Thursday, July 31, 2008

Staying focused while keeping balanced

This is something I am often struggling with and I can not help but wonder if this is something other artists also find challenging?

Besides figurative oil paintings, I love painting abstracts. I have dabbled in stained glass and etchings. I do metal sculpting, have worked with clay and wood and attended a marble-sculpting course (still have several pieces of marble and limestone calling me). I immensely enjoy drawing, especially life drawing. I studied graphic as well as web design and can get lost for days in front of my computer working on designs. Then during the last few years I started to spend an increasing amount of time on photography; first studio work, then nudes in nature and recently underwater photography. (‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ perhaps?!)

With a variety of interests I often find it really challenging staying focused. Projects will land on my lap that sound enticing; help someone create a business identity, wedding photography, help set up a new website, design a logo, a painting of someone’s child, product photography… In no time I will find myself lost in ventures taking me in directions I feel is not parallel with my core purpose.

While discussing this with TJ he asked me what my mission statement is? This got my thoughts rolling. What is Antoine Art Studio LLC’s mission statement?

This is what I came up with:
‘To create innovative fine art that inspires and moves’

Herewith I share one of my newest works ‘Subsistence IV’ A painting for which I used the wonderful model Artemis as reference.


Artemis said...

I experience the same thing frequently, Antoine. I think it's a part of being creative. I've found it's helpful to write down my goals and list what I can do to attain each one. It keeps me on track (most of the time).

Awesome new painting by the way!

Coen said...

Stunning !!! Jy is so een van n soort, en daai een soort wat mens meskien nooit in jou lewe raakloop nie, want hulle is net so skaars... die swart perel!!!! Jy is net jy Stunning soos jou paintings!!! Love you maatjie

Coen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

There's always a temptation to follow the money, and that can become the tail wagging the dog.

It seems like wedding photography and corporate design could be categorized as capturing someone else's vision. Yes, you bring your own interpretation and talent to it, but it's someone else's project.

The mission statement you came up with looks good. It doesn't preclude you from accepting commissions, but focuses the scope of your work.

It's also broad enough to include the various art forms that interest you (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography). I think this variety is healthy. It keeps you from getting bored. It keeps your work fresh. It gives you options to pursue whatever passion is energizing you the most.

Whether in studio, in nature, or in a swimming pool, the preponderance of your work is centered around the human figure - either representational or abstracted. Your mission statement didn't state this, but maybe it goes without saying.

austexgrl said...

No matter what you do, your attention to detail, the starkness of your simplicity...each piece is a masterpiece. I look at your work with awe....

You, of course must find your own "mission statement"...we, your audience, find ours. In your work, what I take away is a thoughtfulness, and an identity with an exquisiteness that is inspirational.

Antoine de Villiers said...

Thanks so much for all the responses!

Artemis, glad to know I’m not alone.

Heleen (& Coen), I sent you a PM. You’re the best. I can’t wait to see you and catch up when I’m in England in Oct!

Andrew, your expression of ‘the tail wagging the dog’ I will remember. Someone wise once told me ‘fallow your heart and the rest will fallow’ With my mission statement I really tried to just hit the core, the human figure just happened to be the subject matter that moves and inspires me most.

Austexgrl, your thoughts mean a lot. Thank you.

Issy said...

Jack of All Trades...Master of All (my humble, and certainly not biased ;) opinion)...everything you touch never falls short of genius!! Your imprint on it all is beautiful and moving and inspiring! Your special soul comes through to captivate each of us that is lucky enough to come across you and your art. You're a special one A, never forget that!

Antoine de Villiers said...

Issy, you have the ability to brighten up even the darkest days. Thank you so much!

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Well, I certainly would not say "master of none". I think it definitely is difficult to say no sometimes, but maybe now that you've created a statement about your art, you can compare the request with that statement and be able to see what fits into your goals and what doesn't. Andrew is right about the tail wagging the dog. Happens to the best of us.

Antoine de Villiers said...

Thanks, Peggy. Saying no is very hard. But we have to remind ourselves; life is too short not to.