Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Why Do You Do Art?

I was recently asked the question 'Why do you do Art?'. You'd think after forty plus years of doing art I'd know the answer to this question but I actually had to stop and think about it.

Anywhere but here, by TET, July 2004
"The art that I'm most proud of is work where
I've set out to communicate an idea..."

I'm aware many people create their art as a relaxation or escape from stress. I suspect many artists in this category are those that get their inspiration from painting their surroundings - such as landscape, still-life and portrait painters.

Just from my observations those artists, once they've developed their skills and are confident in their techniques they can afford to relax and enjoy the experience of creating their art without stressing too much about whether their final artwork will be successful... chances are it will be.

I'm not one of those people.

Creating my art certainly isn't a stressful experience by any stretch but I can't say my mind is relaxed during the process. If anything, it's more active than ever as I have to bring my idea out into a visual image from my imagination. On top of that, my painting style is rather quick, so the next decision is never very far away and I'm usually planning ahead to what I imagine the finished result to be.

Some people do art to earn a living. I'm certainly in that category but it's not why I do art. I create art whether I think it will sell or not. I do consciously try to steer my non commercial efforts towards a commercial gain, as I did with my GoAnimate videos, which started out as a fun activity two years ago but this year earned the bulk of my freelance design income. However the reason I do that is to avoid having to get a regular day job - which would severely limit me from doing art.

The more I work as a freelance artist/designer the more I realize that bringing other people's ideas to life is not personally satisfying to me. Challenging sure but not satisfying. Even though I'm the first to admit that some of my best work is done for other people (particularly among the cat paintings that I'm known for) this is more a result of my high personal standards than trying to fulfill my need to create art.

I used to think I create my art for other people because I'm not that sentimental about hanging on to my own work. Having other people enjoy my paintings and having them on display in their homes. It's great to know that people do that with my work but I think it pleases me mostly because, if I kept hold of it, I'd store it away out of sight - because once an artwork is completed, I've got from it what I needed. I don't need to keep looking at it.

 When it gets down to it, I do art because I have an idea to express. The art that I'm most proud of is work where I've set out to communicate an idea, whether that be a simple emotion or an entire narrative. It's why writing and animation both appeal to me. They allow me to express complex ideas and complete stories in a creative way beyond the single image or series of images you can create with a painting.

That's pretty much why I do art. I'm all about expressing an idea.


Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Shopping Trolleys are not Wildlife - Stop Trying to Free Them!

This is a Public Service Announcement. Your determination to release shopping trolleys from their regimented, thankless, lives at the supermarket back into the wild is somewhat misguided.

The fact is shopping trolleys are not a domesticated, oppressed, wild species forced into captivity. Their ancestors were not once proud beasts roaming the Serengeti, carrying supplies for wildebeests during the great migration.

Shopping trolleys are single serving domesticated animals that have always been bred in captivity. They are not equipped with any innate survival skills and just don't cope once released into the wild.

Too often you'll find their mangled, broken remains being overgrown with plant life, many suffering the worse fate of drowning in a local river.

Some are fortunate enough to be rescued through outreach programmes and returned to active service.

The reality is, the community, and the trolleys themselves, are better served if you simply return your trolley to a trolley c…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…

How to Make Your CafePress Online Store Mobile Friendly? Use My Custom Store, Shop Template

Using CafePress you can open your own online clothing and giftware store with no upfront costs.

Everything in your store is printed on demand and sent to your customers by CafePress. They charge a base price for each of the over 250+ items you can sell. You earn whatever markup you place on each item. All you have to do is keep your store stocked with fresh designs, and drive your target market to your store.

Once you're set up it's a side hustle you can tinker away at from any device. Create designs on your tablet while watching the TV, promote your shop when you're browsing social media on the bus. Notify your customers of new designs using the built in newsletter features while you sip a fresh brew at your local coffee shop. It's the business you can take anywhere and work on anytime!

Unfortunately it's not as convenient for your customers. Not a single one of CafePress' official shop templates (at the time of writing) are mobile friendly. They're passa…

Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Deadpool 2 is a fun black comedy on par with the first film. Right now I can't really say one is better than the other but I can say they're equally as good.

Before seeing Deadpool 2 I watched the first movie. My take is, if you do like the first one better, much of that is down to never having seen a Deadpool movie before, and then having that film just knock it right out of the park. (I feel the same about the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The first one has the edge because I'd never seen that kind of movie before with those characters).