艺术质人物 Artistic people
Fear of Falling — An Artist’s Life
Today, if you ask me who I am, or what I do, I will tell you easily and naturally, “I am an artist.” It wasn’t always easy. It took years of doubt to get to this point, but I figured out how to maintain my belief in myself as an artist, in the face of all obstacles. I would like to share my conclusions with you, in the hope of making your journey a little easier. You may recognize yourself in the following biography.
When I was four years old, I started making pictures for the sheer joy of it. I spent the long summer days of my childhood drawing on a makeshift plywood table in the back yard, completely enthralled. The sun would go down and all my colors turn blue before I realized it was time to go in. In junior high school, my textbooks were filled with drawings; I illuminated the chapter headings and drew unicorns and dragons on the title pages. I drew what I saw in my mind and it seemed magical — this mysterious power to make beautiful things that did not exist in ‘real life.’ By the time I reached high school, my talent had impressed my teachers, and when asked what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up,’ it was the most natural thing in the world to answer “I’ll be an artist.”
When applying to college, sending out my slides, and filling in the part about my goals, it was more difficult to assert that I was an artist. After all, by now I’d read and been taught enough to know better. An artist was somebody like Picasso, or Jackson Pollack, or Andy Warhol. A celebrity. A famous guy. Later in college I realized that my figurative, surrealistic style was unpopular among the faculty — one teacher (the only female among thirty art teachers) told me that I would never be taken seriously if I continued to do representational work. She used the words ‘dilettante’ and ‘Sunday painter.’ I overheard a (male) sculpture teacher telling a small group of male disciples that they didn’t need to worry about competition from ‘the girls’ because “. . .they’re just going to get married and make babies.” Since I didn’t realize that I was already an artist, with valid ideas I’d been formulating for years, I wasn’t ready to question those judgements. To satisfy my teachers I tried to change my style again and again and hated the results. My heart wasn’t in it and I lost my ‘voice.’
By the time I graduated, I had studied printmaking, jewelry, sculpture, painting, 2- and 3-D design, anatomy, life drawing, ceramics, and more, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in visual art, magna cum laude. But for six agonizing years after college I could hardly make art. For one thing, I was too tired to be creative — always working or looking for work or a place to live, and barely surviving. If I had had children at the time, the story might have ended right there. Though not ambitious, I somehow had absorbed the idea that pursuing a ‘career’ was the important thing in life, the adult thing to do. I had sold some drawings and prints in college, but that seemed accidental, rather than a career choice. Pitifully unprepared by my fine arts education to show or sell my work, let alone support myself, the only ‘marketable’ skills I had acquired were an eye for composition, a willingness to work with my hands, and typing. So I made molds in a dental lab, proofread blueprints at IBM and did layout and design for a couple of ad agencies. Though I felt terrible anxiety because I wasn’t creating, I decided, “Aha! Advertising must be the career I’m cut out for. It’s something I know how to do.”
In college I had been trained out of making art just for the fun of it. Remember, now, art is a serious business. Oh, you’re not supposed to just enjoy the pleasure of creation. You’re also not supposed to worry about someday selling your work, or even showing it. Just concentrate on theory and make a meaningful statement about deconstructionism, or form versus function. Since my greatest joy in art was to create my own worlds, making a spiritual connection to a larger universe, I hid my feelings about my work and didn’t talk to anyone about them. And now that I was out of college, I had even lost the context in which to take art so terribly seriously. I lost touch with the student artists I had known. I had never joined an arts organization and had no sense of community .
Though I still produced a few paintings and drawings for my own pleasure, I stopped telling people that I was an artist, partly for fear they might ask if I’d sold anything, or what gallery represented me, and would find out that I was a fraud. And a little voice kept telling me I was no good, that my ideas weren’t important, serious ideas, that I was just a girl, and a fraud, that I couldn’t make money making art, and that making art was a self-indulgent? luxury. I told myself to wake up and admit that I could never be an artist.
But being an artist had been the core of my identity, and now there was nothing to fill the void. The less I painted, the worse I felt. I was seriously depressed for some years before I finally became desperate enough to try to change my way of thinking.
In 1986 I decided to start a new life, one in which I could say “I am an artist” to myself, and to anybody who asked, without excuses, or feeling that I had to prove it. Since then, I’ve been in dozens of shows, worked in four art organizations, taught art workshops, and have sold a lot of work. In order to arrive at this point I had to change my approach to living life as an artist.
