“The attacks of which I have been the object have broken the spring of life in me…People don’t realize what it feels like to be constantly insulted. Edouard Manet
Today, Edouard Manet is considered the “Father of Modern Art”. His work has made its way into the worlds most famous museums and is published in all art history books, dealing with the “Modern Art movement”. But, like most artists, he felt the rejection of his work by people, who at the time did not understand his “Creative Spirit”.
It is that time of year again when there are a lot of juried and judged shows. Unfortunately that has negative effects on many creative souls. Society and some artists, have put great importance on being an award winner, or one who has been accepted into a specific show. It is a shame that, that has happened. I have strong feelings about the judging process, and what it does to artists who are not sure of themselves, or lack self confidence in their creative abilities. If your goal is to win a prize, then you are painting for the wrong reason.
True artists paint for themselves. Only when you paint for yourself, and paint what you believe, and express what is deep inside of you, are you being truly creative, and true to yourself as a creative being. If you do that, you should never feel you are not good enough to show your work in a show, or feel bad if you don’t win a prize.
Robert Henri has a lot to say about this subject. “To award prizes is to attempt to control the course of another man’s work. It is an effort to stop evolution, to hold things back to the plane of your judgement. It is a check on a great adventure of human life. It is a bid to have him do what you will approve. It affects not only the one who wins the award, but all those who in any measure strive for it.”
I have been in the art business long enough to be judged in, judged out, awarded prizes, and over looked. Personally, I just want a place to show my work. If a judge does not give it an award, I know that is one person’s opinion! However, I must admit that when someone passes me hard earned cash, so he can enjoy for a lifetime, the image that I have created, I do feel good. I feel I have shared something very personal with someone, and made a human connection.
As artists, we should not allow the judging process to effect what we do, and never believe that because we did not go home with the prize, that our work is not good. It truly is, one person’s opinion. All creative efforts should be applauded.
Find joy in the process of art making. Give image to your feelings. Don’t doubt the importance of your creative endeavors. Don’t allow fear or doubt to dampen your “Creative Spirit”. Only time will be the true judge of your work.
“I was discouraged about life, discouraged about people being blind, but I don’t think I had a day that I ever questioned creativity. There has never been a day like that”. Louise Nevelson