When I first found spaces that were strictly for art online I was a pretty happy camper. I love art, I love artists, I love reading about their processes, discouragements and successes. I'm neither talented nor confident enough to make a living at it myself, but it's always been my number one hobby since Nana stuck a broken crayon in my little fist.
I've never been a big fan of certain art types. Performance art, erotic art, and tagging, for example. I wouldn't seek it out myself but whatever floats your boat, dude.
Erotic art especially is something I am completely uninterested in, although I do believe it is a valid art form and can be practiced to the point where it's museum-quality. It can also be a 19 year old boy drawing his "fur-sona". Definitely not museum-quality, but should he be stopped from doing so and posting online? Who the hell cares?? I don't care. I don't have to look at it. I certainly won't be posting about him, or mocking him because what he does isn't to my liking.
This is all just ranting because one of my favourite stopping places online posted a really unnecessary bit about the art journal craze. Maybe if the writer wasn't a fairly well-known and working artist it wouldn't have rankled so much. As is, the whole post seemed so mean-spirited. Like the owner of a large restaurant going over to the hot dog vendor on the corner and laughing in his face for being poor. Not only laughing at him, but inviting all of his friends to come over and do the same thing. Just really poor manners.
It discourages me, probably because it hits so close to home (and because I'm fighting migraines and the office plague and I'm hormonal). I don't like thinking that one of my favourite artists would look at what I do and turn up his nose. It has happened to me before, though, when a friend encouraged me to send some things to a "real artist" for input. I was told I didn't even have the basics of artistic talent - that there was nothing in my stuff to even critique it was so bad. I did cry over that but it didn't stop me from making messes because I am literally incapable of stopping.
The message of people like Kelly Rae Roberts and Teesha Moore speaks to me because they're saying that I don't have to go into making art with the sole intention of Making Fine Art. It really is okay to just enjoy the process! That's what I'd been needing to hear for a really long time. I thank my friend Patti for first introducing me to the concept. A couple of times, being able to shut everything out and paint has literally saved my sanity.
I am not a sunshiny personality, I'm a pessimist and I don't believe that the sky is the limit. I believe if I followed my bliss that I'd likely end up walking off a cliff for lack of proper signage. The pages of my art journals reflect that. No one in the art journal community has ever told me that I'm not really creating anything because I don't use pink stripes and audobon birds. I certainly wouldn't tell them they aren't artists because they only use collage or only make jewellry. Do your thang. I have no reason to judge.
I guess that's what I want everyone to understand: you have no reason to judge. Let people do their thang. Especially if you're lucky enough to be able to make a living from your artwork.
Now I'm gonna go make messes with fucking finger paints. :P