How To Be Artistically Honest

     I’ve been painting again in the last few months, which has been extremely therapeutic for me. It’s given me space from the computer, and allowed a lot of stress relief and meditation.

Zaccy Original Art Mixed Media Painting 001

Zaccy Original Art Mixed Media Painting #001, 12″ x 36″ on canvas

I started this piece kind of haphazardly, using materials I’d never used before; I knew I wanted to do something metallic that would match my bathroom tiles. It worked out well in the end. I did, however, make a huge mess when doing this piece and I’m certain I had more paint on myself than the canvas. It was a perfect moment of creativity and freedom coming together and distracting me from the usual stress that comes from being your own boss and trying to build something authentic.

I find I’ve been afraid of disappointing others. And I’m trying not to be. I’m trying to learn it’s OK to say ‘No’. Being influenced is good but I don’t want to be making art for the sake of pleasing others; my brand, Jigglypunk, has been growing organically at a perfectly acceptable rate for me – sometimes I get comments and suggestions that sound great on the surface but really don’t do much for my audience and the community I really know will like my art.

I know my audience and I know what they want. For example, I enjoy photography but I can’t just start posting photos of basketball players and golf courses if I’m trying to build a t-shirt brand for my gay friends and their teenage sisters. Is there money to be made with sports? Hell yeah. But it just wouldn’t make sense for me, it’s a lot of work pursuing your own creativity – and photography isn’t as easy as everyone thinks. My time, as an artist, should be spent building my portfolio with work that is authentic to me and my identity. Even though I have the skills to do a number of things, if my heart isn’t in it then it’s just another job – and that is not living an authentic and artistic life to me. That sounds tragic.

So here I am, putting my foot down and making whatever the hell I want to make. I hope you love it . But if you don’t that’s okay with me. Because at least I’m being artistically honest.

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