Just dont enjoy art anymore
6mo
matt barton
So this is something I have had in my head for a fair while now and I'm kinda at a crossroads. Basically I just dont really enjoy art anymore. I do still enjoy doodling and sketching but sitting down and concentrating on a piece is becoming a real chore. I had aspirations of becoming a pro artist but to become one you must put together a pro portfolio, learn to market yourself, take rejection upon rejection on the chin and keep going,develop a style that helps you stand out from the crowd, land a contract and work for less than what i make in my current job. Plus on top of this I am experiencing something of an existential crisis in terms of art itself What does art do for the wider world ? how is it meaningful ? yeah cool its good for the individual in terms of expressing themselves but honestly.. when has art ( drawing and painting ) really changed the world ???? Now, maybe I am being overly negative but I cant find an answer for myself or have dedicated so much of myn life towards art that Im now thinking I want to move on before I waste my whole life. I would be very interested to hear from you guys on this one. Have you had a similar experience and how did you over come it ?
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Liandro
Now, about the bigger question… (I’ve decided to address this as a separate comment because it looks like a different issue to me). To understand the importance of art in the world, I think we must look beyond professional jobs and even beyond self-expression. Defining art and its meaning is a big discussion to which, as far as I know, there isn’t much consensus, let alone an objective answer. So I don’t mean to make any statement here as if it was “the ultimate truth”. I’d just like to share the way I see it. To make things simple, I personally like what author and comic book artist Scott McCloud says: art is everything we do that is not focused on survival or reproduction. I know this might sound a bit too generalistic at first glance. But, when I think about it, I understand that humans, which are the only animal species capable of making art deliberately and significantly**, indeed also live in ways that are much less just about the natural instincts of survival and reproduction when compared to other species. ** (I know we’ve seen that some monkeys, elephants and other animals are able to draw or paint when trained or stimulated. But willingly grabbing a stick out of the blue and doodling on the sand to help them understand life, represent beauty or make fun of their friends doesn’t seem to be a common behavior among any of these species yet). When I look at human history, I think art has changed the world many times. When early humans started drawing on cave walls, they were setting themselves apart from other animal species forever. Pre-historical art somehow lead to the invention of writing. Ancient art helped the cultural and spiritual life of old civilizations to survive the tests of time. European medieval art made possible for the Catholic Church to educate the people and keep political power in Europe for centuries - and Renaissance art was an important part of what dissolved it. The invention of photography and movies deeply changed the world in terms of culture and entertainment. In World War II, propaganda art was an important strategic tool used to “educate” soldiers and citizens. Modern/contemporary art was/is often responsible for questioning social issues and sensitizing people to unnoticed dilemmas. Advertising, which helps keep economies moving, is pretty much art geared towards commerce. Even entertainment art is crucial: the stunning graphics and compelling visual stories help better sell more games, movie tickets, merch products, and feed a worldwide imaginary of characters and mythologies. This is just off the top of my mind now, but, if we’d look deeper, I’m sure we’d find other historical moments when art played a relevant role in “changing the world”. With all that said, personally, I like to think of art not only as humans’ major attempt to understand and represent the world around them and communicate with each other, but also as the core of humanity itself. It’s what we got for moving away from an animal life purely based on primitive instintcs, it’s just part of our condition as living beings. That’s my personal take on this discussion anyway. Hope it makes any sense to you.
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Liandro
Hey, @matt barton! In my experience, whenever it starts getting “too serious”, it stops being fun. No wonder you’re not enjoying making art under these conditions of pressure, high expectations and reduced compensations. But the fact that you still enjoy doodling and sketching may be a sign that you do still enjoy art; you might just not agree that it needs to be done under “industry rules”. I like the exercise @Marion Opperman suggested of considering what drove you into art in the first place. Additionally, I would also suggest considering what drives you into art today. What is it about doodling and sketching that you still enjoy in spite of everything else? Maybe the answers to what drove you initially and what drives you today are related. Or not. Either way, it’s fine. Hope this helps.
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Arielle Ronin
From your words it seems like you did all the art work to fit into the expectations someone might have towards the art you're creating. To doodle or scetch is not so much related to preassue, because there is a more loose approach to it than to create a piece where you habe to put a whole concept behind. Maybe it would help to take a break from the pressure and do something you really enjoy without worrying about all the expectations?
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Sherri Carroll
Oh man I can relate to all of that. I only just got back into art. I began to hate it. I quit for about 4 years. when I moved I didn’t tell people I was an artist and when people did find out, I said I was retired. Then I started modeling for a well known art college and everything’s changed. I am so inspired and reinvigorated, I am freaking out, I love it so much. I thought I was a pretty seasoned artist but now feel like I’m just beginning. Getting to hear the lectures, critiques, being in an artist environment and community has reawakened me. They appreciate the models, I never understood it before. I feel like I’m contributing to the next generation of talent. None of this is probably helpful to you, but I just really understand what you are going through. Seeing art through being a model has changed my perspective. That’s how I moved through it. Not sure what would work for others like yourself. Glad you asked though, maybe some fresh ideas will come out of it.
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Marion Opperman
This is such a wonderful, unique perspective! I'm really glad I got to read it (and that you took the time to share it) 🪻
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Marion Opperman
I love this question as it's formed part of my internal dialog many times in my life. The question you need to 1st answer for yourself is what drew you to art in the first place? Why DID you love it? I, personally, don't find it meditative... I find it to be a struggle (that some days I'm up for, and others, I'm not). I also find that very few people like my work because it's weird and a little dark, at times, but, I NEED TO MAKE IT! When I'm not making and I allow the doubt to win for too long, I feel completely miserable. Like I've stolen something from myself. When you persue being your best self, you ARE making a massive impact in the world. What others see and gain from your work is bonus-level stuff ❤️ But, here are some tools I've used to quiet that little voice: 1 - write all your anger and frustration down before you start working. You can trash it, if you like. You can even write "I hate writing because it's pointless!"... it won't be 😊 2 - listen to art podcast while you paint/warm up/drive. It helps hearing about Pros who have the same struggles 3 - play in your studio. Leave your serious artwork for a while and grab crayons and finger paint and play doh and make mountains of silly, fun, crap... just for the joy of it! 4 - read about artists (like Joan Miro) who made artwork when their world was falling apart. Good luck! It's a long journey back, but totally worth it!
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Sujanith Tottempudi
True...many artists including me get this question. This stems from the fact everything needs to be result or goal oriented. I too thought about this! My version of answer is...whenever I'm doing art...it's not for any goal or money ( as I have a job ) ...nor EXPRESSION! ITS for my meditation. I almost go into trance...a meditative state ...flow state... sometimes forgetting...day night...where I am...who I am also... especially when I'm really enjoying. I or other artists strive to improve their skills to dive deeper into this flow state I think. For me art...is mesmerising... forgetting all the things in world..yes...there is some background thoughts of the day or job or relationships but that is very very weak than normal... sometimes that disappearss altogether! On the other hand, I don't understand artists who are copying from reference photo or still life say they are expressing? They are just transferring the impression. If an artist is painting or sketching from his imagination or intuition...then I agree it's pure expression. And how many intuitive paintings are available and meaningful...they are mostly so negative as if the artist is vomiting! I don't know I answered 🤔
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