I am constantly surprised that I was given a place on the Fine Art Degree course I completed about 18 months back. Constantly. I left University baffled as I don’t really think I learned a great deal but came out of it with the Passey Prize for best work in the Degree Show and personal commendations from the external examiners . . . plus a look of bug-eyed WOW from a couple of my tutors which was worth the price of admission.
The one thing that baffles or amuses me, dependant on mood, is that I did three years of Fine Art and cannot paint or draw. Seriously. How does that work? Drawing, wielding an instrument that makes marks, is the basic unit of communication and I can’t do it. I feel like a fraud, but also believe (as a previous entry about art shows) that Modern Art is a fraud, however much I enjoy it; I guess we’re well suited.
Anyway, since leaving University, I’ve done virtually no art. I did a drawing for a friend based on a Samauri character he created for a comic he produces that actually turned out pretty well bearing in mind I can’t draw. Other than that, creative endeavours has been limited to the craft corner. Candles, Candles and more candles, basically.
But I’m getting an itch that needs to be scratched.
Now the problem is that having done three years of hot-housing installations, I’ve actually forgotten how to do what I used to do; the very stuff that got me into University in the first place; photography, ceramics, abstract painting, etc.
It’s time to go back, I think.
Of course, now being a trained artist, technically everything I produce is ‘officially art’ and has that weight behind it. As one as I can justify it, it’s art. Madness.
The big thing I’ve been struggling with is actually that, I’m an artist with no traditional art skills and my chosen mode of art at Uni is the least saleable form of art in art history – I did sound sculpture. No one wants to buy what is essentially just transient waves in space.
I felt that I had to go back to basics and have filled my front room with ‘How To Paint and Draw’ books. They have had exactly the opposite effect to what I wanted them to have. They’ve stalled my creative flow, intimidated me and made me believe that I couldn’t possibly be an artist.
Yesterday, it occurred to me. I *am* an artist. I trained at University to *be* an artist. I got a good degree, prizes and commendations. I can produce what I like. It may not be liked, it may not sell, but that is completely beside the point.
I’ve thrown away the books, taken back my creativity and goddamn i’ve started painting. And you know what? I’m enjoying myself, doing art, for the first time since Uni.
It might be crap, but it’s mine and it’s art.
I might even show you some at some point.