Here’s my 10-point plan:
Since your belief in yourself as an artist hinges on your ability to create, you must put your creative time and resources ahead of all other obligations in your life. If being an artist is central to who you are, you must put that first. Everything else will follow.
1.) Tell people you are an artist. Say “I am an artist” to your family, friends, mate, boss, or therapist… Not “I’m artistic,” or “I’m trying to be an artist,” or I’m an account executive but I like to paint.” To be able to say it with confidence you have to start by saying it at all. Try, “I’m an artist, and I’m currently supporting my artistic career with work in another field.” This tells people what you think is important about yourself. Not your day job, because one year you’ll be saying “I am a salesperson,” the next year “I’m a legal secretary.” Then who are you? How will other people believe in your artist self enough to support your endeavors?
If you want to make being an artist possible, make the commitment, take a leap of faith. If you cannot tell people that you are an artist, it will be impossible to do the other things you need to do to make it come true.
2.) Make art your first job. If you are very lucky, you might get a paying job in a related field — fabric design, teaching art, illustration. But if you have a job you barely tolerate because you need the money, you must set aside a large chunk of time in which to be creative or you’ll go crazy. Cut back on your hours or work part-time! Making art is your first job. It’s a real job, no matter how little money you make doing it. (The IRS is happy to confirm this!) Other work, even if it pays more, has to come second in your heart. Keep reminding yourself and others that you have another, more important job to go to: creating art.
[I work in brief, very productive spells between long dry spells. Since I can’t schedule the creative urge, I’ve arranged my job to allow flexible creative time, whether I get the urge or not. A dependable part-time job and paycheck have meant security. When I free-lanced as a graphic artist I found myself spending my ‘free’ time worrying about the next job. I also learned to refuse extra work. Being firm about my commitment to my career as an artist convinced my employers that it was a conviction worth respecting, even if they didn’t understand it.]
If you can, put in a couple of hours a month with an arts organization or gallery. This is real work, if unpaid, that can get you art-world connections and credentials.
3.) Put your studio firstin your living arrangements. If you need to create where you live, because you work at odd hours or can’t afford a separate studio, then arrange your home around your studio. If your living room is the biggest room with the best light, make that room your studio, and don’t worry about guests. Which is more important to you, making art or entertaining? (If you need to, you can always make your studio comfortable enough for visitors or family.) If you need a separate studio, but can’t afford one, move! Find or share a cheaper apartment or share a studio.
4.) Put your creativity first in your relationships. If you’re not able to create, you’ll feel frustrated, resentful, unhappy, and will be no good to anyone. If your friends or family want to know why you need time in your studio instead of socializing or supporting them, explain to them clearly (not defensively) that you are an artist, that you take your work seriously, that it takes a lot of time, and that being creative is important to your happiness and your future. They will begin to respect your commitment. (If you need to be more specific, you can say that you are working on a show, because you are always working on a show.)
If your domestic partner or children are not actively involved in your work, you must separate your creative time and resources from them, by schedule or location, or you will be constantly trying to choose between them…an impossible task.
Sometimes crises in your relationships are more important than whatever you are doing in your studio. But if you constantly use up creative time and energy putting out emotional fires there will be nothing left to give to yourself or your work. You have to draw a line somewhere.
[At one point in a difficult relationship I realized that I was spending my time waiting around for the other person and was too anxious to create. When I realized how? many months I had been away from my work, I was distressed. I was sacrificing who I was for the relationship. I told my partner that I needed time and energy to be creative, and that I should not be forced to choose between my work and our relationship. When this was clear tome, it was clear to my partner, who became more supportive.]
5.) Make art part of your social life. Making art can get lonely. Attend art events, meet and talk to other artists, join arts organizations, and create a sense of community for yourself in which art is important. When you are creating, you spend a lot of time by yourself and you can lose your perspective. If you spend time with other people to whom making art is a worthwhile enterprise, you will feel strengthened and encouraged, and it will validate what you do when you’re alone. You will also make the connections you need to survive, and you will get information about shows, grants, supplies, and a whole range of opportunities that you might not otherwise hear about.
6.) Sell your work. If you want to reach the point where all you do is make art, selling your work will be very important. Because if you don’t sell your work ,you will end up doing some other job to make money (unless you are independently wealthy). You will use up your creative time and energy in a job that does not engage your heart, though it might exercise your intellect.
Never give your work away without thinking about it very carefully. Your work is your life blood. It is the fruit of years of training and effort, and is the foundation of your portfolio. When you give away a work of art, you lessen the value of the rest of your work, partly because you appear to value it so little. However, a donation to a cause that is important to you can create good publicity about your work.
