If, indeed for any given time only a certain sort of work resonates with life, then that is the work you need to be doing in that moment. If you try to do some other work, you will miss your moment.
For most artists, making good art depends upon making lots of art, and any device that carries the first brushstroke to the next blank canvas has tangible, practical value.
What makes competition in the arts a slippery issue is simply that there’s rarely any consensus about what your best work is. Moreover, what’s important about each new piece is not whether it is better or worse than your previous efforts, but the ways in which it is similar or different. The meaningful comparison between two Bach fugues is not how they rank, but how they work.
What we really gain from the artmaking of others is courage-by-association. Depth of contact grows as fears are shared — and thereby disarmed — and this comes from embracing art as process, and artists as kindred spirits.
Art that falls short often does so not because the artist failed to meet the challenge, but because there was never a challenge there in the first place…There’s little reward in an easy perfection quickly reached by many.
Most every piece of art quotes itself, calling out its own name through rhythm and repetition.
The need to make art may not stem solely form the need to express who you are, but from a need to complete a relationship with something outside yourself. As a maker of art you are custodian of issues larger than self…Making art allows, indeed guarantees, that you declare yourself…In making art you declare what is important.
To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have. Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work, and wisdom to mediate the interplay of art and fear.
–ART AND FEAR: OBSERVATIONS ON THE PERILS (AND REWARDS) OF ARTMAKING,
by David Bayles and Ted Orland