Thursday, March 1, 2007

Being Authentic

Moving around helps me to take stock much of the time. I rarely get a chance to settle into any place, so I have found it is important to be settled and true to myself. Just maybe the moving helps me face that reality with greater clarity. I suppose that depends on each person's personality.

One of the items I picked up recently was the current O Magazine. This issue is all about being authentic. While I suspect many artists do not have problems with being authentic, I wonder if we are really authentic to our art. What does being authentic in art mean? Are we sometimes forced to tweak our authentic-ness to pay the bills?

Authenticity in my art is creating what I need to create when I need to produce it. For me, this means not working in a series the way critics often want to see us work. It means using materials in various ways and listening to my instincts about inspirations. It means allowing myself time to develop what needs to be developed in my work. What does being authentic to your art mean?

Does this compromise my ability to sell my works? I don't think that is so much the case (the moving around doesn't allow me a stable base from which to sell a great deal, however that is a different issue). Being authentic, itself, is a way of working in a series. Additionally, creativeness and authenticity allows me the ability to make connections in my work which may not be obvious to others.

In the O Magazine, several people talk about what it means to be authentic. A fashion designer discusses how her professional life has developed since she made the decision to not follow the trends. A musician discusses how staying true to herself has made the difference in her life. And there are other wonderful examples of how people have stayed true to theirselves and how it has made the difference in their lives.

Consider what it means to be authentic in your art. How do you remain true to yourself? For me, I understand no other way, but my way is mine.

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