#40. Make Good Art...
Hello there ladies and gentle men and welcome to another episode of Making Lemonade,
The podcast where we talk about how we take the lemons that life gives us and all of the different flavours of lemonade that we as creatives and as people make through out our lives.
This week we are talking about Making Good Art.
Not sure what that means? Well let’s just get into it aye?
What is good art?
This is a question that I have been asking myself for years.
It never really manifested itself in a genuine thought process until recently.
We all think of art as good, this does not mean that all the art I make is good for all the people on the earth.
So maybe we should start with what is good art, as it can be such a broad question.
Art has always and will always be subjective, however the beautiful thing about art is, if you train your skills, whether you be a writer, illustrator, actor, comedian, musician, singer, dancer, filmmaker, paper figurine maker…we all should, in this guys opinion, start our projects for one reason, because we want to see it exist.
Most everything I create exists because I would obtain these ideas from the ether and wanted to be the one to catch them from the muse and create it into being before someone else did.
In Greek mythology the nine beautiful daughters of Zeus also known as the Muses were believed to inspire all creatives.
The muses were worshiped in their own way whether for inspiring artists to draw, write, act, they all had their own associations with the creative arts and they were worshipped and given the credit for the masterpieces and works of art of the day.
The worship of these Muses has all but vanished however to this day, most artists hope to feel the touch of one of these muses.
The Greeks believed the gods were to be credited for most everything especially when it came to the creative arts, they were a humble folk and did not like taking much credit.
Rather treating themselves as vessels for the gods, to hand on knowledge and art.
The Greeks even believed that the genius was a god that latched itself to the mortal.
Now when I started out, I had no way of knowing where on earth my work would lead me.
I had no idea I would have a daughter when I first started drawing comics.
I had no idea that my skill set would move into the digital realm.
I also had no idea I would become a Graphic Designer.
I didn’t think the night I started writing a poem, with my daughter in my arms that I would be turning that into a children’s book for her and others so that they can share it with their kids.
Art is a state that one can become a part of in which, when one is creating, not unlike the child in the toy room, one can lose themselves in.
It is almost a state of meditation.
When we are children, we all begin to draw, we paint, we glitter, we make a mess and we create works of art that our parents cherish for years to come.
Well, I think it’s because, although in a technical sense, these works of art we are creating are not “masterpieces”, but deep down we all somehow know that the art that is created by a child is arguably the purest form of creation.
I believe this is because there is no insecurity in this child's art, there is no inhibitions, no doubt or care for mistakes. There is just pure creation with the medium that the child is given or has possessed.
This is why we need to give our children walls to draw on and carpets to paint and stop stifling their pure creativity.
We are all creative in nature and we all can create beautiful works of art if given the time and freedom as children.
This is where making good art begins.
Well, let’s specify how to make good art.
Now I need to put a disclaimer here and it is, that these steps or ways to make good art are the ways I live by they are not necessarily the way everyone makes good art, they are just the different commandments I have culminated to help me to create good art.
So there are 10 different ways I do and I sat for a while really thinking these through.
1. Make art in your voice and from your heart.
By this is I mean, make art that only you could make. Make art that sounds like you and your personality.
Write in your voice and the way that you write and make work from your point of view and about that which you have experienced.
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, these are three names in show business that, when you go to see a movie with either of these four actors in it, you know exactly what you’re getting.
That’s why a movie like a Baywatch reboot works because people know that they are going to get the Rock in all his badarse modern day 80’s action star glory.
2. Make art that you wish existed.
Kevin Smith wrote a fil called clerks.
This film he wrote purely because he was working a convenient store/ video store and with his friends and he found the conversations and days they would have at the store were entertaining, so he wrote a screenplay about it because he knew only he could write that story and it would exist if he drew it.
3. Make art that makes you say holy shit I just did that?!
So I have, in my time, created something that even I am astounded by and feel like a fraud for taking credit for it as I feel like it came from an external place of being.
I have drawn and written some things that I have had to give thanks to the muses for as I just can’t take credit for these things as I am not a genius nor a god, I am a man who is inclined to be creative and will do whatever it takes to make my ideas come to life.
So my advice here is to sit down everyday and create, create until its done.
4. Make art that brings you joy.
Well, this goes without saying.
If you’re not enjoying what you’re making, then what's the point in making it.
Make art that lights up your heart.
Make art that brings you unfathomable joy.
Don’t make art for the market, you will simply just disappear into the background.
5. Make art and give away more than you don’t.
You must give art away, you must give more art for free than you do for money.
First and foremost because art does not belong to you, it belongs to everyone and if you’re not making it share than why are you making it?
Secondly because the more art you give away for free, the more art people will want to buy off of you.
