Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real Artists Experiment

Often times, when you're looking at the work of any "big name" commercial artist, you'll see a very distinct style.  Sometimes it'll change a bit from solo show to solo show for any given artist, but most likely what you see on their blog and in their portfolio is a very cohesive body of work.

This often leads us to believe that these people don't experiment.  We think that maybe these artists "have found their style" and don't deviate much from it and just keep making paintings all in the same style over and over again.

However, part of this is the game they have to play as commercial artists.  As a high-profile artist, often times there is a lot of pressure to stick to a certain style as galleries are businesses, first and foremost, and if the artist got big doing a certain style, they're going to want what is already proven to sell.  Often times the artist will recognize this and continue to make art in that style to appease the gallery and their fans, as this is what allows them to live off their art.

That said, we only usually get to see what they do in the public sphere.  Just because we see our favorite artists doing the same thing over and over again doesn't mean that they aren't trying out new mediums, or new styles, or new subject matter.  We just don't get to see it.

So go out there and experiment.  Try something new.  If you paint, what about some sculpture?  If you do installations, what about some pen and ink drawings?  Create photo-realistic stuff, try some doodling.  Manga artists, how about some landscape paintings?  However outside of your comfort zone you're willing to go, we say "Go there!"  

Just as the public doesn't get to see a lot of artists' experimental work, the public doesn't necessarily need to see YOUR experimental work.  Under no obligation must you post it on a blog, or put a photo on Facebook, or do you need to show another living person if you don't want to.  Go crazy, and if you hate it, dump it, burn it, whatever.  The main thing is that by pushing yourself to go someplace that you haven't gone before, it'll change the way you look at what you "normally" do.  You might gain some new insight, or you might even find something you really enjoy (maybe even more than what you usually do).   This experimentation, while it may be your "new style" in the end, is really for you and your artistic soul more than for anything else, so try something new when you get the chance.