Today, I finally had to draw a line in the sand when it comes to my work and what others may think of it. Will this person like this or that!!! Should I add more of this or less of that ... go big or small ... WTF!
Kerry James Marshall told me and my friend Zoe once (after we snuck into the SFMOMA to see him before his show open) that if we did work only to please curators, galleries and dealers we had lost our souls. He was right. I think artists should do the work that feeds their soul and get the message THEY want out to the world whether everyone gets it or not!
I don't think an artist will ever move forward if they spend any part of their studio time doubting themselves or trying to do work that will please certain people or a certain audience. Because chances are the work will start to look convoluted and diluted,which is the last thing any artist wants. And if this happens no one wins especially the people you want to reach.
Finding ones artistic voice is not an easy task amongst a multitude of voices in the art world, but it is extremely important that we become explorers in our own practice and this may mean closing our practice to some people while we seek out that voice.
For the most part it's important to have people in your studio when you need a fresh eye on the work but be wise who you bring in. The last thing you need is for someone to throw you off your game or push their agenda on to your work. What they don't realize is this can wreak your practice.
For example, my mother loves me, but she doesn't understand my practice so, I don't invite her over when I'm grappling with a new ideas or work.
This will always be a "pro artists" blog and all I'm saying is choose wisely when it comes to who you allow in those sensitive areas of your practice.
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