Monday, September 29, 2008

Having a hard time classifying my artwork

Last night I was telling Chopper about a piece I wanted to sculpt that had several elements, he thought it was rather complicated and wondered why I wouldn't just paint the scene instead. That conversation got me on a train of thought.

Most of my miniatures are one piece, and actually the one I'm planning is going to be one solid piece, but with many components. All the elements will be miniature but the height will take it out of that classification. But this piece won't be that tall, surprised if it even reaches a foot high, which is still a rather small sculpture. 

Then I started to wonder if I'm creeping into the diorama aspect of sculpting, but I'm not building walls around my scene so it doesn't quite fit there either. And then there's the definition of sculpting itself, which comes from the Latin meaning 'to carve'. I don't carve, I hand build. 

I'm in murky territory with my medium too...plastic is not a traditional sculpting medium. My Jammins' characters are not true human forms, but they don't really fit into the fantasy category of art either.

It all takes me back to my oil pastel days, they're called pastels, but aren't really. And there was always the issue of pastels being classified as drawings or paintings. Then I moved on to oil sticks and even though they were oil paints, they were the odd man out too. And then there's always arguments over styles of painting and which is best.

Do I just have a different drummer I listen to? An aversion to doing things the same way others do?'s just finding what materials work for me that fit the image in my head, which isn't exactly traditional itself.

So where am I going with this? Well, it seems to me that I'm spending too much time and energy worrying on the wrong things. I like what I do, I'm compelled to do it and I can tell by the reaction to my work that I'm on the right track in my goals as an artist. In the end does it really matter where something 'fits in' ? 

It seems to me the whole idea of being an artist is about sharing your unique vision with others. If you run with the crowd you'll never stand out from the rest. It's not about an ego trip either...I think that art should be a gift to others, it should bring something special into their life...a new way of seeing. 

It's not exactly a 'build it and they will come' sort of pursuit. It is important to know who your audience is and how to reach out with your work so they will find it. The point I'm trying to make is that, as an artist you can't allow yourself to be boxed in by labels. Do your thing and make it work.

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