Artists are sensitive and sensible: how to protect your heart.

Sometimes people who have not been trained in the arts can have a cold and insensitive attitude that affects artists. They don’t mean wrong (at least I want to believe so), but they have not understood the relationship that artists have with their art work.

Having taught art (and some tango dance lessons) and me being an artist, I know how vulnerable we can get when someone is insensitive towards our art work.

white face 400x148 Artists are sensitive and sensible: how to protect your heart.

How can we deal with this? How can we become stronger and not become weary every time someone says or does something we don’t like about our art work?

This came into my mind because of an event that happened in my studio recently. The place where I work is a building rented to mostly artists or creative related activities. The people who run the place are trained in business but not deeply acquainted with the art world. The have little experience in dealing with the artistic temper, so as you can imagine, there are many misunderstandings.

Same thing happens with guests who are invited these organizers to see art work but are not serious art dealers or buyers who understand that artist work hard and invest a lot of money and time in training and materials, AND POUR THEIR HEART OUT on what they do.

In this particular episode, a colleague felt diminished by a guest who was a bit too bold (not to say rude), a bit too anxious, a bit too unprofessional in her approach. I know how it feels! It´s like having someone over to your home because they asked you to invite them, and then have they insult your food, criticize your taste, while they get a call, turn around and leave without saying thanks.

But the truth is there comes a time in your artistic career where you have to become less self-concerned, or else you will continually be offended by these kinds of events. AND you need to practice the right to be exclusive!

Do not let anyone come into YOUR space and disrespect you.

Yes, there are and always will be people who think they know about art, but are ignorant and rude. Other times you´ve you´ll find the opposite: people who are very well-trained and do not appreciate what you do, who make you feel disqualified. Then you have those who always have an opinion on what you should be doing, how you should be doing it. And of course, the many ones who offer you opportunities, make you a lot of promises, but are really just full of it and make you waste your time and money.

That’s just the way it is, and if you are in art you will have to face this crowd, like it or not.

I was very sad to about how traumatic the experience was to my friend, and surprised that exposed to the same people; my response was not the same at all.

Why? Because I have decided long ago to focus on building my esteemed not in what I do but on who I am.  I AM AN ARTIST. I did not make myself an artist, this is who I am. Yes, I studied may years, had much training that developed my skills, but the core of it all is that I AM, not that I DO art.

Many people feel this is a very presumptuous statement that very few can make. Meanwhile as long as you do not define WHO YOU ARE you will always be bullied by whoever speaks something against your art work.

I believe in God, I believe in developing talents, I believe in discovering your gift. The only way to not be continually trying to DEFEND what you do or who you are, is to go deep into your identity, wipe off all the fears and insecurities, and just boldly confess who you are.

It doesn’t matter if you are not performing as well or as professionally as you wish to. That does not mean you are NOT IT. There are signs that tell you who you are: passion, pleasure, joy, a will to focus on that thing with perseverance, a want to give it all, etc. And most important of all a peace that rises up when practicing whatever it is you do.

You may get weary at times, you may feel anxious and nervous now and then, but when you truly concentrate in what you LOVE doing, it feels right.

So my dear friends, please… understand that you will face nasty people from time to time who will act in an offensive way, but that does not mean you need to get offended. If you do, then lots of your creative energy will get drained through this sadness and weariness.

GROW UP in your knowledge of who you are, not from an arrogant point of view, but just by knowing you were created that way, it’s in you. BELIEVE you ARE…

Hope this helps!!! Love to connect with you on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FerEscalada.eng?ref=hl

Huge hug, Fernanda

Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Have you ever had the feeling that a movie or art work has that Hitchcock creepy taste but you just can’t put your finger on what exactly makes it similar?

Even though you may not be watching a film or photo that is literally a suspense theme, you can sense that spookiness in it. Do you know what it is?

We would can understand that black and white adds a haunting feeling to suspense. But what when you get that same feeling in full color ? What´s the other element that creates that sense that gives you goose bumps? its not fear but a wired anxiety…

I recently got hooked with the series Mad Men. Don’t know if you´ve seen it but it´s an extraordinary production with an excellent script and visual style. It´s set in the 60´s and the story is about what goes on in life and work of the staff of a very prestigious publicity firm.

One of it´s chapters really caught my “artist eye” so much that I started investigating what exactly made it so attractive. I´ve had been studying photography, specially contemporary photo imagery, and found that it the same haunting sense as Mad Men´s chapter.

WHAT IS IT?????? Can I reproduce it on purpose?

So there I went on my quest to discovering the root of these mysterious images. THESE SECRETS arte the same for any visual art form, be it photography, painting, movie making, publicity etc.