If you want people to see your art, you have to be willing to give it to them.
You have to show them you don’t care for their money and rather that you care for your art and that the most amount of people will see it.
6. Make art for a specific person.
This is a great way to make art, the writer of eat pray love said she had so much pressure on her when she was writing her follow up book to her bestseller Eat Pray Love that she couldn’t write for the millions waiting for the book but instead she found that writing her book toffee of her best female friends was the way to get through to the millions of readers anticipating the book and it also took all the pressure of the writing and the book having to be perfect.
7. Make Fan Art.
Fan art is such a negative term these days I prefer to call this appreciation art.
We all have things we are fans of and that influence us as artists. If we use this properties and IP to hone our skills, it takes the pressure off its from being forced to create whole characters and world and premises for drawings and just doing our versions of the things we love can help us all build fan bases and followings and show people our styles at the same time.
8. Make Art to share it.
Why on earth would you just make art for yourself?
Art is to be shared, art should be free, it should be accessible to all people because art is how we communicate our base and deepest emotions.
It is not a privilege only reserved for the rich among us and those with influence. Art is the most beautiful thing a human being can create.
It’s how we speak to each other and say the things that words can not say.
Imagine if Lennon & McCartney wrote Hey Jude and just kept it to themselves
Imagine if The Rolling Stones didn’t have music, they couldn’t share with us the way they Sympathise with the Devil.
I don’t know what you make art for but I sure as hell make it to share with all of you.
9. Make art outside of your comfort zone.
This too goes without saying, that mailing art outside your comfort zone should be a daily practice for all artists.
We all have to make art outside our comfort zones if only to get better.
If you don’t attempt new mediums and try new things we are not going to grow as artists.
We must make obscure art to make our regular art practice better.
Staying in your comfort zone is also kind of boring and can only last so long.
10. Make art that only you can make.
This is a lot easier said than done because to know what art only you can make, you must first know who only you are.
This is what we strive to do and help you do here at Making Lemonade.
I am here to help you figure out who you are and what makes you tick, what your weaknesses and strengths are.
Once you know who you are you can begin making work in your own voice and your style.
This final one to me is the most important, the pinnacle, the best step to success in all areas of art.
Follow these steps and you can’t really make bad art by any stretch of the imagination.
So why do we make good art?
Well, I can answer this question quite simply.
We make it to express ourselves.
We make art to see through to the soul of an individual, flaws and all because a flawed individual has an incredible amount of beauty.
Art is all about beauty in the most unlikely of places.
Good art makes you feel, think and you just know when it’s good because, it insights something in you.
I often find if I am scrolling through social media and am stopped by a piece of art that just makes me want to share it in my stories or text into someone, that’s good art.
I love poster art, I love cinema posters and if I find a poster that I absolutely must have framed up in my studio, that’s good art.
Art does not speak to the logical brain.
This is why conservative types are not necessarily creative.
Art often does not solve a problem, this is where design steps in.
Art is far more than advertising. It’s far more than telling a story.
Art knows both the viewer and its creator.
Art means one thing to me and a completely different thing to you, as we both look simultaneously at the same piece of art.
Art is exciting, it’s groundbreaking, its world shaking and its heart aching.
Music is art, cinema, poetry, writing, storytelling, hairdressing, dressmaking, ice skating, and booty shaking.
Art rhymes, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it insights the deepest of emotions and it helps to find.
It helps define, it complains, it expresses and it acquiesces.
Art can crack the shells of the hardest men, it can bring life to an end.
Art if life and it is emotion in its purest form, art can say nothing and still inform.
Art is an analysis of the self and the self-analysis of the world.
Sport can be art, art can be a sport.
If art has passion and emotion it is an unstoppable force.
Philosophers and farmers have argued its true definition for centuries and the only common consensus is that art is art if it insights an emotional reaction.
This is the way I tend to like to think and judge art.
I have had that emotional reaction with many drawings and movies. I find myself having a reaction to many pieces of art.
I just saw Avengers: Endgame, and due to the way I could relate to the final 10 minutes of the film, no spoilers here.
If you’ve seen it you’d understand why I would have had this reaction as it was very powerful to me personally.
This is the mark of good art to me.
Not only can I relate to it, but I also find good art is that which I relate so much to that it insights a powerful emotional reaction in me.
Thank you so much for reading,,
I love you all.
So in the hope, you got something out of this.
If you want any more information on my theories around Making good Art or just want to join the conversation on this weeks episode please feel free to contact me on instagram @jordanmorpethart or join our discord community. The link is below in the episode notes.
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Thank you all again,
I love you so much.
I’ve been your host Jordan
And as always guys,