In the middle of a plate- Things that inspired us.

“Every Child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain a child  once we grow up” Pablo Picasso.

You may have forgotten, quite an unfair world. You know the story of our artistic rise to masters was moulded by little things in and off the classroom environment. Half way down the line, we grew up. The sad thing about our growing up is not just our excessive grub for Money . No, its our forgetfulness, especially of where we are coming from. 

If we can remember how far we came then we must not forget the little things that inspired us. Before we knew the names of the big artists and masters that we quote as a source of inspiration we had other little things that kept us going.

Plates: I can remember getting so drawn to ceramic plates because of the beautiful paintings inside. I would most times find myself redrawing and copying them. Its unfortunate that most of the new glass and ceramic plates have less or no painted drawings in them anymore.

Awake – I’m not a witness but I was drawn to copying images from that book. Especially of animals and people in Paradise.

Textbooks- illustrations on textbooks was a bomber, it did the magic.

Cars- oh yea. Cars got us rolling. Most times drawing the da** thing with 6 or 8 tires. I wonder why that has still never been invented.

There are other little Inspirations, and its relative to our unique experiences.

Never forget.

5 things you should not say to an artist.

Things you should not say to an artist.
You probably have an artist friend and wondering why both of you don’t get along pretty well. You may have used any of these words mistakenly or you must be really bad at getting along with people. Either way, if you are trying to buy an artist’s heart, avoid these words.

  1. it’s not Fine.
    Yes, that sentence can sentence an artist to death. Naturally, every artist want to be appreciated for his works, no matter how bad the works are. More so, there is really no good or bad art. So next time you want to talk about an artist’s work, don’t use the word “Not Fine”. Some works are not fine but make for a good aesthetic quality. A good appraisal would help the artist to become better. P.s tell him its fine even when he doesn’t want to hear it, and watch the magic.

Continue reading “5 things you should not say to an artist.”

4 Jargons Artists use frequently.

Artists are simply complicated people. They switch on and off at anytime. Yes, its that bad. But they are the most lovable people around town, look around.  So if you have been around an artist a long time, you must really be getting used to these his unpredictable culture.

1. Untittled

Artists can be very lazy people. Yes. They are hardworking when it comes to creating and giving life to an idea, but goes all lumpy at the simple idea of naming their creation. And so they found a short cut; “Untitled”. A lot of work bears more untitled than works named. However, the negative aspect of this is that it makes the works harder to stick. Example, you can actually remember works like Da vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, Picasso’s ‘The Meal’, Michelangelo’s ‘David’, Demas Nwoko’s ‘Adam and Eve’, Ben Enweonwu’s ‘Anyawu’, Damian Hirsts ‘For the love of God’ etc. It would also be noted that most of this masters have works titled “Untitled “. One question, How many untilled works can you remember?

Continue reading “4 Jargons Artists use frequently.”

The art in Zuckys speech

 

3 ways to begin.

It’s usually a common sentence in the art, when beginners go “I know what I want to paint but I don’t know how to begin” but they do not understand the beauty in that irony. Few days ago Mark Zuckerberg was in Harvard to deliver the commencement speech and in it he talked about purpose and connecting the world to your big ideas. Then he revealed a secret that ideas don’t come fully formed, mot even Facebook.

“But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”

 

I remembered my first encounter with paintings. Overcoming an empty canvas is usually a problem to beginner painters, in fact even professionals. Same can be said about sculpture and other forms of art that you need to overcome spaces and voids.

I have interviewed many professional artist, and one thing most of the successful ones have in common is the “unknowingness” that strange thing that happens when you have an idea and you don’t know how to interpret it in your canvas. Here are some tips that would help you overcome the void

  1. The best way to start is to start.

In a painting, when faced with an empty canvas, a lot of people are shocked with how do I begin? question the blooms fear in the heart and freezes the creative will. To overcome this, listen to your heart and play by its rule. Freedom helps you get to a higher level of creativity by error or chance. Example, you want to paint a landscape, filled with lively trees and green life, and you got confused whether to paint the background first, the trees second, the foliage etc. or vice versa. Just start with anyone at all, trust me, as you continue, it would all fall in place. In fact starting with whatever you heart tells you would transform the work to something more energetic than what you expected. Keep repeating this word to yourself “the best way to start is to start- no one can create my ideas for me”

  1. Ignorance is bliss

 

