I read this quote by Scott Christensen in the February issue of Southwest Art, and I've been meaning to write it down ever since. In an interview, they ask him what the biggest misconception is about artists, and his answer is the following:
"That we just paint and it just comes flowing out of us naturally. But it has to be a learned thing. Knowledge precedes execution. Most people think creating art is a feeling. That’s like saying Yo-Yo Ma must have just picked up the cello and started playing it."I love that because it says in so few words exactly what annoys me sometimes about the public perception of art. People assume that painting is this touchy-feely relaxing activity that requires no study or thought. I can't tell you how many people have (with genuine concern!) asked me if what I'm doing now is keeping me "challenged" enough after leaving engineering. Truth is, I love to paint, but I keep at it because it's a challenge.
Honestly, this is the hardest job I've ever had.
Every day I'm striving to improve my work and learn something that will take me to that next level. And I know that I'll probably never feel like I've "made it", because I'll always see something that needs improving. Add to that the challenge of actually making a living at art, and you have a helluva challenging job! It takes work, and it takes knowledge. And when it comes to the knowledge part, I've got a long way to go...