The problem with people who skim...

No art today. I'm alternating between irritated and slightly amused. I'll be posting the following on my journal on RedBubble instead:

Arrrgggh! Once again, someone didn't take the time to read.

I don't do Facebook, or Twitter, or any social networking-type stuff because I don't trust myself not to post knee-jerk reactions online.
Today, I'm going to post one on my blog.

I recenly wrote an article for Empty Easel. (You can read it for yourself here: http://emptyeasel.com/2012/02/07/if-art-is-a-language-how-well-do-you-communicate/) The point of the article was to express that if people aren't understanding your work as an artist, it helps to take some time to communicate with them so they do.

To be fair, Empty Easel does some heavy-handed editing that can affect the meaning of some of the articles posted. I've seen this happen to other artists who submit articles to this blog. I knew that when submitting my article, but figured I would take my chances. I didn't particularly like the edited changes; however, I thought the meaning was still clear, as long as someone took the time to read the whole article (always a risk when posting online, I know).

Today, on someone's blog, I found the assertion that I was suggesting that people should change their art to get people to understand them (and "resonate with the buying public"). I did say that if your goal is just to sell (and nothing more), sure, adust your work accordingly. I think we all know that's some standard marketing advice. It's advice I don't follow, by the way.

People are free to disagree with my viewpoints. I DO, however, have a problem with people skimming articles and then opining on said articles and pulling quotes out of context to illustrate their point.

I still stand by the idea that it doesn't hurt to communicate what you're about to people looking at your work. As an artist, I truly enjoy the connection that happens when I can discuss my work with people, as opposed to having them shrug and walk away. As an educator, I also enjoy letting people in on the little "secrets" of art. You like that color combination? Blue and orange are complementary colors, you know. Does the light really stand out on that piece? That's because there's some heavy dark for contrast. Conversations like that don't ask anyone to change their work. They might, however, bring more people into the world of art (especially at a time when there's little being done in our public schools to share this world with our youth).

Again, I've had my work rejected for various reasons, and after going through a particularly exhausting rejection, I immediately turned to my friend and said, "I'm not going to change the way I paint." To follow the suggestions of those particular art jurors would have meant becoming a different artist. I'll never advocate that unless you really are just in it for the money.

So, thanks for skimming my article, art "muser." If you're going to comment on articles written by others, please take the time to read them thoroughly (especially if you're using the writer's name). I didn't see a place for me to leave a comment on your blog to defend myself, so I'm writing my rebuttal (or "clarification") here. I hope you find more exciting things to write about on your blog.

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