to be