Archive for May 11th, 2010

Carry the Weight- GC Myers

I’m off this morning to speak with a group of college students at a local coffeehouse.  Every year,  a class in drawing or painting from our local community college meets at the end of the semester with professor Dave Higgins to discuss what their next step might be: what opportunities are there in the art field, how they should proceed, if they can make a living, etc.  The things that lay beyond the nuts and bolts instruction of the class.   Dave likes to have me come in to serve as an example of a local guy who was once much like them, attending the same school with the same concerns and self-doubts, but was now living as a professional artist.

Whenever I speak with students, I try to speak less about technical aspects of painting and more about building up the belief that they have a unique point of view.  They have to understand that there will always be someone more talented than themselves out there, someone with greater technical skills and more education.  This is unavoidable but they can’t let it deter them.  Because success in the field of art, and other fields as well, is not necessarily about who is the most talented or who has the most letters behind their name.  Success comes from making the most of your talents.
I know that’s an old chestnut but it’s true nonetheless.  Art is about  gathering  and refining whatever talent you might have and using it to communicate your vision of the world to others.  It’s this belief, that your view of the world is as important and viable as any other,  that transcends other limitations.  Once they have this belief, the hard work and the sacrifices needed to succeed don’t seem so daunting. 
So that’s what I try to accomplish with this talk.  Make them think about their view of the world. Let them know that their feelings and thoughts are no different nor less important than anyone else’s.   Their voice can be heard if they so wish.
That’s a newer piece at the top of the page, a small painting on paper that I call Carry the Weight.  I thought it fit well with this post even though I’m not sure what is in the red bag.  I have painted this fellow a number of times and he remains a mystery to me.  Maybe that’s his purpose.
Who knows?

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