Helping artists find their vision
We have recently corresponded with an artist regarding his written artist's statement. The following is our response to his inquiry about the content of his statement (and yours):
You are on the right track... but, what is your vision?... what is your passion?... what can you say to draw even the most casual observer into your work? If it is the heart of your audience you are after, you must make your vision so enticing that people will not be able to resist it... that way, when they look at your work, they are looking at more than a composition or color... they are participating in your life. Then, when they take a painting home, they are taking your life and passion with them as well.
The risk of rejection is of little significance when compared to the potential reward. I have often said that showing your work is a bit like taking you pants down in public. The point is, let it all out... don't hold back in revealing your passion, when it comes to exposing your thoughts about your life and work. Even though it certainly carries its own dangers, people are attracted to intimacy. Arm's length formality in discussion of one's work is of little use in the real world.
The bottom line, which is the limits of your life, are drawn at whatever point you choose to reveal yourself to the world. The world has much grown tired of platitudes and superficiality... and while the discussion of technique and "art" feeds the intellect, it does nothing to feed the soul, much less the spirit. So, determine how far you are willing to go... how desperate are you to share your life and work to reach your audience. After all, is this not the roll of the artist in everyday life? The work of an artist is no different than that of a musician or actor... touching lives every day in the most profound way possible. And you cannot separate your life, your passion or your vision from your work. So share your life and your passion. They will never look at your work the same again.
Just a few thoughts and philosophy from your friend.
We opened our facilities in 1967 with a vision to build a unique expression in the art business. The uniqueness we are seeking is not in wierd art or in a different operation from the rest, just a business built on excellence and a true representation of the heart of creative people. The building process has begun on the inside, where we are growing bigger continually. The outside must follow as a natural byproduct.
In the late 70's, we began to sense that our destiny was in the area of helping those who wanted to live their lives in the art field...mostly artists and others in the art business with a vision to create or work with creative people. Artists, like other right-brainers, are like lost puppy dogs, hungry for something, but often not knowing what. Many have come to us with portfolios full of drawings and paintings, and boxes full of crafted goods, with one thing in common...expression without direction. All of us have to face the conflict that comes when creativity meets commerce
So we have been critiquing, teaching how to look for excellence, how to present your craft, how to frame, and how to talk in a confident and coherent manner in conducting business...how to pursue ones own personal vision and actually succeed in the art fields. The greatest asset artists can have in business is to stand with confidence knowing they have a realistic chance of competing in a demanding world. Our vision is simply an extension of what we do...seek to bring out the best in the expression of creative thought, and give artists a chance to fulfill their God given calling.
Since we began we have had the priviledge of meeting and working with thousands of artists around the country and the world. We always begin with the same premise...that success in the field of art is NOT a matter of talent...it is a matter of calling. We know that we are called by God to help artists achieve their place in the world, whereever that place is. There are many levels and needs in the business world for artists. It is only a matter of finding one's place. Everyone has a purpose in life...everyone has a destiny. And God is not hiding or playing guessing games. Life is in His hands. Our role here is simply to help artists find their place...their purpose, their destiny.
If you ask our help, we will give straight answers, the truth... which will probably require something of you. We offer our services freely and without charge. Why? Because we have been there..and we understand the pain and fear of risk. And one truth we have come to know intimately is that we cannot lead anyone to someplace where we have not gone first hand. We cannot counsel in any area where we have not had experience. We cannot warn others of danger if we have not touched it first hand. We have traveled the road required of artists first. We have failed. We have also succeeded. We promise one thing...no artist can find their destiny by accident, nor will they stumble into it in the dark...artists must find it on purpose, with purpose. If you create, you must create with purpose in mind, on purpose. A random, casual approach to your life and work is dangerous. By developing habits of mediocrity where only excellence will do, you will find your destiny hindered by roadblocks and littered with trash that you must clean up before you can move on.
I am speaking to people who are have a desire to succeed. Dedication to excellence wins and everything else comes in second. The only failure is the one who accepts failure, or who adopts mediocrity as a lifestyle. Sloppy thinking and lazy, casual and undisciplined attitudes will bring the best of us down to nothing in the beat of a heart. We do not say these things to be hard, but to try to help artists realize that a career in art, as in any endeavor of life, requires sound thinking, careful planning and a willingness to work that plan. Professionals in any other area don't get to where they are without planning...and neither can artists. We are here to help artists get to where they want to go. We are available to provide constructive critique, counsel, teaching and business guidance. Feel free to ask, but ask with forethought. Read this vision statement over again...then call us.
G.B. Tate & Sons Fine Art and Antiques