The other day a very talented writer wrote me asking for some feedback regarding his recent work. I kind of liked the response I gave him and decided to share a portion of it here…
“I kinda thought I was being a bit pushy on people with my feedback? Never quite sure if it’s welcomed or not? In LA, Jay later got on me and said I was being an asshole to you when we were discussing aspects of your piece. I didn’t realize I was? I guess I can be aggressive or overly enthusiastic with my opinions.. but I never mean to insult. I just get so tired of the blah comb over comments. Everything is described as “cool” or “looks good” never any real digging or anything to build off of. People prefer to wait for a hand to lead them out. Out to a neutral way of being, just a few steps behind someone who is winging it. A lot can be said with a straight face.
Most people don’t offer up any solid opinions. It’s like I force it out of people and they respond out of guilt. I wish more people would comment on my own work. Outside eyes offering a fresh perspective is great, even if disagreeable. You never quite know if something truly works, if people are just being nice. The thought that “it’s cool” has been pushed on you for so many years that it really isn’t? It’s outdated or lacks the genuine connection you had to your work ten years ago? That constant doubt IS a good thing. That feeling of boredom in your routine/habit IS a necessary ingredient for growth. When committed to the same, for so long, it’s all about the perverse ingredients, the odd or wrong, the mind fucking opposites that you avoided all your life. Going to that because you have been afraid of it. A good artist isn’t concerned about looking bad. A good artist is unapologetic… A straight face goes a long way.
So, does the above help in any way regarding the attached pieces? What I’m getting at is the idea of letting your emotions do all the work. Painting with attitude or enthusiasm is easy when you are moved or excited about what you are doing. As a master of your craft, it’s no longer about marrying yourself to the standard. Breaking rules, breaking your own moral guidelines and laughing about it because it’s so wrong! Not being afraid and pulling an emotion is key. At your stage and at your level of talent, there is no point in painting something that makes you feel nothing. It is more exciting to destroy the piece in some fashion then to leave it as a drop in the bucket.”