Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Double-Rot Schism

So, as those who've been around these parts for some time know, I'm kind of a terminally confused guy when it comes to making art. I like so many different things,and enjoy making all different kinds of images, but I'm also all too able to decide that whatever I'm up to has some kind of essential flaw to it; If I'm making noisy, raw looking stuff, I'm not drawing the clean, refined lines that I like to make, when I draw some grotesquerie or another, I'm thinking about how some genuinely beautiful ornament should be in its place, vice- versa, etc., etc..
I'm always maybe a little too concerned that I'm not looking at what I'm doing objectively, unable to come up with a measure outside myself.I can obsess over some tiny aspect or concern in a drawing and later realize that it made no difference whatsoever . Myopia isn't exactly the hallmark of good work, I don't think. But maybe that's more interesting than anything else?
And I worry over motives: What am I trying to achieve, exactly? Is it simply a matter of pleasure in making marks on paper? Should I try to wrap up actual concerns in my drawings and present them to the viewer? Does that come off as didactic? Does it eschew the genuine confusion and uncertainty that I hold when it comes to everything I've ever thought? Am I even capable of presenting concerns in any real way?
Maybe this is normal. Maybe that's why artists seem to be a little alienated.
But I write this cause I'm interested- and it might be a little indulgent, I realize- in what you guys think of my various approaches. The great thing about blogs like this is that if any of us feel that need for getting a feel of what others' think of your stuff, we can do it here. I don't get that in my daily life. My girlfriend pretty much tells me everything I do is great and none of my good friends are that interested. They like beer and guitars and Bill Hicks. Like most normal people, doing little drawings in your spare time is seen as a pleasant little diversion.They like it when I draw huge tits with metal logos on them.Thats my greatest hit with these goons ( I love 'em, but yeah).
On a really basic level I wonder if I've just lost the passion.I imagine guys like Matt and Aeron hunkered down in their caves, knowing exactly what they want to do and doing it, engaging with drawing in a way that I did at one point, where I just shut stuff out and did it.


-Click to Engorge.( each of em)


Jeffrey Meyer said...

Great pictuures, Luke. The last one is killing me.

You bring up two issues - sort of related - that I (and I'm sure a lot of artists) think about (perhaps too much) for most of their lives: motives and passion.

I totally obsess over my motives. If I can't pinpoint my reasons for making art in gerneral (or for a specific piece) I begin to question whether I have any reason at all to create... I go through the whole Freudian bullshit (sex, death, blah blah blah), the need for recognition and identity, financial incentives (hah!) on and on... until I hate myself more than usual.

Then of course "passion" is always an issue... aside from some occasional hyang-ups with self-esteem and procrastination, I haven't had any problem siting down and making art. In fact, it's the only activity that allows me to feel remotely normal, at least while I'm doing it - afterwards, of course, I start to wonder about it all over again, and certainly among regular "citizens" I end up feeling just as confused and alienated as ever... which I suppose is a cycle that leads me back to the drawing table again so I can "make sense" of... well, everything.

At this point I just think it's best to sit and do the work without apprehension (I know, easier said than done) and fuck the rest of it... hmmn, I wonder if guys like Henry Darger ever questioned his motives?

zeke said...

Luke, it's good to have you posting whatever you decide to put up.
As far as my humble opinion on your art goes....
Don't care for the 1st 2, 3rd's cool, 4th got a superb deranged bosch feel to it (the style I wanted you to do something in for voida voida) and the last one is fuckin' ace! very original cartoony style. Like your own unique take on Studio Ghibli.
I'm not getting into the whys and wherefores, just keep posting 'til you realise how cool your art is.

A.B. said...

Just do it because you like it and your good at it. I know that's not the most cerebral analysis, but the only reason that I draw is because I like to make pictures.Your artwork and criticism always pushed me forward from when I first started posting on the TCJ board until now, and I'm thankful for the direction you nudged me toward. So don't quit, yeah?

Luke Pski said...

