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Back to the Grind

October 31, 2014

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There is no rest for the Arty Fuckers of this world, just an unending challenge that grows in complexity through time. Complacency and pride seem to stifle the process and the consequential insecurities remain ever-present as you search for new and interesting ideas. Why only yesterday I felt great about my work but today was a different story, after working on some more old drawings I could feel that old foe returning with all the inadequacies and overwhelming doubt. It happens usually after a period of growth, with a developmental step forward in which the last series of works becomes assimilated into the fabric of your being, accepted and ordinary, just a part of my output. So from here there is a great insecurity as one needs to take another step forward and find something that is new, worthy and a step forward. In my own case this anxiety and fear drives me forward with a desperation that requires a response, failure to step up and uncover some new ideas can be quite devastating on my morale. Often the new ideas come through my drawing and it can be by chance or through soul-searching, but whichever way this torment is vital to my process. With art  you can be so fixed into your own moment that many other aspects of life are excluded as you become consumed by the raw passion of a life long obsession.




There is no magic bullet and I know that my life can never be easy, but I don’t want an easy life and I aspire to nothing beyond substantial artistry. However the torment of my absolute ordinariness intrigues me, because I look for something special through my work, which I sometimes touch upon briefly, but the nature of my work is so grounding that the ordinary nature of being is ever-present. This reality of mine destroys the myths and dreams of the superficiality of success and directs me back into the pursuit of integrity through my art and so I have to abandon my superficial impulse and ego and accept the consequences of my impulse. It sometimes almost feels like a game of cat and mouse, because my ideas have to have a level of sophistication and accessibility, yet they also need that air of mystery and honest endeavour.


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The nature of our humanity is complex and varied and with this I feel that my art must reflect the whole of who I am, which I think I get close to doing. Experiencing beauty, happiness, melancholy, love, hate, anger and empathy (to name but a few) and reacting to it, defines our very humanity and as an artist I find it hard to focus on singular aspects. Now I find it hard to focus on singular aspects because it makes me feel like I’m cherry picking aspects because of underlying motives that relate to insecurities. To give an example, when you knowingly make an ugly work of art that you fully believe in, it takes courage to meet with the subsequent reaction it has when people see it,  you put yourself out on a limb and it can be quite upsetting. None the less if you believe in that work then it is your duty to produce it and face the consequences, conversely if you make art with the intention to attract viewers then you may find yourself lost to compromise. As an accomplished artist it is possible to use imagery to charm, but I feel that this is one of the biggest traps, which often demotes artists into what is a more decorative area of expression. The artist’s life  is a complicated path, with many traps testing  us out, whilst we have clear choices that have to be taken, we are also at the mercy of society and hardship is never far away. So when a tough choice is made the consequences can be so harsh that you suffer in many ways, sometimes people fall away because they just can’t understand and financial hardship may squeeze you to breaking point. Here I speak from the experience of the last few years of my own life, where I had to seemingly sacrifice an established practice to liberate myself from the clutches of impending mediocrity. And it got real tough, to the point last year that my income plummeted to below £4000. bearing in mind that an income of about £11000 would be considered the poverty line, but I had to have the courage to stare ruin in the face, in order to turn around my true fortune. Needless to say I have no savings left, but I survived the strain and now I can see a way forward to make a better living through more accomplished art. However these decisions are my choice, so I have no complaints though I will continue to knock the establishment for what I feel is a great disservice to the integrity of art  and I will also continue to knock the arts industry with its collective responsibility for an over commodification of art.



Through producing art I have come to realise that the notion of beauty is both subjective and ephemeral, often based on fashions and contemporary sensibilities. I remember as a younger person questioning the notion of beauty to a point where I could no longer define it within my own thoughts, I guess that I was questioning the societal conditioning that delivers such judgmental opinion. latterly I have returned to this question but from a different angle, because I have come to question the notion of beauty in art and whether or not beauty in art became a prerequisite for the bourgeoise, the elite who pay-roled the production of art and in return got what they wanted. It struck me that notions such as beauty and the search for perfection were all part of a distraction and that the western definition of art and art history raised some serious questions. As I thought about much of the artistic imagery that I had fondly grown up with, I started to realise that much of the art was not born out of freedom and that much of it was commissioned by the ruling elite. Subject matter was dictated by religion, myths and historical events which may have compromised the freedom of expression. Then as I thought about the beautiful art of Egypt I realised that the majority of it was made for a specific purpose and my question is, Is this art in the truest definition? I always remember with disbelief, my friend at University telling me that the Egyptian artist’s were almost enslaved into their life of sculpture production. These thoughts led me to thinking that the western notion of art is based on a romanticized view of history, compounded by ownership and possessions and the treasure gathering tendencies of the wealthy elite. These thoughts have  changed my views on what art actually is and so I am left with some very big questions, which I have to say excites me. 🙂


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At nearly two in the morning, I’ve time to put one more image in my blog before I go to bed

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Good night beautiful world ❤ ❤ ❤

Yes I believe the world as a whole would define beauty 🙂

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