Artists are Nuts

If you know me personally you know why I titled this note in this manner.

I would rather hang out with engineers than with fellow artists most of the time. A lot of the people I took classes with always took their ‘art’ into the political realm and I’m really not interested in going down that route. I’m not interested in discussing political art all that much either. Some of the movements entertain me but for the most part I look for skill in the art I like. I am hugely impressed with people who have the skill to make photo realistic paintings/drawings. That takes talent, skill, and a good eye. It’s so much more than cutting out slogans and pictures and ripping on the latest political leader you hate. I want people to enjoy my work because it’s beautiful. I don’t want people to have to think hard about something I create in order to like it. There should be an automatic ‘WOW’ factor right when they see it because that’s what I want to do with my work. I want to bring beauty, not more sadness or anger to the world… I’m fairly certain we have enough of that everywhere else.

Anyway, like I said Artists are Nuts. I say this specifically, and respectfully BTW, because this last Saturday I had a long conversation with a very intense, and probably a tad crazy, artist. He was 63 and worked in abstract painting mostly. He really liked my work, and said that I was underselling myself and that if my work was in New York it would sell easily for $10,000. I regretfully didn’t get his name because if everything he told me was true he might be a good referral to a NY gallery (whenever I decide to go down that road). He was very intent on me understanding that it is a complete waste of time trying to get into galleries that aren’t in the major big cities back east. He said that there’s no point in being in one of these ‘mom & pop’ galleries around here or even in California or Seattle or Portland. Chicago, NY, Miami and others in that area are the only ones you should try for according to him.

He also asked me how I handle rejection. And in all honesty I’ve pretty much gotten into every show I’ve ever tried for. There’s only been once that I didn’t make it into a show I applied for and that didn’t really bother me at all. I think the people who have a hard time with rejection are the ones that take it as more of a personal rejection rather than one of your work not being appropriate to where you have applied to, or perhaps the style you are working in just isn’t sell-able. It’s one of those things where you have to distance yourself from the art, because you aren’t the art even though you put a lot into it.

He also said that I should ‘go underground’ for 2 years and just paint the entire time, ‘go home and paint. Don’t clean, don’t’ work on anything else. Drop your friends. I promise you’ll feel better for it.’ And that last part I entirely do not agree with. I want a life outside of what I do. I’m not the most sane/normal person, I’ll admit that strait up, but I’m not completely NUTS either. I’m not one of those people who likes to alienate themselves from the world, I like my friends, even though I don’t see them nearly as often as I should, and I’m not one that can live and prosper long in squalor.

He then went into asking me that if I had to choose between buying paint/canvas or buying Gucci shoes which would I buy… Now that’s a tough question. Or not. If you know me you might also remember that I have a money complex where I seriously hate spending money and especially when I feel like I’ve wasted it. Pretty sure I’m not going to be buy Gucci shoes anytime soon, if ever.

So yah, he was very intense and slightly nuts. But what can you expect when you’re talking about an artist? We’re all nuts and eccentric, it’s just easier to see in some people than others.

– Kathryn Koozer

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