Be careful about accepting commissions. Make sure that you will be paid enough to compensate for compromising or redirecting your creativity. Don’t take a commission unless you are very comfortable with the medium and clear about the concept involved, or you will probably regret it.
To support yourself through art alone, you must accept that part of your precious creative time and energy will be spent on marketing your work :
1.) improving your presentation (framing, portfolio, slides),
2.) publicity (invitations, mailing list, artist statement & resume),
3.) showing (contacting galleries, competitions, holding your own open studios), and
4.) getting funding (grants, loans, residencies, or, yes, a part-time job.) If you need instruction or support in these areas, take a class or join an organization like California Lawyers for the Arts, Artists in Print or Artists Equity.
7.) Be true to your art/heart. You must not allow the intention to sell your work change your style or subject matter. For one thing, all the joy will go out of it. For another, your style, your ideas are what make your work unique! If your work is currently unfashionable, you may have to work harder and longer to show or sell, but eventually you will find the right audience for your vision. People will not buy your work on the basis of whether it is fashionable, or a good investment. They will buy it because they respond to it, for reasons of their own. The clearer you are about what you are trying to convey, and the more faithful you are in translating your vision into your medium, the stronger will be the response from your audience.
Don’t dismiss any of your creative ideas, no matter how trivial. Curiosity is your best friend. Most of the things that interest us deeply are things we were curious about as small children. (Einstein’s interest in invisible forces began with a compass he got when he was seven.) Hold on to all your ideas. Carry a small sketchbook or notebook whenever you can. Often your subconscious will prompt you, when playing or doodling, to pursue an idea that will later inspire you to serious work.
8.) Take classes and workshops. You may temporarily lose your inspiration or become discouraged about your current direction. You may find it difficult to schedule creative time, or you may have absolutely no self-discipline and succumb to every distraction that comes along. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up connections to the art community. In all these cases, a regular class will get your motor going again. You will always be working on something, even if it’s only an exercise in color, or studies in a new medium. Artists, like dancers, never stop taking classes,? never stop learning.
9.) Don’t worry. Be happy. You do not need to be unhappy, an alcoholic or crazy to see visions and make beautiful things. In fact, the true symptoms of creative thinking are joy, curiosity, clarity, and a single-minded, almost obsessive concentration.
Don’t harp on mistakes or losses; they’re part of your training and may inspire new work. Take joy in your ability to solve these problems and to make use of interesting accidents. Your interest in problem-solving may have gotten you into art in the first place.
Take dry spells in your stride or the anxiety will interfere with the creative thinking that your subconscious is always engaged in. Your subconscious is busy day and night, turning over ideas, memories, dreams, and making connections. Let it work, while you do something calming or playful, renew your energy. Remind yourself often of the joy you feel while you are creating, your satisfaction in problem-solving, your delight in making discoveries, your sheer sensual response to shapes and colors.
If you experience a creeping feeling of fraudulence, especially as you get ready for a show or talk about your work, keep in mind that this is a well-known fear among artists, similar to stage-fright. (Women artists seem to suffer more acutely from this feeling.) Just roll with it; it will pass. There is a little critic in the back of your mind that sounds like all the voices of your family and teachers rolled into one. This critic or censor is a part of you that is terribly afraid of failure, and may whisper negative things in your ear to make you stop trying new or risky things, in a misguided effort to protectyou. Know it for what it is, and ignore it.
Most important: every morning when you wake up, give yourself a minute with your eyes closed, and say to yourself “I deserve to be happy,” or “I am a wonderful, prolific artist.” If it doesn’t come easily, you need to say it more often. This is not just talk — words have power, and as the days go by, you will discover that they become true.
10.) Return to the source. If you ever lose your way, re-think your priorities. What things are you putting ahead of your artistic self? Is something else using up your creative time and energy? You may need to make some of the changes I’ve suggested above. Go down the list. Or perhaps you simply need to take a break. Even a corn field has to rest between crops, or it becomes drained of all nutrients and is no longer suitable for growing things.
Always remember this, once you are an artist, you are always an artist. Like swimming, you cannot forget how to create. The source of your inspiration may occasionally seem hidden by the brambles of daily life, but it is always there at your center, like a deep pool of clear water, a spring welling up from the depths of your persona, self-renewing, and waiting for you to plunge in.
You can see my work by going to the Artist Eye Gallery
To support your creative process, read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
To understand creative thinking from a psychological standpoint read John Briggs’ The Fire in the Crucible.