First of all you must understand that to stress a point in a story – be it suspense, joy, comedy, satire, tragedy – you need all elements in the image development to focus on what it is you want to communicate.

You´ve got to be clear on what message you want to get through your audience, and in art terms, you must define your style.

What I’m about to explain will help create any image as long as you know what you´re personal voice is, what you want to say.

In this case, Mad Men producers and directors made a perfect job in describing a psychologically charged suspense event. If they´d tell the story without all the dense psyco imagery it would just had been another soap opera drama, a couples quarrel life taken to a dramatically stressful level.

PERSPECTIVE and PLANE COMPOSITION a is the strongest tool they used to create this feeling.

Then you have saturation and other things that support it. Color and the whole 60´s style is just the perfect “dress up” to give us that Alfred Hitchcock feeling.

Traditional perspective has a focal point that permits the viewer  to “enter” the scene. Generally in art the focal point would be fixed in some latitude of the picture, somewhere in the horizon. This technique to represent space in a two dimensional area (canvas, paper, screen) was one of the golden rules in the renaissance period to construct space.

Today in contemporary images we still perceive this perspective in many art forms, may be not so mathematically planed, but still with the same will of wanting to bring the audience into the “stage”.

Captura de pantalla 2014 03 12 00.41.12 400x224 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Yet we see much more of a reversed perspective: a focal point is not “in the scene” but the artist is the focal point that moves up, down, sideways to show each time a different “perspective”.

I’m not suggesting that movies and photography today use the Byzantine reverse perspective, because then the elements in the background would need to be larger than the one´s in the front. Certainly we don’t see this in contemporary imagery.

But what if… what if everything that came after that period in time was inspired by that focal point, that out of the scene view where the observer is also present, as if your -audience- where the eye that films or takes the shoot.

Captura de pantalla 2014 03 12 00.41.02 400x224 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Combine these two ways of perspective, jig them around also with the constructivist, cubist, that were also inspired by Japonism way of structuring the layout and you will have a huge variety of ways of composing.

Now, to be able to create a special feeling, to know how to use this amazing “language of the eye” to accent certain idea, is a hard task only achieved by observation and practice: be it by sketching on paper, using a camera, or making screen shots and studying them like I did in this review.

Great way to do this is by using those screen caps that “have that feeling” and trying to reproduce them yourself. Get yourself a any camera, and start searching for the right perspective.

Here´s a few points you´ll need for this project:
1-FIRST findsomeone who will pose for you. Having a person in your scene will almost always draw the attention to it. You can also replace a “human” character with an object if you know how to place it as the main character of your composition. But for the sake of reproducing those scenes that were talking about, it´s best that you use the same “elements”.
2-Find a place where you can move around, preferably a place where there will be many elements, objects, to portrait. Nature is great, but not for this project specifically. T
3-Take a ladder if you can and use it for an “air” perspective. Try the different heights; see how the planes and focal points change. Start at your eye level – horizon level, move up and down.
4-After you have the photos, print them out in black and white, and with a red marker trace the focal point, horizon, angles, planes etc. Don’t overdo it, just the most important lines that show you what kind of perspective it tends to.
Here´s a few examples for you.

compo 2 400x225 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Perspective – focal point

compo 1 400x225 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Areas , Placement , Negative spaces

compo 3 400x225 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Overlaying – Character Area – Smaller in Background

compo 4 400x224 Discover how Composition is a Powerful Language

Division of Areas + Light

Hope this exercise helps ! Love to connect with you in my Fan Page in Facebook !

Meet you there :https://www.facebook.com/FerEscalada.eng

What would you do if you earned 12 million dollars with one artwork?

Damien hirst 400x148 What would you do if you earned 12 million dollars with one artwork?

I posted this question on my facebookpage. Many people described their dreams, wishes, goals. But I could also sense the “guilt factor” rising up in some comments.

Discussions about whether you were obligated or not to donate money to a fair cause or not was one of the pressures I started to notice. The other sign was que question whether it is moral or not to earn such amount of money in art.

This controversial conversation is heard often in the contemporary art world. Sales at actions that just blow our mind star discussions about morality and there´s a lot of judgment towards the artists… SPECIALLY IF HE´S ALIVE!!!

Funny thing is that I don’t see to find the same kind of opinions when the Van Gogh, Warhol, Monet, Basquiat, or Rothko get sold at values that blow your mind!

Why is that? Why is it less annoying that some dead folks get the credit and the big bucks?  Why is it that the media doesn’t question the moral of whoever gave one of those art pieces up for auction, but is absolutely astonished at live artist who have amazing financial success?

