The 6th thing I learned at Michaels Makers Summit - Authenticity is Extraordinary!!
We go through different phases as an artist. But the end goal is to create from our authentic core. Our own personal inner artist. Creating the art in us instead of copying the art around us.
Copying has its place in the beginning of an artistic journey. Part of skill building can include copying. Sometimes we learn by imitation. It helps to figure out what the artist did to achieve their results. It's always better to understand from the artist directly (like when we were able to have Jane Davenport teach us a class) but that's not always possible. So we copy. But copycats are always a step behind the original.
Here are my skill building attempts at copying.
Trying gouache (Left) to see how Kadir Nelson did these adorable Illustrations. Though I don't know what medium he used.
This is my copy in oils (Left) of a Carl Bloch Painting (Right) "Christ and Child"
At first with skill building it tends to have more frustration than it does flow. We're learning, struggling to get out a decent rendering with the new medium we're learning. When we've mastered the medium, our art mentality and personality then we work at releasing our art voice. That's when we start to get interesting.
Someone's art doesn't just end up on the canvas. It's how people talk, tell stories, or confide in each other. It's how they walk, move or gesture. It's what they wear, how they wear it or accessorize it. At the summit I saw so many authentic people. Those comfortable in their skin, style and spirit.
Some figure it out sooner than later in some parts of their life, other parts take more time. Either way authenticity is a journey worth traveling. Being counterfeit is no way to live. Let's not give up on authenticity because it really is extraordinary.