So I’m in that dreamy, creative state; full of distracted, half-formed ideas and good intentions when I walk into my local art supply store to buy everything I need to create my next project. I’ve been dreaming of painting on a large canvas an abstract landscape that’s been living in my head for weeks. I’m stopped short by this:
And suddenly all my desire to paint that dreamscape has been knocked out of me, like hitting a mass-produced faux brick wall. I just look at this stack of 20 identical “Art for your wall!” canvases and feel like, what is the point of my spending the time and energy on creating something that a factory can produce in minutes for pennies? It’s not that they aren’t nice to look at, and, somewhere along the way, an artist was probably involved in their creation, but it really sucks the wind out of your sails, you know?
As long as I can pretend that what I create is special, it’s very fulfilling to be a painter, but then when I’m nearly smacked in the face with a reminder that, no, it’s not special, factories around the world have figured out how to do it by reducing the creation of a work of art to a consistently reproducible formula of color balance and just the right shapes…
I almost didn’t buy the supplies I needed, it really deflated me that much. But then I did, and so I will paint. And so on. First lesson of the year 2015: I am not a special snowflake. Next post will be more cheerful, promise!