I’ve never really been able to describe what exactly an artist is or what an artist does. Art means different things to different people. I have my ideas about what art is and chances are everyone else thinks it’s something completely different. For me, art has always been about self-expression. I think a lot of that is lost these days. People don’t seem to really want to do anything. Everyone has an opinion but I think it’s what we do with those opinions that’s important. Painting is a way for me to put those opinions or thoughts or ideas down in physical form. Much like the way I write or record my thoughts on paper, I try to convey those same thoughts with paint and color images, in an attempt to give them a little more life.
I don’t know if the work I create really means anything to anyone else, but that’s not what it’s about. It sounds kinda selfish to say, but art is selfish when you think about it. I try not to think about an audience. I’ve found that if I do I tend to hold back, and that’s never my intention. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I start a painting with the notion that I won’t hold back in any way. If I do, it defeats the purpose of beginning the work in the first place.
And I don’t ever want to be entirely comfortable with the work I produce. I think that’s when you stop pushing yourself as an artist. It’s easy to fall victim to being comfortable with a particular style or routine, whether it’s in painting, writing, making music, whatever you do in life. Routines become monotonous, monotony tends to bore, and creating something you’re passionate about should never become a labor or chore. That’s what nine to fives are for.
The most exciting part of any new work is the beginning, the initial creative thought, that terrifying, gut wrenching feeling that tends to overwhelm your thoughts. So much that you lose track of any plans or purpose or intention for what you’re doing. That’s not to say that it becomes less important to you or that it loses its meaning, but it just makes you sick. So sick that the only thing to do is, as my brother once described it, ‘vomit’ your thoughts onto the canvas. And now it’s begun, now you feel new and you know what it means to really exhaust passion. It’s a beautiful feeling, one with the most careless sense of sincerity, and that’s where a person can be lost and found. That’s where you envelope yourself until you’re completely satisfied with the end, with that ‘final’ product. But then again, no great work of art is ever really finished.