Sunday, November 6, 2011

What is great art?

Great art consists of 3 things:

1. You own your process. You have clear intention. You know what you want.
2. You do it a lot, then you do it more. You don't give up. You push through all challenges.
3. You put it on the line. You seek an audience. You get it out.

These are the 3 things that make up great art. If you have skill, wonderful, you'll do all of the above more clearly and with strength. If you have time, lovely, you really have no excuse. If you have resources, the more the better, you are well on your way. But if you don't have the right combination of the 3 things above, you will not make great art, and that's the bottom line.

Steve Jobs said, "Real artists ship". He's right. Real artists ship. What he means is, real artists know that connecting with an audience, building relationships, and taking the risk to getting your work into the world is what will support what you do, give you longevity, and essentially make you into a real artist. You need feedback, you need criticism, you need to know your on the right track, or not. How are you going to do that if you don't put your work out on the line? Simply, you're not. Shipping your art is how you know your doing something right. It's just as much of a skill as making it. It will make you stronger, bigger and more focused.

Owning your process is being in control of what you are doing. Are you a lost puppy at the easel? Or are you a brave individual ready to figure something out? It's hard for everyone. We all go through the struggle. We all have the same issues, constraints and uncertainties. The only difference between the ones who make it and the ones who don't, is your willingness to keep going, NO. MATTER. WHAT.

And you've got to do it a lot, and then do it some more, and when you're totally exhausted, and there will be plenty of times when you will be, you keep going. Period. You work hard.

These are the 3 things that make up great art. Look at artists throughout history. Look at the ones who inspire you. Look around you at the artists who are thriving. They have these 3 things. And they know they do. They are not playing around. They are on a mission. They have faith in their calling. And they make every sacrifice for it. Whether they feel like it or not.

The reward: deep inner peace, exhilaration, soul-satisfaction.

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