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soul of fine art

Nouvelle Vague

Who are you?


Among artists there is an apparent drive to be different, to distinguish one’s own work from others—to have unique vision.

But what precisely does this mean?

How can you be anything other than your self? At first, this question may appear a paradox. Not a puzzle at all. Try to be unique, unencumbered by the false masks of personality. The answers and ensuing questions will come at light speed.

Let’s start with some thing simple like a pencil in hand. Know that most any motivated person can learn to draw, which is a teachable skill. Drawing is measurement; art is creation. Know this too. No one can teach anyone to be an artist. Someone or something, however, can unleash the creator, the artist, within. It’s appreciating the difference between Muzak and Mozart.

An artist has no medium. This knowledge has great liberating power. Whether it is a pastel stick, a computer, or a piece of cardboard, the materials and means are tools—and in the hands of a master, they produce masterful work.

Trying to be different is veneer and artificial. Avant-garde? New wave? Unconventional? Name your own handle. If it didn’t evolve organically, it won’t work for the artist where it truly counts—the self-realization of one’s true purpose in life, also known as dharma in Hinduism. A true difference comes about naturally and with no seeming effort. You can’t plan it, think about it, or decide to do it because, at its essence, pure art transcends thought. To bring something unique into the world is called creation—and is what the true artist does.

Remember, if you have to think about your art, it’s conceptual, it’s advertising. This is not a comparison or a judgment. It is a distinction.

These insights are, of course, complicated by the marketplace, which has its own agenda with both artist and the public. Artists are often clueless about their own work. The public, weaned on advertising, understands advertising. So, where do we go from here? One person at a time comprehending the nature and purpose of art will create a critical mass of introspection powerful enough to transform society for the better.

Words. Words. Words.

Reading the words on this page will have little significance if the reader doesn’t put these distinctions into gear so that seemingly abstract views suddenly flow into a form of lucid motion.

You can’t learn how to swim by reading a book. You’ve got to get wet.»


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