Pearls from artists* # 77February 5, 2014
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Current possibilities far exceed any single artist’s capacity to engage them. Indeed, every known way of making art ever undertaken in all of history is included in today’s inventory of creative options. Thus, choices must be made. This has had a profound effect upon the quantity and diversity of skills needed to become an artist today. In addition to such conventional forms of artistic talent as visual acuity, manual dexterity, sensitivity, intelligence, ingenuity, and perseverance, contemporary artists must also be able to make judicious choices from a limitless inventory of alternatives. A decisive aspect of the creative act involves choosing a place amid possibilities that are as bountiful as they are eclectic and chaotic. Even this process entail choices. In staking the territory they wish to occupy, artists may be gluttons or ascetics, connoisseurs or commoners. Relationships between artists and their career choices may be lifelong and monogamous, or sequentially monogamous, polygamous, or promiscuous. But artists’ options even exceed selecting precedents. Free access to the past is amplified by freedom to augment the catalogue of creative options by contributing something new.
In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art by Linda Weintraub
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