Saturday, September 7, 2013

artistic monkeys

We artists, we're like monkeys with great memory.

Monkeys, trapped in a room, knowing not what where doing, or why. Just doing is enough. Given enough time, we're bound to eventually do something interesting, right? If one monkey was given a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, the monkey would at some point have written a book. Any book, and all books, by accident. 

We are a little like that, because artistry is often about just experimenting with different things, going with your gut, testing things. Often, the result is useless, but sometimes, we wind up doing something productive. First we shrug off our initial surprise at actually succeeding in creating something, then we say it was our intent all along, and then we memorize what we did, so we can replicate it.

And that's experience. A good artist is not one that always succeeds in his experiments, or by seeming chance always seems to nail what hes doing, always fruitful. A good artist is one that has failed a lot, but also seem success. Nay, a good artist is he who learned from all this, made it good experience, experience he can now utilize and purposedly replicate. A good artist has a repertoire of learned skills.

And that is sometimes the secret to artistry. Doing random things, and keeping the results in mind, whatever they may be. Artistic wisdom.

I've done my fair share of fucking around, artistically. I left most of my blog-directed art back at my place, and this sequence of pictures is just something that I pulled from my camera dump, that happened to be on my USB-drive. I made it into a gif, and the next gif I'll make will be even better, because I learned things while fooling around taking pictures of wooden chairs on my balcony.

"The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint; the greats were great, because they'd paint alot."
Even though it pains me as a truly lazy guy to admit, Macklemore nails it in "Ten Thousand Hours". It's work. It's about building a foundation of artistic insight, brick by brick. And that's life, not just artistic workmanship. In everything we do, we start from the ground, and work ourselves upward. The bricks aren't always so inspired, either. Anything you'll learn in school is just another piece in the big puzzle that is the foundation of your understanding of life, yourself, and ultimately the world.