Ignorance most times have turned bliss. Picasso once denied knowing what art is. “If I know what art is” he said, “I would rather keep it to myself

Edgar Degas was like him, he mused:

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do”

 

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things”

 


The above quote is something I have observed from reality. Do not always calculate the outcome, for you would always fail. Let the outcome just be the outcome. Phillips Nzekwe is a Nigerian sculptor who started painting, and since he had practiced sculpture for more than 2 decades (paying less attention to painting, colour mixture, colour theory etc) could not consider painting. One day he woke up and started painting just like that, and the beauty lies in the way he plays by the rules of his heart.  He confessed “I wish I could have the same freedom I have with paintings in my sculptures” simple just paint.

IMG_20170528_105945IMG_20170528_110753

 

  1. Breathe

Yes. Very simple, just breathe. Nothing else.

Try this out and you would be surprised at the wonder you would create.

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DEAR ARTIST

I know it is difficult to be you already in a world where mediocrity outshines competence. I understand the creative and mental energy you put out in your creations to keep the world sane, and yet most times are less appreciated for it, maybe until you die. You work hard to heal the world and forget to heal yourself, I would not suggest that this is why you die early, go crazy, die wretched or develop a sickness from the chemicals you work with that your money cannot heal- no I would not, it would be overruling the selflessness in you that mocks selfishness at the crossroads where the creative will and divinity entwine. But remember:

Remember that the most important thing for a creative is to STAY ALIVE. Stay alive to transmit to the universe the calmness it needs to heal the silent cacophonies of pain etched in the hearts of men. Your true happiness comes from it.

You see, REFUSE against all odds the craziness of tags no matter how friendly they are.  The tag that calls you a painter, a sculptor, ceramists, practicing artist, African Artist, full time artist and the endless list of others. It limits you. I wish I could travel to Florence to raise da Vinci, Michelangelo or transverse the vast lands of Africa so you could ask Benedict Enweonwu. Paint if you can, sculpt, design, have fun for THERE IS ONLY AN ARTIST AND DIFFERENT MEDIUMS OF EXPRESSION and not the other way round. Of cos we cannot do without tags, but if you must accept any let it be in the simplicity found in the word ARTIST. I have seen people who abandoned their tags to become so much more. You would never know you belong to the sky until your raise your wings and fly.

No one knows what art is. You see, there is beauty in freedom and expression is one way to know if you are really free. Don’t let anyone define what your art should look like, for there is only one link between the word ART (the unknown) and IST (Your personal isms), and it’s YOU. I do not blame Picasso who mused “if I know what art is, I would rather keep it to myself”.

An artist, is not almighty and you must understand this reality. The times tells the tale of failure and hardship from the governments of the world. So be wise. You are not infallible from the economic conditions of the world- in fact it affects you more.  In order to stop the embarrassment that has gradually dropped the value of the artist i.e. harassing collectors with your works and forcing them to buy. I have met a good number of collectors who are proud to price many of the artist works like they were tomatoes placed under the sun, fading away in their prime. Please let them come for you, or possibly just show them and refuse to sell, either way, make them hungry and not satisfied.

The hunger clause. All artist are hungry, even the richest ones –they want so much more. You may ask the question; “how do I survive if I don’t sell my work?” please do not been fooled by the word “full time artist”, you must have an ASI( ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF INCOME), Something outside your art that would be generating revenue for your art materials, tools and upkeep at least you become big enough. Most of the big names you know are doing this but would never let you know. But beware, Art is a jealous lover who leaves you once she know you have a side chick that steals your attention, so you must never let her know. In fact, the attention should not be equal. This would help you not to be in the mercy of others in your practice.

Age is nonsense. It is the tag of number created by the society that tells you what or what not to do. In fact most times it determines your worth. Refuse it with everything. Wisdom doesn’t come with age; it comes with experience. If you doubt me, look around, you would find old fools. For art, you would be caged and left behind many times because of your age, the only way to break that barrier is to create highly mind blowing pieces. Trust me, no one would remember your age again. Remember, never equate your worth with your age.

Never murder your ARTIST CHILD.  She is the innocence and freedom you are born with to create, growing up would make it harder for her to survive. Many had lost SIGHT of this path, because they wanted to be more professional, more sane, more rational, more others than themselves. and you know what it means to be others before you?- you die.

To be continued.

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