This morning, I chanced across this very interesting article by the Skinny Artist – 9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist.
After reading the article, I did a little “health check” of the status of my current behaviours and characters in doing art according to some of the points highlighted in the articel; I have come to the conclusion that I am likely to be ended up as a Professional “Amateur Artist”:
1. I painted like a Machine
While most amateur artists wait for inspiration, I don’t. I painted with an attitude of “no tomorrow” during my spare time. One after another, I churned out artworks in different forms, styles, media and theme. I endured through the cycles of “A creation can be a destruction“ yet “a destruction is likely to be another creation” until the my very last bit of my creative energy drained out. My partner often made the comment that I am a “painting machine”, he was always amazed that how committed I am to get my artwork done.
In this aspect, I am truly a professional.
2. I am humble enough to know it takes a lot of hard works to build up an art career
While having fun and enjoy playing with color on canvas, I am pragmatic enough to know that I have to bring back the “rice and noodle” for my family until my children are strong enough to spread their wings. In the journey of taking my art more seriously, for example, like what I am doing now, trying to set up my web, register my dot com, working on marketing strategy, and going to take part in art fair etc, I know it is not easy and going to take a lot of hard work. Success takes times, and sometimes it never happens. While having fun in the entire process of pursuing my passion, I am humble enough to know I have to start right at the bottom, and keep working on it.
In this aspect, I presume I can tick the professional box too.
3. I am bold enough to jump straight onto the canvas and dare to finish my work at any form
Rather than spending time taking courses or workshops, I went straight to the art shop, bought myself all the material, and straight onto the canvas splashing colour following my feel, passion and determination. I painted my first oil painting on canvas without using any paint brush because I have forgotten to buy tinner so I decided to paint directly from the tube as I do not want to find an excuse of delaying it.
That was why I liked the Week Quote from the Art Rat Cafe, “It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human”. Seth Godin
In this aspect, I am determining yet believing myself too much. So I deserved to tick both the professional and amateur box.
4. I get too attached to my Artwork
Professional artist will let go their artwork to give room for new creation. But I still get too attached to my artwork. They are all so precious to me. I have a house full of arts now, of varying standard and finishing quality. Although I have quite a number of offers already to buy my artwork from friends and strangers, I have not let gone any of them yet. My partner has been chasing me for months: “When are you going to turn your art into cash??” I kept saying that I need to work on a solid marketing and business strategy, but deep in my heart, I know, in this point in time, they are still too special to me, and I don’t want to let go. If I sell them, they become $$ sign in my bank account, but if I hold on to them, they are the richest wealth of my soul, and money cannot measure.
In this aspect, I am still so damn genuinely an Amateur until I run out of bread one day.
5. I have never had stay focused
As a process of learning, and my nature of not wanting to do monotonous work, I keep changing my styles and played with different themes and techniques. I guess I am still in the process of finding the right focus and styles that suit me most, but I am more afraid of my own nature of not wanting to do repetitive work.
In this aspect, I am 100% Amateur.
6. I have difficulty in reproducing the same finishing effect
Although I am very confident in playing with colour I still have difficulty in reproducing some of the finishing effect that I have created, and sad to say, I think there is still a long way to go for me to brush up my painting skill to a standard that I wanted myself to be.
In this aspect, again, I am still 100% Amateur.
7. I take my art seriously and trying to reach out to the Art community
It is exactly what I am doing now. And I would like to hold on to some kind of professionalism in this aspect.
8. I love freedom in creation
Yes, I am a rolling stone, and prefer to be seen as an all-rounder. I guess most people would say you need to have a thick layer of heavy mosses all over to be called a professional in certain field. In this aspect, I rather regard myself as someone with shinny skin; I rolled too often all these years and failed to make great impact in anything.
What made this world interesting is because we have diversification. We have the damn serious professionals working hard and focus on one end, and the amateurs having fun playing on the other end; and the rest, like me, a little hybrid hanging in the middle, swinging both ways depending on circumstances.
One of the reasons why I want to pursue art is because I really behaved like a kid when I am playing with colour, so I want to keep this playing mood until I am very old. If art can make my living that would be the most ideal scenario, otherwise I can still use it to help the less fortunate on my spare time, and leave behind a mark in this world.