I am fascinated with creativity; how a piece is formed, what materials were used, and what was the inspiration behind the piece. The questions go for art as a whole...visual, performance, and literary. But what I have had a hard time accepting is history.
I remember being in college, and hating art history. It was part of the information I needed for my craft, but I couldn't stand it. I was excited for my studio classes, which taught me how to strategically create visual masterpieces. However, honestly I could have cared less about the masters that created those visual masterpieces. All which probably had lots to due with the way I viewed history.
For such a long time, history had been such a bad word to me. Instead of finding history interesting, I looked at the word as two words instead of two syllables (his story). In my mind I would always wonder who "he" was. Who was giving the information about the "he"? Was "he" a reputable source? Did "he" know the subject in question personally or through years of studying second, third, and perhaps fourth sources?
I often struggled thinking studying other artists would taint the style, and sometimes message of my work. I had my favorite artists. They were my favorites because of their work as opposed to their life. I didn't understand that their work was a reflection of their life. As an artist, I should have made the correlation, but I didn't. After all, I created from my life experiences, and my life circumstances...and still do!
After a succession of conversations with other artists where I made major blunders about art history, I started to process things a tad different. Perhaps I was missing out on a wealth of knowledge that could propel my work to the next level instead of hindering it.
I am convinced that ignorance is a direct result of fear (fear standing for "false evidence appearing real"). So here I am present day studying what I should have been bothering to learn years ago. I am no longer afraid of what is to come of my work from studying artistic giants. I am sure that my work will stand on its own two feet!
Pearls of Wisdom:
History is a tool to learn from others, but more importantly a tool to learn of yourself!