Those dirty details

I’m one of those people who can say I enjoy the little things in life. The smell of tea in the morning, someone else making dinner, the house magically clean when I walk down the stairs…… toilet paper where I left it instead of growing legs and walking outside. If only I had been born a house cat so I wouldn’t look weird sprawled out on the window ledge napping in the afternoon sun everything would be perfect. The more uncomplicated  the day the better.

just to clarify that is not my natural hair color….

When it comes to art  however I am the complete opposite. I can be borderline compulsive when it comes to detail work. I also happen to love watercolors. Although I am quite proud of my art it hasn’t been without its ups and downs. For many years I resisted it, tried to be……uncomplicated….Why? Because of one person.

When I was in high school I entered a huge art scholarship competition hosted by a local gallery and I was one of the lucky ones that made it to the last round. It included a meet and greet with the judges and other contestants over a shine your sneakers dress code and finger food. I was ecstatic. It was the first time I was going to be judged by professionals and get serious feedback. I had only been seriously pursuing art for a few months at that point ( I do not have that I grew up drawing background sorry) and one of the judges happened to be a watercolor artist I was familiar with. Since a few of my submitted items were watercolors and I had recently fallen in love with the media I was really looking forward to hearing from them. When the day came the showing itself ended up great but the talk with the artist in question was another story. It was fast, abrupt, and life changing:

“Watercolors are not for detail work. Please take some classes and in the mean time it would be best if you didn’t tell anyone what media this is supposed to be because this is not….watercolors…”

And then they walked away. That was it. Being a young artist at the time talking to people with 30-40 years of work under their belt it effectively ruined my night, my week,…hell the rest of my years. From that day forward every time I attempted one I would argue with myself  about either putting too much detail or not being happy with its…blandness. Although I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with committing watercolor “sacrilege” now I still feel like I’m that kid standing in the gallery being told I suck every once in a while.

So why bring all this up? Because I need to. No matter what your skill level someone will not like your work (I just had the bad misfortune of the first professional I met thinking it was shit), you will feel insecure about your talent and style, and you will use stuff in ways others don’t understand. Sometimes however using something that’s not suppose to be complicated  to make amazingly complicated things can surprise everyone.

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One response to “Those dirty details

  1. That was a very painful experiance for a young artist, and hard to work through, but you are doing fine and really learning to trust your own judgement. Go for it.

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