In his book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly, Seth Godin, repeatedly calls for the reader to “Make better art.” The premise of the book is that we should make art, there is no better time to do it, but that is not enough, we should “Make better art.” I have been a fan of Godin since my corporate days and was excited to see he had written a book focused on art. I am also a fan of the Icarus myth (see above.) So, I picked it up and wham! Not only did it speak to my current situation, it also referenced the past three books I read. It was as if my brain had been primed for this book. Kind of weird! Now, I am not trying to get all Secret Celestine Prophecy on you but the synchronicity! It talked to me, it excited me, it pumped me up!
And that phrase, “Make better art,” it bolted through me every time I read it.
Isn’t that the call of the artist, to “make better art?”
Above is a side by side photo I took of my chicken that won first place at the Denver County Fair and a painting of some people in a theater that won first place at the Uintah High School art show when i was in high school. I had picked up the second one when I was recently at my parents house. I wanted to compare.
I currently have both hanging in my dinning room. I wanted to compare.
Results have been mixed.
“Impressive! You painted that in high school?” said the gentleman from art website I volunteered my kids to do a focus group for.
“Can we take that down? your new work is so much better.” My wife keeps asking.
They are both right. My technique has improved over the years. There is a great freedom and expression in my old work.
Then, I use to push to complete paintings as fast as I could. Now, I am slower more controlled.
I like them both! Each has audience! Each has it’s merit! Both are the past!
The next one will be better!