Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Ever Evolving Artist

My plan this year was to really work hard at developing my artistic skills in drawing and painting in preparation for a graphic novel adaption of Cradle which I planned on creating in 2012. And that's just what I've been doing, practicing daily whenever I can fit in the time. But I realise that although I have learnt so much there is still such a long way to go before I can feel content and confident with my artistic skills. It feels great when people compliment me about my work, and it's encouraging to receive that admiration because it provides that motivation to keep going but at the same time it feels undeserved, as if they think of me as more then what I actually am.

That's not to sound selfish, because I do appreciate my talents but I feel like a child that still has a lot of growing to do. This 'growing' turns out to be quite a slow process, and a process of which there are no short cuts or ways to go around. Its hard work, and when you work so hard yet see little improvement one wonders if there will ever be a point where you manage to get beyond the growing. When will I wake up and be the very best I can be? This is the challenge. It's not about comparing me to others; it's more of an inner battle in knowing that I do have so much more underlying potential that seems to be at such a far reach.
I'm starting to think this isn't such a bad thing. In fact this self-nagging to become better and better, never being content with the level I am at with my artistic skills could be the greatest gift of all. I believe now that the moment one becomes satisfied that they have mastered their skill they cease to improve beyond that. Maybe our very best potential is constantly striving to surpass even our own expectations.

And this I think is where my love for my art comes from. It’s a challenge. It’s hard, and may never be overcome but it will always be something I can get better at. The thing with mankind is we always want to attain something and once we fulfil this want we lose interest in it. This is why my art will continue to evolve for the better, because its perfection will always be unattainable.

Again, this is an inner journey. Yes I will compare my work to other artists, to those I both admire and don’t admire, and I may or may not surpass them, but to surpass myself? As hard as it is to know you’ll never reach you’re full potential when it is possibly the one most important goal in life, I hope I never do. I hope I never reach the end of the road.

I think this is the secret of artists such as Greg Capullo, Todd McFarlane and David Finch. Sure they are great, each with a huge fan base of admiring fans and fellow aspiring artists (myself being one of them), and of course they know they are good, they know that people admire their work for a reason, but do they ever feel they are at their full potential? Are they ever completely satisfied with their art work? I don’t think so, and this is precisely why I think their amazing talents continue to grow, because their art will always be a challenge for them.

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