For practical advice about the business of art, read Toby Klayman’s The Artist’s Survival Manual. (Order directly from Toby Klayman. $25 plus tax and plus $3 shipping and handling. firstname.lastname@example.org)
To support your goal of achieving your dreams, read Barbara Sher’s Wishcraft.
More books(suggested by John Jacobsen)
The Blank Canvasby Anna Held Audette. An excellent (and small!) introduction to learning how to work and overcome obstacles as an artist
Art and Fearby David Bayles (and others). Another excellent book about the same topic
The Natural Way to Drawby Kimon Nikolaides. A classic text in drawing
Books by Robert Beverly Hale. Beautiful series on classical figure drawing illustrated with old master drawings
1#作者：zhangfei0421 回复日期：2010-9-27 12:59:00
下载手机软件游戏上掌中天涯:wap.tianya.cn2#作者：破烂摇滚 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:12:00
个人觉得周的声音的特点比较接近 Axl Rose ,枪花的主唱
3#作者：铃儿响叮当wwy 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:20:00
昨晚周劲震撼到我的心灵！都已是多元化世界了，为什么容不下他呢。。。4#作者：破烂摇滚 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:26:00
作者：铃儿响叮当wwy 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:20:00
摇滚在西方过家是主流文化,在东发国家就不是了.5#作者：水的名字 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:33:00
只可惜，寡不敌众6#作者：咖啡美人志 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:33:00
：）7#作者：lzy加一档 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:40:00
请记住，这是在中国，大悲剧8#作者：破烂摇滚 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:53:00
作者：lzy加一档 回复日期：2010-9-27 13:40:00
留给人们的永远是执著的精神.9#作者：小蚂蚁2010zgl 回复日期：2010-9-27 14:00:00
周劲松的风格变化的太快了，就连评委都接受不了，更何况不是太懂音乐的观众呢？10#作者：工人小乙 回复日期：2010-9-27 14:40:00
高雅，高雅侬晓得伐？11#作者：青蛇1981 回复日期：2010-9-27 16:01:00
可惜啊，没人欣赏，他的确是一音乐达人~12#作者：chentaoeptte 回复日期：2010-9-27 16:59:00
周劲松我支持你！13#作者：上海_尘埃落定 回复日期：2010-9-28 10:24:00
这就是他的音乐力量，称得上中国达人，与那些通过示弱来博取“感动”的其他人，上猇是多么强大，我们支持你，你的音乐是你的热爱，也是我们的热爱。15#作者：非专业痞子流氓 回复日期：2010-9-28 16:43:00
此次达人秀中的唯一达人16#作者：默聲 回复日期：2010-9-28 16:43:00
蛮不错的！~~~~~~~~17#作者：默聲 回复日期：2010-9-28 16:51:00
周劲松 好帅啊 我勒个草 作为一个男人 也不能不承认啊 看起来好年轻！18#作者：pinkogemini 回复日期：2010-9-28 16:55:00
顶19#作者：白了发的魔女 回复日期：2010-9-28 17:42:00