Thanks guys. I won't quit, that's for sure. I just get easily hung up. I think at this point it's more a matter of getting right with my own character, understanding how my brain works a little better.
A lot of the more fantastic type stuff that's within a clear pictorial plane started to feel kind of limiting after a while.How many more skull heads can I draw? How many knotty trees? I felt like I wanted to get more into bold, more graphic looking designy type stuff, before you know it I'm making abstract stuff, etc., etc.
And know I'm just confused cause I don't feel like I'm well suited for that kind of drawing..
We'll see..
I think the best thing I can do at this point is just shut up and get to the drawing board.
I actually wrote this post early in the morning and I just got home from work and reread it and I feel sort of embarrased by it..

Sean Goblin said...

That's it, I'm sending you & Robert to therapy.

MD Encolpius said...

I love the first one and the last pic they are fantastic. If your confusion consists of work like this, great!

Aeron Alfrey said...

From what I've seen of your work you have a variety of unique approaches. You might consider just continuing the visual dialogue with these multiple approaches. Keep an ongoing series of the more abstract work as well as a continuous series of the more figurative fantastic or phantastic imagery, something that I'm a huge fan of, and just run with it.

I still really want to see you come up with another dozen or more of those amazingly grotesque Bruegelish environments.

Thinking about the whys and what fors in my own art is never an issue, mainly because I know, subconsciously, if there's something I'm trying to say, it will come out in the end. But I do try to channel my darker ideas through the digital stuff and the more whimsical humorous ideas through the drawings.

Human Mollusk said...

Sean, your comment made me laugh out loud.

Turok Reader said...

i had an idea, a knotty tree covered in skull-heads!!

hey there`s something beautifully otherworldly about that last one, I love the ambiguity of it`s character. very wonderful.


Paleo said...

Luke, the life of an artist is lived in constant doubt, why do you think everyone think artists are so cool? its because we are like Cowboys you know?, prairie rebels, riding unto the sunset, bareassed, on a shaved donkey.

kings of speed said...

I had this problem for awhile. I had a problem where I was constantly second guessing my work. I wasn't sure what type of art I wanted to make but I knew that I couldn't pick a "style"..one just had to develop. I have little patience so I was struggling for years with art and hating things I would make months or weeks after I'd make them.
I pay close attention to detail and once I started to fine my 'style' I would often trace,retrace and copy drawings over and over to achieve the cleanest drawing. I also would get so frustrated by the content. I wanted to make otherworldy scenarios that related to my life but I didn't want to set out with the intention of making deeply personal art.
I think when I took some time out,stopped caring about posting online or getting my stuff around..that is when I started to get over it. So much of it had to do with other people to. What do other people want to see,do they like it when I make something this way or of this subject matter more than another one?
I also have an intense anxiety problem that really climaxed last summer. Thankfully(or unfortunately) I now take medication which doesn't make me lazy or patient but it keep a million thoughts from racing through my head at one time.
There are so many artists today and anyone can make "art" or some kind and post it online. It's bad in the sense that many people don't really think or take time with what they are doing..they might want an instant feeling of gratification via a comment or something. I know because I have definitely done it a few times. Just scanned something I didn't even believe in hoping when posted,someone else would tell me it was good and worth my time.
Anyways, I will make a good post soon and thanks for the nice compliments(I got the email too).

Luke Pski said...

It actually helped me to write this out and post it, cause I was able to see some ugly qualities and motivations that tend to creep in that amount to "Please tell I'm good!". It's stupid, but I think it's kind of natural too.At its worst its about not wanting to take ownership of what you're doing, I think;' Well, a and b told me it was great, so I don't have to worry about it being good'. But at the same time we're social creatures and want to please each other.
-And it feels good when people tell you they like your stuff.I'm not sure how many people could make art without some of that, but when hearing that becomes the motivation, you're screwed.

On the other hand, I'm at a point where I kind of have to start making at least some money from all this stuff.There are people that depend on me financially and I kind of have to go for broke with the art stuff over the next 5 months or start looking into getting a "real" job. This whole retail/service industry thing plus trying to do art is worse for me in both artistic and economic regards.
I don't think I'll be able to make it as an artist per se, as in selling originals for a living, but I think it could maybe lead to some kind of design type job down the road. Maybe illustration.
But yeah, that's where a lot of this anxiety has come from over the pst two years. It's been a slow boil.