Finding Your Artistic Voice - Originally Posted in the Orchid Forums 07/08/2008
Originally Posted in the Orchid Forums 07/08/2008
As an artist, I get to change my methodology, learn, and create a voice of my own. If a person can only copy and not innovate, then their work will always look like a project piece.
When I juried for the NYC Couture show, I saw five selections of work from one jewelry artist (what does that mean exactly?) and in each one, I could tell what workshop it came from. To be truly unique, distinct and to stand out, takes patience, perseverance and more patience. Your own voice will always win out. Sure, I can learn how to do granulation from Ronda Coryell, and push my little granules so they stack up like nice neat symmetrical rows of pure golden beauty. But what makes my piece distinct from everyone else's who has learned the same technique? To develop a voice, or my "art," I can take the technical knowledge I've acquired and begin making my own variations without repeating the basics and fundamentals of Rhonda Coryell, without copying her style of working or that of another as I begin to understand the combination of chemistry, physics and panic in granulation (if you have ever done granulation, you will know what I mean.) But it's important to point out that I had to do work on projects that were like hers or somebody else's.
If I copy the Etruscan piece of jewelry in my art history book, will the ghost of the jeweler past come to haunt me? Sharing knowledge is noble service. Knowledge should be given freely without ego. If in sharing that knowledge, or teaching a concept, another artist's method or vision works better to drive the point home then, I see nothing wrong with it. What happens when you go to a museum? You sit and copy by drawing or photograph somebody else's creation. Is that bad, is it wrong? No. I did it all the time in art school and it became the FOUNDATION of finding my own voice. Now I am doing something very different with granulation. My interests in biology, math and quantum physics have merged with my artwork and the drawings in my sketchbook are surreal.
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