And I mean visual artists, because no one ever questions as much Madonna s, Brat Pitt´s´, Anthony Hopkins´, or Miley Cyrus´ income.  (this last lady : Net worth of 150 million dolars and she´s in her 20´s)

It seems that the media, journalists and critics , have no objection to the actors and singers, but great affair is armed and stir prices for auctions of Sotheby’s , Christie’s , galleries and museums.

It would seem they accuse only visual artists of being immoral, unjust…

I often make myself these kinds of questions, and study the many reactions that people have towards money. I honestly admire artist who also have a very keen understanding of the market place and make it a goal to navigate it as successfully as they know how to. Actually marketing is also quite a skilled  art.

So…again, I ask: “what would you do if you could sell your art or earn with one project in your job 12 million dollars?

Before you answer, let me get your mindset a bit tweaked.

First of all, this hypothetical money is earned legitimately. It´s not stolen, you did not extort or intimidate anyone for it. It is 100% legitimately earned. It´s the income you receive because of your work and your skills have for positioning yourself with value in the marketplace.

Second thing to consider, even though the critics hate your work, the market finds it valuable, and is willing to pay huge amounts for it.

I recently read an article where an “art reporter” ravished the contemporary art sold at Art Basel Miami. You could actually feel the indignation and the rage the writer had towards the prices and the artwork which she considered to be crap!

Listen, I must admit I do not care for most conceptual art, it’s not what captures my heart and mind at all, but I don’t have this critical view over it either.

Besides, there´s crap being sold everywhere! And there are industries getting rich by selling useless stuff everywhere!  Just because it’s affordable to most people, because it’s massive, it doesn’t mean it’s good! Oh, but of course, it’s not art…art has another law to be judged by about prices.

koons 400x148 What would you do if you earned 12 million dollars with one artwork?

Jeff Koons is one of the artist’s most high paid artists today and very judged by critics (and colleagues) because of it:  they denounce he´s work is not genuine. He has organized a system to produce his art having other people produce it. The media seems to find this is more of an “art factory “than quality and significant art work.

They argue that works cannot be original if not executed by the painter himself. Honestly I cannot believe people who are supposed to know art history make such a statement.

May artists in the Baroque and Renaissance had artists who would work for them. They´d call them disciples and these would thoroughly learn, practice and execute the masters ideas and ways in art . The gesture, the content of the art work, would always be accurately supervising these artists so they could performer exactly what they wanted.

Art Factory? Maybe.  So anyway, I’m amazed at a man who can create jobs for people with talents and skills that may not have the guts or just don’t want to deal with the market and are quiet content performing someone vision. By the way, dancers do this it all the time! Oh but they do complain about many of their choreographers…

Besides his ways, the critics hate the fact that Koons art work score record prices every single year. Hummm, bet he´s very worried about these scoffers!

So, have you made up your mind? What are you gonna do with the money?

Tip: don’t let the critics, judgment, pressure get into your head. It is not sin to enjoy your work, or aspire to be a millionaire. If you plan on enjoying it wisely, and you have the heart to help others in need GOOD FOR YOU ! Cause you will reap what you sow, so it won’t be a onetime gig, and you´ll receive lots of love and appreciation for your donations , and a sense of purpose.

But if you plan to misuse it, let your ego go bonkers and lead you into over consumption etc. Hey, it’s your money so … you will also sow from that.

My point is, whatever choice you make, you´ve got to do it without being induced by guilt. Dont let anyone manipulate your dreams! Generosity cannot be pushed or pressured; it needs to be bred in the heart of those who seek change and purpose.

Okey I get it, you must be asking “what´s the point of this whole dreaming game?  The point is you must open your mind if you ever want to grow in whatever you do in life.  Judgment, condemnation, guilt, fears will always hinder you in many ways.

You don’t have to approve it all, but you don’t have be a cynic about it.

As for me..

What would I do? Oh I’m leaving to Fidji in my dreams!  Then….well I believe that true generosity is not preached about so much.

Huge hug, wishing you well!

Fernanda

Your Dream, Your Identity: why artists have to know who they are

drreaming 400x148 Your Dream, Your Identity: why artists have to know who they are 

Ever had opposition in your life? Ever were discouraged to pursue your dreams by the people you wished encouraged you?

I was watching a movie the other day and this conversation between daughter and mother popped out from the screen to me!

Mom says this to her daughter who has just been fired from a job, although the girl was actually happy about It and was considering to pursue again her dream:

“Your dream was funny at age 8, at 18 sounded funny, but at 28 is pathetic “. The movie was Glory Movie .

