Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I can do anything?
I completed a commissioned portrait which is now shipped off to its new owner.
This was done in coloured pencil on a softer Rives paper. The image was from a photo of perhaps 1960s in black and white which I coloured based on a childhood photo that was supplied. I wanted a grainier final image that would give a bit of sense of age to the piece and I think that worked.
There is always a heart in mouth moment while waiting for a client to approve a piece. We always fear the worst, don't we? I believe all artists have a degree of self doubt that clings and makes us wonder about our abilities to produce. Is it a form of self protection, to brace ourselves for the worst possible outcome - that someone actually would voice our innermost fears? Or is it engrained humility coming from years of parents and society telling you that you should not show your abilities to the world and be boastful?
These days parents go to other extremes and constantly tell children they can do anything, be anything, conquer the world. That is fine to a degree, but in this little video clip, I wonder how much pumping up this child has on a daily basis and how hard the fall will be when she realizes at some point, likely outside the family unit, that she actually can't do everything she wants to do. Reality and research shows that too much positive reinforcement for every little thing a child does or produces in life is as damaging as negativity in response to their activities.
I am the first to say that a person can achieve what they want, provided they are willing to put in the effort - the 10,000 hours. I deal a lot with youth in my job and have found that they are frequently bound up in the 'I can do anything' mode but are not willing or able to put in the work to achieve it. It is, in fact, the parents who often deal with the ins and outs that the youth should be. Confused? I know I am. The message that is sent is 'you can do anything you like, but I'll take care of the parts you don't enjoy'.