I used to be an artist…
and now? Paint something? Why? That’s the whole thing about art. There’s no reason. Except when you feel the reason with all your being, and have to do it.
But now, I’d rather practice Trig.
Life has funny ways of fucking with you.
I enjoy your art.
Now you might be trolling a little with your statements, but there’s no more reason to do art than there is to do trigonometry. They are different forms of expression. Perhaps you find greater value in trigonometry right now, but that doesn’t mean there’s no value in art.
It sounds like you prefer the medium of math/scientific expression now. If true, I’m a little bummed because I am not in an environment that lets me spend the necessary time to explore and engage with your scientific variety of exploration, and because I enjoy your visual art.
I hope you don’t really feel like you “used” to be an artist, and that you’ve given up entirely on creating the visual variety of art. Surely the meditative/explorative process of art is excuse/value enough, “reason” enough, to paint?
The life bit sounds about right to me : )
Anyways… you’re work is always interesting, enlightening, and enjoyable. Keep on keepin’ on.
Thank you! Your response is funny. Especially that it seems like I’m trolling. Oh, I often do… :D But not now. (And the following response got a little too long, sorry. It’s also not totally directed at you; just general, if anybody feels like reading.)
You never know how something will be taken when you write it, although you can do your best with tone and so on. It wasn’t intended to sound negative or even depressing. Especially the part about art being pointless. I mean that in the most sincere, “factual”, dry way — that’s what makes Art: its “uselessness”.
Art is not design, it’s not commercial, it’s not utilitarian. It must be free. That’s what separates “fine” art from “low brow”, easily-marketable stuff like Pop Surrealism, illustration, and vinyl toys. (Not that any of these are bad, but they are not necessarily, always Capital-A-Art.) At least, ideally. We all know the reality of the art world is different, and it’s a total commodity. A sham even, depending on the situation.
But as for art “vs” science:
I always created art because that’s kind of all I knew. I felt that I had to do it; sometimes not only for myself, but also to perpetuate an image, and/or due to others’ encouragement. I felt bad if I “wasn’t inspired” and couldn’t make. And it wasn’t always so romantic: sometimes it was all about money. I’ll be damned if I didn’t recognize early on that I was good at something and didn’t want to offer quality work for naught.
But mostly, it’s not something I can ever part with. “Ideal Art” is one of the only things in this world (that I know of) that offers a true mode of exploration, past anything we can do in other fields. And science needs that.
This is always something I struggle to explain: the merge of art and science. It’s not about expression, it’s not about “art drawing inspiration from science”. (I really hate the idea and presumptuousness of the latter.) It is like living (hard) science fiction: taking what we know about the natural world and running with it, in a way that we cannot do in science/tech fields because they’re too focused on Products and Practicality. (Have you heard/seen the comments after a new discovery is made? “Oh but what can we DO with it? Can we SELL it?”) Art is wonderfully impractical, it doesn’t need to “work”, thus it offers avenues to test the ridiculous, the far-out, the futurist, the truly sci-fi.
But about science:
It has this connotation for people that it’s like any other subject that one learns in school and “you need it for jobs”. But it stemmed from the most vital questions we’ve ever had about life itself. When I talk about science, I mean Nature. It’s inescapable. To think one could continue through life without learning about that… I don’t understand. Call me undemocratic, but I really don’t think it’s up for debate. How can someone ignore everything that surrounds them, that makes up their very being? And yet we’re encouraged to only think about the world as we’ve made it: pants, phone, bank, celebrities, whatever. It can even be seen as negative: “nerdy”.
What I mean to say is, it’s not a hobby, nor a passing phase. It can’t be, and it can’t be forgotten: it’s too important. Even Art — despite a strong relationship with and propensity towards it — is something I can put down, because it’s not, literally, essential. It’s not basic. It figures highly in human history, but outside of us? Eh.
Anyway… “I ‘used’ to be an artist”. Well, I joke. Sort of. But it honestly feels that way sometimes. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t do it anymore, despite that being my strongest skill-set, so far. So what kind of thing is it to say “I’m an artist” if all I have to show for it is sketchbooks filled with math homework and hopes and dreams? Pretentious, or just silly?