Thursday, April 5, 2018

On Art And Perceptions of Art

Using light, subtle shades of reddish-blue to depict the contrast between the subject matter and the blurriness of the ocean, the artist captures the fleeting moment when a sand crab is caught for a harmless inspection in gorgeous hues of Gansai Tambi watercolors. The specks of wet sand are visibly apparent on both the handler and the crab itself. The sea creature's claws are relatively unrestrained, yet the handler's gentle fingertips expertly avoid being pinched. It speaks of years of experience in handling similar problems in life -- an existence etched out of clinging to the edge of a blade; always wary of the danger of being cut, yet constantly hungry for all the thrills that life has to offer...


Credits to Mr. Noel G. De Leon for the reference pic used for this painting.

Ok, nope... I wasn't thinking that at all when I painted this. The truth is, I just came across this picture of some guy holding a crab on my timeline and I thought it was aesthetically pleasing, so I decided to paint it -- end of story. As for all that mumbo jumbo up there, that's just me emulating the typical artsy descriptions that come with pieces similar to this one -- which I find off-putting and somewhat disgusting, but that's just me.

Anyway, I am in no way a serious artist and if this is how serious artists roll (like in my parody example at the start of this post), then I'm pretty glad I'm not. After all, I don't believe I have the natural ability nor the patience to call myself a serious artist. I paint/draw most of the time without any innate desire to improve myself or be of service to humanity, or to innovate and express some deep-seated human emotion through splotches of paint on my canvas -- nah man, I'll leave all that fine art mumbo jumbo to others.

I've said it a lot of times before, but my main motivation whether I'm writing, drawing, or creating something else is to create something beautiful -- beautiful by my own standards. Of course, this usually means I end up creating tons of fanart of Nagi coz to me, she is beautiful. In other words, I like to paint pretty pictures -- that's pretty much it.

Now with that said, I also share my art quite often on social media, including on the timeline of my real facebook account. These art posts cover a range of different subjects from Nagi to just about anything that I feel like drawing/painting. Of course, most people I know are aware that I have some degree of artistic competence, so it's no big surprise to them. My posts usually get about 3-10 likes and maybe 5 comments at most from people on my facebook timeline. I get more retweets on twitter from Japanese Hayate mutuals.

Well, my mother happens to be a very gregarious person and has spent a lifetime (literally 30+ years) as a teacher. Her former students are engaged in all kinds of careers and businesses all across the globe. Thus, it's unsurprising that no matter where we go, there's someone that she knows. Naturally, this also carries over to her online status -- she has more than a thousand friends and hundreds more waiting to be accepted. Furthermore, because of her unique personality and memorable teaching style, she has made an impact on the lives of these thousands of people and they are always active on her facebook timeline.

So... I wanted to test a theory. The theory is that: Art is most often all about people's perception of the artist and not necessarily all about the piece itself. As long as the piece itself is competent at a glance, people will praise it if they love the artist.

With this in mind, I took a pic of a recent portrait of my niece that I made using my mother's phone and then posted on Facebook using her account and pretending that she had done it as a way to start a new hobby.

Translated, the post would be:

"Starting a new hobby. I never realized that I knew how to draw as well. Who would have thought this late in my life?" (For your information, my mother doesn't know how to draw and is not interested in learning how to draw or in drawing/painting at all)

So how well did it do? Well, I posted it just over 24 hours ago and here's the result:


238 positive reactions and still growing and several comments (all positive praises) in 24 hours. Compare that to my usual audience of 5-10 or less.

I guess the lesson that we can take away from all this is that if you really want recognition (as an artist in any field), then you might want to think about growing your audience, or in this case, borrowing someone else's  (huge) social network to see how well people respond to your work.

On another note, it also confirms (in my mind) my theory that for most people, it's not about the art, it's about their connection with the artist. So yes, for the people reading this from my mother's timeline, I'm sorry to tell you that I actually trolled you for a bit. My mother didn't draw this piece. It was me all along. I appreciate you coming along with me this far for the ride, though.

The biggest takeaway here for me is that it further confirms my personal philosophy: Everything we do is meaningless anyway. Don't think about being preserved and remembered for posterity. If there is something that you like to do, then just keep on doing it until you are truly satisfied.

This is lordcloudx out.

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