Sunday, November 4, 2012

solitude begets originality


The internet is this vast universe of possibilities. The other day, I needed help caring for my lucky bamboo plant and an algae problem I had. Internet, Google: shazam! I had the step-by-step guide on how to prevent my plant from dying.

I find that amazing, but when it comes to art I find it a bit overwhelming. 


I have noticed, and read other bloggers/artists who feel the same, that when an artist takes an online class, for instance, almost all the material created looks very much like the instructor's. I have felt, lately, that the overwhelming amount of information I am taking in on art and techniques have hampered my own creations a little.

The internet can be an amazing tool, but an amount of solitude allows me to come up with ideas that I feel were born from my head, as opposed to inspired by what I am constantly seeing, which in turn translates into a lack of originality.

Solitude begets originality, bold and disconcerting beauty, poetry.~Thomas Mann - Death in Venice (1912)


34 comments:

Sherri B. said...

This can be very true..."copying" an artist's style can be a great learning experience in the beginning as you learn technique. But at some point, you need to veer off with your own internal creative instincts. Now if only I could get myself to start painting again! That has been my challenge...beautiful art work, as always, Ana. The butterfly in your header is gorgeous!

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Kashmira said...

I am so feeling this right now. The overload is so bad that I simply want to quit my art (jewelry)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That's true of all instruction though, isn't it? Too much education destroys creativity and spontaneity. In most people, anyway. Maybe not in those genius types but in regular schlubs like the rest of us.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Sometimes you need to disengage from the overwhelming amount of input on the internet to get in touch with your own unique style/voice. Information overload!

Red Shoes said...

Once upon a time, when I was an art major in college, I studied painting from a fellow who had studied under a fellow named Henry Hensche... he learned Hensche's style, but then melded it into his own.

Over the years, Sammy has taught his students in the style of Henry, but each of his students has adapted that technique into his/her own.

I suppose Life is like that.

~shoes~

AntiquityTravelers said...

Agree! I start with pulling out books & beads ... to get a color/ style pallet ... and then I put the books away and let the beads speak to me on how it should come together. I'm also not afraid to rip it all out if I don't like it. sometimes knowing what you don't like helps define what you do

turquoisemoon said...

I read for technique, then I'm off and running. I've been to lots of craft shows. One year someone comes out with something original, the next year everyone is doing it...ugh!

My Little Corner said...

Agreed. I have found that it's best to 'go it alone" sometimes in order to me more creative, otherwise I drown in everything that's already been done, and then I don't produce anything.

Sulky Kitten said...

One of the few downsides to the internet is that there is simply too much out there to possibly take in. It's too easy to get bogged down in information and we end up suffering from sensory overload. A little break, some time spent alone, is always a good thing in my book.

Scarlet said...

I hear you but first let me tell you how inspiring you are. Your artwork is more YOU than anything else because I see the originality in it and the feeling behind the creator. Yes, you haven't lost a thing, my friend. Al contrario...eres excepcional!

On that note, I also want to add that I get where you're coming from because too much learning (from the masters, even) can make a piece technically correct, but it can lose feeling and the personal touch/expression that only we can give it.

Great post and beautiful work, como siempre.

Tammie Lee said...

such a lovely and original butterfly.
wonderful that you were able to cure your lucky b. plant.

Francie M said...

I agree with sherri B. Copying the work, i.e. learning to master his or her techniques, of a good artist is the best teacher. But it takes patience and humbleness.

Kyra said...

I look for help when I need to learn something new, but then take what I've learned back to my cave and turn it into my own. Too much instruction makes me feel like I'll never be good enough, or get it right. And if there is one thing I have learned, it's that my art seems to grow out of itself. I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, but IT is, and I feel like I'm just helping out. When the instruction intrudes, I lock up.

So a little is helpful, and a lot is a like a prison for me. It's a balancing act!

Em said...

This happens with young writers too. I think it's a phase.

For me, when writing, I can't even do it during the day. Daytime is too loud with other people's thoughts on the ethers, as well as yelled outloud. So not only do I need solitude, but I also need quiet to write.

I'm too young at art to have an opinion about that, but I'd bet I'll be the same somewhere down the line.

Red Shoes said...

This quote from Picasso kind of sums it up for me...

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”

~shoes~

ArtSings1946 said...

I do so agree with you ... and for me it's getting inspired to even start creating ... lately it's been very very hard ... I think it's called depression ... but I haven't given up ... still working on those positive affirmations every morning to help me get through the day.

Love love love your butterflies ... for me they mean transformation, which is what we are all doing all the time I suppose.

Love and Light,
Jan

Annette said...

oh your sweet butterful is perfect and so glad your plant is well, we have three right now, plants and i keep forgetting to water one of them. I don't think it will live forever without water. : ) I like to take on classes and then go off on my own journey with their technique. Anytime I have ever done exactly as someone teaches I always wander off and my own thing comes out. but your are right there is so much out there. We just have to wade thru what we want and forget all the other info. Hugs my dear

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Love your butterfly ~ I am finding that your style will emerge as you continue on ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Robin Larkspur said...

I am not an artist, but I can understand what you are saying, because the same holds true in many other areas. A little info from the internet goes a long way.
I love your art work immensely, btw.
Congrats on saving your little plant!

Manon said...

Yes says me, I am now turning of my PC:)
I am not taking anymore online classes...but then I do lol. It will all just happen one day I am sure.
ManonX

Lois said...

Your title says it all. Loving my solitude.

Jenny said...

Your butterfly is magical Ana... love love the internet... and all its inspiration... having said that... I love having times where I am completely computer free... and where art flows freely...

Jenny ♥

Naquillity said...

i guess i'm to picky about what classes i'll take online to learn a new technique as i find i only like a couple art forums... i usually learn the technique and work with it enough to make it share my voice. usually i add my poetry/ photos together, etc... love the butterfly, btw... thanks for dropping by my blog too. have a great night~

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love your butterflies...the colors really are perfect! Sweet hugs!

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

That's true. When I am lost within my self, I often discover that I like my visual journaling pages the most. I do like to learn techniques and how- to's for supplies I own but fear using!!!!! Beautiful butterfly, Ana. I love it. Kath

Cloudia said...

yay!
Loners RULE - like all of us together here, LOL


Nice that loneliness has it's compensations. Certainly true in my life.


Aloha from Waikiki,
Comfort Spiral

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Creatively yours Fi said...

Soooooooooo true April :) Very good to reflect on.... "Solitude begets originality" I can't remember my last Internet day off!!! I think tomorrow x

Nadia said...

I have that to! My solution is to turn away from the computer when you want to create art, but put it on when you need energy to reload, find information or just read other lovely posts.

Arkansas Patti said...

Oh, I didn't know there were on line classes. Might check into that. I guess they might be good for learning the tools, then hopefully my own creativity will emerge.
I think it is like blogging. In the beginning I tried to emulate my favorite bloggers, then with out noticing, I went off in my own direction. Hopefully that works for art also.

BamaTrav said...

I painted a house once.

:.tossan® said...

Precious art and a very good processing! Pure Art!

Buttons said...

Oh some of the best artist that I know personally have never taken a course and that is not just in painting. So true a teacher can influence your art be it online or in a class.I love your art. B

La Dolce Vita said...

I absolutely agree. I have earlier written a post on it-how originality is compromised when we try to become commercial or get into courses which teaches us techniques but not how to produce original art.