Talk your ART
Every journey is different. Everyone has their own story to tell, things that were experienced and lessons learned along the way. Here is something that I have learnt and wanted to share with fellow art practitioners. Talk your ART, a few thoughts, essentially just my 2 cents worth.
Seems to be pretty common among artists, there are many who will proclaim that they are shy, tongue tied and not good with words. Hand to your art ( haha, no typo here!), in all honesty, is there really nothing to say at all? If the artist does not talk about his or her works, pray tell, who else will? Of cos there are things to say, I know exactly what goes through the artists' minds, what inspires, the motivations, the experiences during the process and much much more. I reckon that there is no better salesperson than the artist himself.
It is with all sincerity and with due respect to fellow artists that I say this, seriously, unless it was there in the first place, there is no need to put our works into some philosophical spheres. We don't have to plunge ourselves into some literary abyss or weave a web of reasons to explain our works! We don't have to justify anything, no, not to anybody. Just because people are doing it does not mean we have to. If it was not there in the first place, it is not there! This is how I feel and I guess I feel it strongly enough to pen this down. Paint what you feel and feel what you paint. This is the time to flash the Artistic Licence. Say it as you honestly feel it. This is the REAL EMOTIVE ELEMENT that is the essence of any good artist and I am not just referring to the canvases.
Into my fifth year of painting and the last 2 years professionally, with four group and one solo exhibitions under my belt, I know and I can testify that people are not just merely into good art, they are just as interested in the artist. They are curious to what makes the artist ticks. Not wrong when people say, they buy the artist, not just his works. Of cos, there are some proteges and geniuses who have carved out a name through sheer talent and I am sure, a lot of hard work, have garnered a list of illustrious awards, have been so established in his craft and the works just sell by itself ! WOW !!! I offer my congratulations, such a rarity is definitely in a different league. Truth is, not of us have it so good. Most of us work our hardest, try our utmost, to be known, to be heard, to be noticed in a crowded market place filled with talented and gifted individuals. How then do we stand out? How do we say "Buy my paintings?" Do we have to arm ourselves with a trumpet and blow it ourselves? Do we have to? Really? I will say this, if you don't, who will? The point here is HOW you say it. Honestly, who can say it better than the artist? However, I will caution, don't exaggerate, just simply state the facts. Blowing your own trumpet is not only embarrassing, it is unbecoming of any self respecting human being. Don't do that. Saying the truth is not. Every milestone an artist achieves, every momentous event, every step forward that is earned with grit and determination, share it. No fear, SAY IT, I can assure you, your true friends will rejoice with you.
I spoke to an aspiring artist not too long ago, she mentioned that I was very 'open' in my sharing on social media. I told her that I post facts, things that really happened. It is up to the readers to interpret it whichever way they want. Their eyes, their minds and I am not in the least bit bothered if they read whatever I say negatively. Ok, I 'fess up, I have been there. Moped about people like that, was hurt. Seriously, we cannot please everyone. Fact of life, there will always be haters. Don't let them bother you. Strengthen your mind, shut your ears. Walk on.
I have heard it so often, an artist paints, not good with words. Hey, don't get me wrong, this is not thesis writing, I am just saying, word it your way. Cut the pomposity, remove the artistic jargon. Truth be told, there have been times for me, when at art exhibitions , I find myself perplexed because I have failed to understand what was stated in the painting tags of some really lovely works. Mind you, I am an art practitioner myself! I read it once, twice, sometimes three or even four times and then, I gave up! I don't get it, for the life of me, I can't fathom what was written. I am left wondering what in the world was it all about? Painting and the words just do not gel. Hmmm...
Whatever that is written on the painting tags is not to be taken lightly. That little piece of paper has to 'speak' for the artist!!! Ok, I know, not everyone has the gift of the gab, some of us may not be so strong in the English Language. Of cos, we need to rectify our shortcomings. The easy way out is to hire someone to write and I am pretty sure they will be nicely written with all the big words and the right nuances, but here's my take, the first thing to do is to make sure there is comprehension of what the words are saying! And also, check if it means exactly what it is supposed to mean. Make sure. Can you imagine what will happen when you finally meet the client and horror of horrors, you know all too well, you don't speak like that at all! Now, what does that say of you ???
By all means, get help if there is a need, Get an expert to brush up on grammar and phrasing but foremost, the words must come from the artist. Learn to say it yourself and this, with the necessary amendments and enhancements from hired help, the painting will then make perfect sense! I can tell you that from my observations, people who go to art exhibitions READ the tags. More often than not, it is THAT which will tilt the scales to close the much coveted sale !!!
There you are, got it off my chest. 2 cents worth.