Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Work of Art

Day 5 (7/30/11)

Today I am going to drift away from biking and Guerilla Art and take a look at the “work” of art. This morning while cleaning the litter boxes my wife made the comment that she should be doing some work. In truth she had been working on her art all morning. Then, when I went to the post office and a young man from the neighborhood made a comment about supposing I was spending the summer relaxing. I answered with some flippant remark about being ready for school to start so that I could have a break. If I had said I spend my summers making art he would have felt that his suspicions had been confirmed. I got to pondering on why even we as artist sometimes see what we do as insignificant. Artists are a unique breed in that they can feel guilty for doing art work as well as not doing art work. I suppose it all comes down to monetary value. If I was selling my work and making money it would be easier to justify. At this point I am just putting them in the basement and running out of space to store them. When I first started doing Guerilla Art it was an attempt at creating art without having something I would have to store. The first couple of years went well but at a certain point rebuilding them over and over again started to take its toll. I tried to change the constructions each time but the materials kind of dictated the form and they tended to always turn out looking somewhat the same and it was a lot of physical work. By the time I was done with the larger ones I would be covered with sweat and dirt not to mention all types of biting insects. Most people wouldn’t have worked that hard to make money but for me it was a labor of love. I am lucky as an art teacher my teaching can pay for my addiction. Making art is indeed something that would be impossible for me to give up. It is the people who have to make a living off their art that I really feel for. After years of going to school and perfecting their craft they may or may not be able to make a living from their craft. In many cases these artist are forced into taking other jobs to pay the bills while burning the midnight oil to do their art. I realize that historically this has always been a problem. Who as an artist hasn’t heard the familiar, “But you like doing art” usually from somebody who is trying to get you to do something for nothing. For the most part I do like doing art but as I tell my students when they start to get bogged down, “Art is 25% inspiration and 75% hard work. Over the next couple of entries I am going to take a look at a couple of my paper pieces and the process (work) of making them.

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