It is an exciting time to be a creative person. So many online venues to see work, show work, gain exposure and inspiration, learn about materials and techniques – build connections and interact with others and (gasp) possibly generate sales.
There are a few artists friends who won’t engage online (the negative Zuckerberg Effect- I get it). But most of us including myself, use this newish media so easily offered up in the glowing windows in our hands - and might just as easily let our attentions be diverted. (cats being mean to dog videos, anyone?).
As interesting as it is to view the plethora of inspiring interpretations in art seen online, it can innocently tempt one to be influenced by another’s voice and go down roads inspired by a notion, technique or trend divergent from our own.
It reminded me of a little cartoon I saw of a number of balloons floating around the characters head. On each balloon was the word “IDEA” – leading the artist/character wanting to chase one or the other - a natural human tendency to adventure into as many possibilities for picture making because they are exciting to try. But not the best use of time or beneficial toward the goal of personal or artistic growth.
Actually, I have removed printout and images of others work from my studio. I want to follow my own vision, and not be too influenced by others.
Now, let’s talk about the siren call of the Call and Response. Personally, I really get real kick when five seconds after uploading an image, I see a ❤ ❤❤. LIKES = Validation. Validation can motivate – especially when the response if from other artists whose vision and work ethics I admire. But I would say that the more we let ourselves be influenced in an artificial way the less likely we are as artists to progress.
I might pull the earplugs out for a bit for those irresistible calls, I have made a conscious decision to monitor my viewing on line. The virtual world is just that – cool as it is, it cannot be replaced by the tangible and personal.
Life is a balance, wouldn’t you agree?