Courage

#Letter365 No71 goes in the box with a nice stamp and a hand-written address
Hand-written address and a nice film stamp for No71

Today’s piece gave me cause for a lot of thought about being true to myself and having the courage to stick to the visual statement I am moved or minded to make. There was something in me wanting to make this piece more accessible to a wider audience even though it was not the right thing. I wonder if Barnet Newman ever thought of sticking a little flower in on of his vast expanses of colour? Did Malevich ever consider a smiling face to make his chilling severity more friendly? Did Mondrian explore the possibility of a cute dog in one of his grids? I doubt it very much. So how come I am worrying that people may find my work hard to grasp or shallow or whatever? So then I worry if it’s derivative or of its time or out of fashion! I worry should I create things in the hope that people like them? It is certainly pleasant and reassuring when people like my work but I don’t always understand why.

Sketchbook abstract drawing by David Smith
Drawing from my sketchbook 3 May 2014

This piece to the right has been favourited and retweeted on Twitter much more than I could imagine. I have no idea what it is about. Moreover I have no idea what it is that people like about it. There are elements in it that I incorporate into my work generally but broadly it is not really my style – but maybe these sketchbook doodles are what I should be doing more of? Should I make work like this and see if people approve? I have remembered that I have created a large piece which has some of the feel of this one. I must photograph it and post it to see what reaction it elicits!

One thought on “Courage”

  1. Please don’t create to please others! You can never please everybody and in the effort of doing so you may well end up displeasing yourself. You’ll get lost in what you think others might like. We like what we see in your work, that is probably entirely different to what you see. The viewer completes the work, right? If you create for others you run the risk of stop making art and start making products.

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