What is even authentic art?
Have you ever looked at a work of art and felt connected to it in any way? Maybe it reminded you of something in your childhood. Maybe the colors made you feel calm. Maybe a piece made you feel immersed where you can almost feel the sunshine and smell the fresh air in a landscape. Maybe you connected to the colors, textures and movement of the brushstrokes.
Whatever that feeling or that connection may be, authentic art has two parts. I am going to talk about how to go about creating authentic art and how do you know if it is authentic!
1. ARTIST CONNECTION
You must first have an intention as an artist.
Get to know your strengths and weakness and focus on your strengths.
Maybe you are a portrait painter. Maybe you are an abstract painter. Maybe you are a landscape painter. Maybe you are all the above. Maybe you do not know. Take some time to explore that thing that you feel connected to and work on it. If you do not know what you feel connected to, try different subjects. Experiment with landscapes, portraits, abstract, mixed media work etc until you feel connected to a medium or subject. The connection means that creating art on this theme/s makes you happy or feel inspired. This process takes time but it is a necessary step in being able to connect to your art. This is something that can take months to years to discover as an artist. The most important thing it to keep at it and be patient with the creative process.
When you have found a subject you can connect to, congratulations, you are on your way to creating authentic art! This can be based on an emotion, a situation, something you’ve seen or experienced. It can be anything but it has to have some kind of personal connection; a story or symbolism. You must never wait for inspiration to come to you. You go out there and find it. When you find it, you must hold on to it and nurture it so it can grow. If you do not, you may miss a golden opportunity to be able to grow as a creative.
You must then put in the work on this subject/ theme that inspires you. Remember your state of mind is important. As an artist you are transferring energy from yourself to canvas/paper to create a new form of energy. This transfer of energy will determine the energy of your work.
How are you feeling and what is your state of mind? If you are angry or sad, the energy of the painting would be different from if you are calm and in a good mood. Connect with that feeling and transfer that into your work. This transfer of energy is transferred into the work which is transferred onto the viewer. This personal connection to creating art means that there is a story, concept and depth to the work. It gives the work soul and meaning.
Authentic art is energy.
2. AUDIENCE CONNECTION
There is nothing more fulfilling than leaving the studio, putting your art out there and strangers, friends and family appreciate and connect to your art. They feel and connect to the energy in your creations. Because that energy came from you, the painting is part of you. That deep validation is inspiring and is a great achievement as an artist. Having that audience connection and interaction with your creations are important in self- reflection as an artist.
However, it must be said that this is not always the case.
You may not get a positive reaction. You may not get a happy audience. You may not get the support or encouragement from people around you. People may not connect to your art or your energy. People may not understand your concepts or your artist style. In fact, no one may.
I must say that is okay.
The greatest masters in the modern art era had been rejected by society. Nobody connected to their art. Nobody understood their art. They were ridiculed and insulted. No gallery wanted to show their art. They were only supported and understood by their small group of contemporaries. They created their own creative space, their own art gallery, their own place in the world.
If no one connects to your art or your energy, having just one person support and connect to it, (even if that’s just yourself) is a start! In a world of over 8 billion people, know there are people out there who would absolutely think your art is awesome! Humans are diverse in their taste and opinions. Do not feel defeated because a gallery, a stranger, a friend, a family member, an art critic, a curator or an art historian told you that you are not good enough because they do not connect to your art.
“You can’t paint and really shouldn’t,” she told me.
She was a professional artist and art professor.
Twelve art exhibitions and over a thousand works of art later, I have been nationally recognized as a professional artist in my field. My artworks have been exhibited in the National Museum and Art Gallery, the Parliament, Central Bank and the best art galleries.
Oh and by the way, neither her nor her art was there.
So go out there and search for your contemporaries. Go out and find your audience because it exists and keep creating. It may not be in your town, city or country. Do not be discouraged and stay positive! Believe in yourself.
Authentic art is connection.
I truly hope this week’s blog was inspiring! Be encouraged and go out there and create authentic art; authentic art to your soul, energy and connections.