Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going off the radar

I like to take pictures of my current work, and keep the people around me updated on my progress. I don't know why this is necessary, because honestly I don't see what interest people have in my day to day progress on art work. I just do this, like any other Instagram addicted hipster, to annoy people around me with my day to day ins and outs. To me documenting my progress and my work is much like taking a picture of that day's coffee and sandwich. It is more for me, than for the random passer by.

Despite the fact that I am making these records of my work, and my methods for me it gives me great pleasure to see people like and comment on my work. I don't know why I seek this kind of praise. It is like getting praise for showing up to work. This is my office job, but for some reason I look for praise from people for doing the work could just as easily have been done if a cubicle if I had chosen a different major.

I love to flood my newsfeed with all of these samples, and then check my timeline to see if people are appreciating what I am doing. It is sad really. It is a far cry from my original artistic motivations. When I was in school I made art for the philosophical statements that it made. I tried to make smart art, art that made you think, art that was inspirational, art that showed you a different perspective, but this streaming media has changed my way of making art from being intelligent to people pleasing.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I like to make people happy. I like to make them laugh. On the other hand I also liked to make the intelligent art too. I liked thinking about the way art could function as a way to enlighten the minds of others. I like both of these kinds of art. I just don't have an outlet for the philosophical kind of art any more. This makes me constantly worried that the people pleasing kind of art is not pleasing people.

I worry constantly that what I am making is not serving its purpose of bringing a smile to people. This is why I am so addicted to my stats. The figures and numbers are somehow supposed to tell me the satisfaction rate of people with my art. So I continue to dump pictures and updates through social media to constantly check up with people to see if they approve of my current work. It is a sad spiral, and an addicting one.

Sometimes, because of all of this,  I lose sight of the third kind of art. The art of love. I grew up in a home where for birthdays and holidays we liked to make for each other some special hand crafted gift of the heart. My parents are carpenters and so we would go out into the shop and make things for whoever. We would make works of love.

Some of my favorite and most remembered gifts I have ever been given were not purchased but made by my Dad for me. When I was 7 I got a little stool that had a storage compartment under the seat. When I was 12 he helped me build an armoire and nightstand for my birthday. He would make these expertly crafted gifts, that were beautiful, and exactly what I needed. It was also something that I got to share with him. These pieces of art were made with love.

Now, I make painted art for my loved ones. I don't have access to a wood shop like I used to, but I still get to make for them things from the heart. Those special gifts from my childhood taught me how to fill my art up with love, so that even if people don't learn anything from it, or it isn't the most pleasing to the eye, my loved ones will still feel my love for them in it when they receive it.

This leads me to my current radio silence. It is the time of year that I start getting ready for Christmas. I make works of art for most of the people on my list now. I spend the whole year thinking about them and what they may appreciate. Then come the end of summer I get started, so that my entire list will be done in time for the holiday. Since, however, most of the people I give gifts to follow my social media I will not be posting progress of my work. I don't want to ruin the surprise for them.

So what I will be posting will be few and far between as I work my way through my Christmas list.

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