Those words made my heart shrink just imagining how many people hear these words and are discouraged to death. How many people are being crushed by judgments and prejudices, obligations, pressures, fears and conventional speeches that consume their dreams and hope?

As an artist, these kind of words haunt you all the time, until you learn to just depend on your faith.

It is a common currency to be labeled as  bohemian , dreamers, undisciplined, idealistic , etc, etc, etc. . Of course, not everyone thinks this of artists, you find teachers, dealers, and people who believe in you, but the fact is, there´s greater disfavor towards these dreamers than any other ones.

Artists have always had to fight against many odds, be it because of financial issues, or having to believe in their art work even when the general “fashion” in art disapproves.

The many stages and processes that artists endure to become mature in their skills, to stay firm when things have no clear path, and to believe in a positive outcome, strengthen them to keep on keeping on.

I thank God that my family was never harsh about the fact I am an artist, but I have endured their disbelief about my aesthetic choices, their incomprehension towards my taste in art, and a general worry about the financial stability of the art world in general.

Cant blame them, the art economics is a mystery to most people out of the art world…CORRECTION: it’s a mystery even to many who practice crafts and arts!

The fact is that artist are quiet more resilient to letting their dreams be killed by any speech or thought, cause it´s who they are! They can’t give up on them and go on with life as if nothing happened.

THE DREAM IS OUR IDENTITY 

Fer Biografia 400x148 Your Dream, Your Identity: why artists have to know who they are

Whatever you do in life, and whatever you are planning to do this year, I beg you to renew your dreaming life!!! It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not, if what you dream about is possible or not. Truth is you were designed to dream.

Many times we get discouraged because we have failed so many times, that it´s just too hard to want anything or start something that is doomed ( in your mind) not to succeed .

Problem is that many times we start projects without any guidance, vision or knowing exactly what we need to get to our goal or how to get there.

Don’t let this hold you back either, but you must have a clear vision of what are the consequences of the dream you are longing for to happen, where will it take you if you achieve it, does it match your character, what adjustments in your personality must you learn to manage it, etc. etc. etc.

For example: It is highly impossible to become a high scale successful artist if you are not willing to study, practice, learn, and above all BE CONSISTANT.

Against  general fantasy of a large part or the world, artists that succeed are very focused minded people. They manage their energy leading investing it into their talent, they know what they want and peruse it. 

What attitude, what mind-set do you have to change to grow?

I´ve listened, studied what they say, and they all express the same ideas: hard work, understand the market, perseverance, faith in what you do, openness to guidance, flexible…

They’re not talking about “the art work quality” they always refer to attitudes!

I belive that many times THE DREAM is not the problem, but the form of the dream is what hinder us.

If you are 40-50 years old it is very unlikely that you become prima ballerina in the swan lake at “la opera de Paris” especially if you´ve never trained in a pro level and don´t know the huge sacrifice they endure in their body, and the intensity and quality of life they have.

Still I don’t discard the fact that you can fulfill that desire in some other way. Maybe, with proper training you can enjoy dancing in a local studio and performing in a small theater with peers your age.

You might say, “but that is not my dream! I´ve always dreamt of being N° in a famous ballet” Exactly, if you insist in something that you know absolutely nothing about, got no clue about what you have to give up to peruse etc etc etc,  it is not a dream, it´s a fantasy.

The example I gave is extreme, but quite right to illustrate who something’s in your imagination can be deceitful idea.

Dreams have to do with something that is already in you, it has to do with your skills, talents, tendencies, personality, thinking habbits, acute interests, etc. It is natural, though it may be in raw form. There are sings in you: it’s not just that you love doing something, you are actually comes out of you with certain ease.  

Okey, I know what you may be thinking: ” Hey, but there´s a struggle in discipline, you need to do the work, and that´s not easy”.

CORRECT: but even there, in the hard work, there´s growth, and when you overcome certain level, you reach the ease faze again, and a naturalness that feels right!

Example: when I was a small child I was very focused and interested in art class. My mother had no idea this was a sign, because she thought all children likes to paint. Having no experience in any art form, she could not tell that this was something to take into account. Years later, I still had the same interest, and got great grades in psychology and philosophy.  (Sucked in geography, had no memory for history facts, and math gave me a very hard time! )

So if today I dream of being a worldwide artist…that’s not a fantasy, it’s a goal ! Plus I got the GOD FACTOR that pushes, inspires, and provokes me to insist on it. He adds the desire for purpose that fuels the dream even further.

So please, DREAM. Overcome opposition, get to know who you are, what you were designed to be, follow that passion, and take doable steps towards it.

It don’t matter if the steps are small, JUST GO OUT there and do what you can do, focus, learn, grow.

With love, Fernanda