有些话，我想说清楚 是的，周劲松被淘汰了，比赛，有输有赢。可以理解。 但有些不知道的东西，我得说出来。 周劲松，当天唱的是《龙的传人》。其实节目组安排他唱的歌是《猫》，呵呵，是骑在老虎上，关在笼子里唱。我看见很多人说周的衣服不合适，我也可以告诉你们，是节目组安排周这么穿的。 一个46岁的男人了，说实话，在中国地下坚持做这个音乐不容易，真的不容易，就如他所说，至少我对得起我的音乐。默默无闻了这么多年，到底还是坚持下来了。 节目组把他当什么？当马戏团的小丑？穿着那样的衣服，骑着老虎，唱猫，呵呵，这是音乐，不是做秀谢谢。一个节目要收视率，我理解，但要有良心。你们他妈的把一个46岁坚持着自己的老男人当什么了？工具？你们知道他爱动物，结果把动物当什么了？工具？ 其实开场的节奏是《猫》，网上的2个视频就是茶几做的，所以很熟悉这个前奏，是周劲松本人临时换成了龙的传人。知道意思么？这是不妥协的骨气。也是一个中国老摇滚人的骨气。 周劲松当时是想过妥协的。但是他为了音乐，还是坚持了自己。这也是伊能静为什么最后结巴的说：你坚持做自己，你是我的榜样。这样说，大家理解了吧？ 至于舞台和道具方面的小手脚，这里我就不说了，有些人看出来了。 我写这个的目的，是告诉一些人，他放弃了比赛，但他保护了摇滚。这是真实的音乐，他得到的是可怜的27票，但他赢的了自己的坚持。
?KUILEI，看过他博客的人都知道。他做到了，这只是游戏。 现在你们可以理解为什么他唱完后3个评位的表情那么难看和尴尬了？？也可以理解周本人最后那无奈的笑了？是他不想继续了。一个46岁的老摇滚人，是值得尊重的。摇滚这种音乐，的确是种手段，但还不是被这些人拿来庸俗的娱乐的。 我奉劝周的FANS停止复活投票。不要让音乐再被侮辱一次。 这也是周本人放弃它的原因。一首龙的传人，告诉你一个真正的音乐人该有的骨气。 茶几说看到那前奏他却唱龙的传人时，他哭了。其实这是周的坚持，他保护好了自己的尊严。我不能去想他内心到底有多少委屈，但我感谢他带来了那些音乐。 最后，我想说的是，各位吧友也别闹了，保持素质。周自己也没为自己叫苦，我们也应当克制。其实带上耳机，按下播放键，这就是对周劲松本人最大的鼓励和尊重。这么多年都走过来了，我相信他。 中国达人秀，这真的只是一场秀。但至少谢谢你让我知道了周劲松。 因为我可以自豪而且自信的告诉我身边的外国朋友，听听看，这就是中国的摇滚。虽然在中国它（他）活的是那么的难。
?21#作者：jerrysam1212 回复日期：2010-9-28 18:25:00
力挺周劲松，那帮评委算什么，又怎么懂得摇滚，懂得音乐22#作者：很多很多年 回复日期：2010-9-28 19:52:00
不要打我,我赶紧逃.23#作者：黑白心事 回复日期：2010-9-28 19:56:00
周劲松,无所谓失败,你只是站错舞台了.24#作者：digohu 回复日期：2010-9-28 20:20:00
我蛮欣赏他的，说实话，达人秀里没几个达人，还没我要上春晚里的表演精彩。。。25#作者：yokimihide 回复日期：2010-9-28 20:36:00
中国是个河蟹大国啊！！！无奈了。。26#作者：langht 回复日期：2010-9-28 20:39:00
认真比赛，做好自己。27#作者：lilymaggie 回复日期：2010-9-29 9:02:00
就冲他不用手机这点，我就爱上他了。true man！30#作者：什么都要注册啊 回复日期：2010-9-29 10:17:00
他是达人秀里我最欣赏的人。真的自由。31#作者：天尚人涧 回复日期：2010-9-29 10:36:00
加油吧，Mr.zhou，失去了晋级的机会，你却赢得了尊重…谢谢你带给我们的震撼32#作者：忆颜 回复日期：2010-9-29 11:08:00
其实像他这样的人，很多北漂的“演艺人”都差不多啦…33#作者：jovi_xu 回复日期：2010-9-29 11:23:00
周劲松这样水准的艺人。。地下酒吧里多的是。。。34#作者：Eros_san 回复日期：2010-9-29 16:50:00
地下酒吧多的是吗，有几个人能像他一样坚持自己，坚持摇滚。35#作者：打情骂俏20年 回复日期：2010-9-29 17:42:00
周劲松，这个名字我记住了。36#作者：老爷进书房 回复日期：2010-9-29 19:05:00
其并不是唯一。37#作者：开一千年落一千年 回复日期：2010-9-29 20:12:00
挺喜欢他的。38#作者：jennyxin3270 回复日期：2010-10-3 7:50:00
这是周劲松的博客, 去看一看， 这是一颗什么样的灵魂.
”我怕疼, 但看到遍地荆棘, 我就不怕了”—-周劲松39#作者：来盗你的梦 回复日期：2010-10-3 15:28:00
顶40#作者：帅哥美女就是好 回复日期：2010-10-5 20:07:00
有的网友说松哥的造型象鬼，我不知道说出这种话的人对世界人的时尚了解多少，也不知道您的年龄，也许是您接受不了！您可以不喜欢但请不要重伤！世界级明星LADY GAGA我想在很多时尚青年的眼中都不陌生，她的声线就很诡异，造型就更不用多说！她被封为引导时尚的先驱，在世界上我想很少有人说她是鬼，至少在西方人眼里那些叫创意！LADY GAGA世界巡回演唱会场场爆满，门票再贵都买不到，谁敢说她不是达人！