There was a synchronicity found in an overheard discussion this weekend. The gris of which was an observation that locally, most artists aren’t being seen pulling inspiration from their personal experiences as material for their art work. What is being seen in are artists appropriating images from other artists, artists pulling exclusively from their own imaginations, or artists decorating their worlds with abstraction, but what not being seen are people interacting with their muses. (I’m going to raise my own hand on this too). The irony is, online I’m attracted to those that I see doing exactly this, those that who’s work is based on their lived experience and collaborate with their muse.
I’m going to use this overheard discussion as a sign that it’s time to more actively move away from using other artists photographs to work and study from. It’s time to break away from appropriation by taking full responsibility for creating my own studies and photos to generate my work. Picking up charcoal and pastels was originally motivated by a desire to be able to confidently draw a portrait from life, specifically from the characters around me. Now, it only makes sense to focus more on the people that are right here in front of me rather than keep returning to experiences and people that aren’t mine to claim. In that direction, I need to not just focus on the experience and the people, but an effort needs to be made to formalize a personal sense of compositional aesthetics by being clear with myself with what I want my drawings to do. I feel that a compositional style has to serve the image as well as the ideas being pushed forward, and then from there develop outward. (Defining and outlining these I’m going to save for another day).On that note, the game is now to make it a priority to turn towards the familiar for inspiration and run with it.