creativity & inspiration

The Honesty of a Personal Vision

Artists are rewarded for "originality." We are taught and encouraged to strive for it, to be original. However, originality cannot be acquired in art schools, nor purchased in art supply stores. Copying the work of a recognized original artist is obviously not very original. How then can an artist acquire this special and valuable quality?
    The mystery is in just how simple it really is. Originality is only possible if the artist has the courage and the discipline to be totally honest.

The only true originality is honesty.

The deeper the artist delves into what is uniquely and personally true, the more original the work becomes. But it takes courage and humility to work with what is deeply personal. To work this way is to love oneself, to fully embrace oneself. In that embrace is revealed the joy and the pain of being alive, of being human.

    The reward for the artist and the viewers is that the deeper an artist goes into what is uniquely and personally true, the closer that artist gets to what is universally true for all of us!

    To create art from one's personal vision affirms and demonstrates the courage and the discipline of the true artist:  the commitment to honesty. When we see work created by artists who have made this commitment, we are not only treated to some wonderful insights but are challenged to recognize and honor our own personal vision.

The above, based on a product of Bob's Motto Factory, was written to accompany the exhibit: "Five Artists - Varieties of Personal Vision" in the Mendocino College Gallery, February 20 - March 27, 1997 at Mendocino College, Ukiah, CA. The exhibit was curated by Paula Gray with the assistance of her students in the Gallery Management class.