How Do You Make Your Art?

after the rain, photograph w/ lensbaby macro

“At it’s worst, [contemporary art] offers only imagination without vision, goals without values, individuality without character.”

Ted Orland

As I read this line in Orland’s The View from the Studio Door I wondered what distinctions he was making here. After all, it seems like a good thing to have goals, use your imagination and express your individuality. On the other hand, vision, values and character does sound better. What’s he after? Here’s my initial simple take, but this is one that I think bears ongoing examination.

Vision unifies imagination.

Values give your goals importance.

Character makes others respect your individuality.

Imagination, goals and individuality allow you to create art that is initially interesting. Vision, values and character allow you to make art that is interesting over time.

I am going to have to contemplate how I can integrate these into my art. It is so easy to just make the art – harder to make it with vision, values and character.

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