Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pigeonholes


Medium: Ink
Size: 5.5x7 inches

This one's not for my own tarot project, but yes it is yet another tarot piece. It's funny how once you do a style or a theme, you become That kind of artist and people keep coming to you for more of it.

Pigeonholes.

But I'm not really complaining. This is a rather roomy pigeonhole that has plenty of freedom for interpretation and variation of themes within the structure, and I'm enjoying it still. And this is not a whole deck, just a few spot illustrations for Liveperson tarot newsletter.

Back in 2000 I remember thinking how I wanted to avoid being a "Fairy Artist" and yet somehow I landed smack dab into that label. It's just that "fairy" sometimes has connotations of pretty, fluff, twee-ness, and being devoid of meaning. Things that my detractors would probably find it hard to believe I do try to avoid!

I don't deny them the right to that opinion though. I've learned since my Fine Art days at Berkeley how subjective all art is, and how to accept the criticism along with the praise. As an artist, one puts oneself out there for the judging. What I find meaning in, may be quite different from what another may see (or not see).

Or there's "Symbolist Artist" which seems to be the fine art equivalent of "Fantasy Artist", but eminently more gallery acceptable terminology.

It's the power of Names. Just as true names have power in the world of fairy tales, they do in this world as well. The right name gives validation, acceptance to one community or another, and commands monetary renumeration. We swim through the sea of labels, trying them out, finding the one that suits, the one that can feels right, to clothe that core of expression inside.

And really one wants to just ignore all that and just Be.

5 comments:

  1. I honestly believe that you can't really say definitively that another's creation is good or bad. As you say, it is completely subjective. No matter what the creation looks like to someone else, the process of creating is purifiyng and wonderful. And, most likely, appreciated by someone out there.

    I don't care what you call your art. It speaks to me on a level that most do not.

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  2. LOL!
    Thats why you chuckled when I asked you at Gencon in 2008 how you had managed to keep your own style amongst all the Fairy artists out there!
    (I know you probably don't remember me, but the little bit of advice you told me that day has help me IMMENSELY from falling into the "Fairy artist" trap that people were pushing me into, I draw dragons, not fairies... incidentally, I now draw dragons eating fairies :P)

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