I am going to say that authentic work is work that comes from you, the artist, honestly. The images are not imitating other artists, they are not coming from a place of people-pleasing or trying to anticipate what the market will favor. It sounds simple, right?
How do you peel away the layers of influences that are inevitable and necessary, to find what is uniquely you, or what is true for you? Voices in our heads can include:
- Any rules we were taught about what makes good design or composition
- Our Inner Critics who voice our self-doubt and give it more importance than it deserves
- Anxiety over what will sell or what will be accepted in a show or a gallery
- Opinions of others whom we listen to - a spouse or friend or colleague
|Working in a sketchbook, playing, experimenting|
How do we learn about composition and still maintain the freedom to develop our own unique way of expression? How do we put aside the Inner Critic or the gallery submission and just get down to work? How do we take criticism (positive or negative) from those we care about, without giving it more weight than it deserves?
|Trying out some pinks and reds|
We look to other artists for inspiration. This is an important (to me) part of being an artist - be inspired, learn from others. But how do we keep from imitating artists we admire? How do we avoid making paintings of paintings instead of just making paintings?
|Collage and Crayons|
I don't have answers; just raising the question. The sketchbook pages here show some visual inquiries, and I wonder if working in a sketchbook more often helps to develop the honesty, the authenticity.
I would love to get your thoughts on these questions. Please comment; I have to 'moderate' because otherwise I get a lot of bot-generated spam. But I do look at comments and publish them every day. THANKS.