U is for Unique
I had planned to discuss ‘underpainting’ in this post, but five minutes after I got out of bed this morning, a migraine hit and took away my day. I was not happy about this, as you can imagine. There were many expletives involved.
So I didn’t get my planned underpainting done for demonstration or any other purpose. So I thought I would briefly discuss something else entirely.
For a long time I used to look at other artists’ work and be intimidated, particularly if they were very good at what they did. I’m talking those artists that seem to be able to get their realism so real a photograph couldn’t do a better job. While I know I can draw quite well, there is no way I could do the great work that some artists can.
This used to daunt me into believing that I would never be good enough. How could my work possibly compete with theirs? Then one day I finally realised a truth. While artists do tend to compete in the marketplace (for example) or in competitions, etc, they can never really be compared completely because no artist is the same.
Every artist is unique and so it their work. After all there has to be a reason why prices go up when an artist dies. The planet will never see that unique interpetation ever again.
Skill level is a factor. Technique and material knowledge is a factor. But all these things can be learned and practised. An artist’s uniqueness isn’t something that can be acquired, it is inherent in that person’s creation. No one else in the universe will ever see that universe in the same way and hence will never interpret it the same way.
So back to me being daunted by other expert artists’ works. I’m not any more, because I have one thing every artist has and it can never be taken from me. My work is my work and no one else can do what I can do. No one else can do what you can do. Whatever marks you make on the canvas, board or paper belong solely to you.
A thousand artists given the same topic would interpret it a thousand different ways. And the beauty of art is that there is room on this planet for every one of those interpretations. Sure, some will be more popular than others, but each is unique.
I’m not daunted by fantastic artists anymore because I don’t want to do their art, I want to do mine…and be fantastic at that.
I’m going to work on my own little bit of unique.
And so should you 😀