“Nobody Understands Me”–Wayne White

A week ago, I viewed the documentary film, Beauty is Embarrassing.  This film features Wayne White, “an American artist, art director, puppeteer, set designer, animator, cartoonist and illustrator.”  He is a modern day renaissance man, a bit irreverent at times.

One thing that White grew to realize over the course of his career is that the artist’s expectation to be understood is unreasonable.  Art that follows the trend of having to meet the criteria of a select community or of what is currently popular is art that can become stagnant for the artist.

To be in one’s artistic unfolding,  you have to be willing to go where your muse leads.  You don’t have to have a logical reason…other than this is your current curiosity and inspiration as exemplified by the course Wayne White’s life and art has taken.

In viewing this film, it became apparent that in his later years, Wayne White shows up as an artist of impulse…he follows through on the inspiration of the moment.  He allows his creative curiosities–when he doesn’t know how to do something, he studies, practices and learns.

When someone says to me “I don’t have an artistic bone in my body,” what they are really saying is that they are comparing themselves to a standard of art.  Anyone can fall short of that standard and then think “I guess I’m not an artist.”  They have slammed the door on discovering the artist within that wants to COME OUT!

HERE’S YOUR HOMEWORK:
Watch the film Beauty is Embarrassing.
Afterwards, consider what creative expression wants to bubble up in you.  What have you always wanted to try your hand at but considered it a foolish pursuit?  Hey, try it.  If not now, when?

Go and discover!

Art Challenge TV Show

I have been viewing a former TV reality show, “Work of Art,” via YouTube.  The show only lasted for two seasons.  The up-and-coming artists are given a creative challenge–i.e., explore the theme of movement, collaborate with a child’s work of art, visit a new place and paint a portrait of a local person, etc.  The judges choose a winner of the challenge each week and one artist who fails the challenge goes home.

As a viewer, I appreciate the unique and innate creativity that is part of each one of us.  I can almost see the inner wheels turning as these artists craft a concept into a tangible work of art.  For the artist (or writer) viewing this show, there is an inspirational boost.  You could take the challenge yourself–reframe it to your own genre–and give yourself a specified amount of time to complete the challenge.  If only for the fun of it!

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There is a cutting edge to creativity.  We repeat a technique over and over again (practice and patience) and in doing so, integrate this technique into our repertoire.  It has become part of our creative expression.  We have a conquest.

And then, another level of learning presents.  A chasm of sorts, something to leap across or otherwise navigate.  An artist or writer looks for the next creative challenge.  We want to grow.

Writing Prompt:
How’s the weather where you are today?  Is it a good day to be outdoors, sitting on a park bench with your journal in hand?  If not, how about a quiet little cafe where you can sit in a corner, sip your tea or coffee and play the observer.  Writers, notice the passers-by and try quick, one-sentence cameo descriptions…the goal is to capture something essential about that person…or place.  If you are an artist, try your hand at the sixty-second-sketch and then go on to the next person, place or thing that gets your attention.  Play!

 

sketch