Problems with Passion

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As an artist, you have to be passionate about your art. Or at least I can’t see any way of doing your art and not being passionate about it. The two go hand in hand.

I’m also a strong believer that all things which are strengths are also weakness, it just depends on the situation and how you use a particular trait.

The problem here is that sometimes that passion for a work, the passion that existed when creating a work carries on long after the work is complete. This passion can lead to see with tinted glasses.

As an artist unfortunately you have to see your work as what it is sometimes. You have to divorce yourself from that passion that so motivated the creation of the image in the first place. It’s a challenge, or at least it’s a challenge for me. Ultimately I see an image and I remember the conversation I had with the person. I remember how I enjoyed their company and laughed with them and enjoyed an exchange of ideas. None of that matters if it doesn’t show in the picture, but for me, it always shows in the picture somewhat because I was there.

Unfortunately when you have a piece of art you really like, but the circumstances surronding it are painful, to work on the piece and display the piece you have to feel some of that pain each time you deal with the piece.

For me that’s true with my Bed Series. It’s a piece of art I’m pretty proud of, I really enjoy the images from it and the ideas behind it. It also came from a relationship that brought a lot of pain into my life. Happily I’m far enough out of that relationship to work on the piece without the remembered pain being all to bad, but it still has it’s pin pricks and probably always will. But the series of images, as with some of the other images from that relationship, are images I really enjoy and am happy I created. Pain and happiness walking a path together, maybe that should be the synopsis of that whole relationship?

I don’t know how other artists work on pieces that were strongly emotional for them. I just know for me, when I work an image, I feel a little bit of that orginal emotion, the good and the bad. I also know that I can handle that emotion, to a point, and use that emotion to make the work better.

And then at the end of the day I need to set that emotion aside, remember that those days are past days, and go on with today.

My passion has to be there to drive me to create the piece, and edit the piece, and show the piece, but sometimes it also needs to not be there to truly and evaluate the piece, to decide how to use the piece and how to improve it.

Suffice it to say, it’s all a big balancing act.

I’d be curious to hear how others handle this conundrum, let me know if you get the chance.


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