Tuesday, October 27, 2009

variations on a theme

At the Art Hospital we're planning a staff show based around this theme:

Reasons not to make art. Different artists explore the distractions, reasons, obstacles, excuses, and feelings that prevent Bloomington artists from creating.

I think about this oh, at least once or twice a day. I'm interested, however, in your reasons for not making art. Or even not wanting to make art. Please comment! I really want to know!


  1. I'm not sure I ever stop thinking about this! I'm usually pushing myself toward making art as much as I possibly can, but I can come up with some (bad) reasons not to do it: ummm, money (yuck), mindset, materials, to name a few. I don't think any of these are very good excuses though...

    I'm a firm believer that everyone is an artist, and it depends on how we define art/creativity. We all have that artistic/creative drive in us, but we have to push through the process to continue to discover it. Kind of cheesy, but that's my vote.

  2. Dean Young
    "Ten Inspirations"

    You decide to make soup.
    You do not have any carrots or onion.
    Any celery or chicken or leaves.
    You have water and salt though.
    Boil ten minutes. Serve.
    And afterwards this simple soup
    may be used to wash your face.

    You decide to make a masterpiece.
    You do not have any paints or thorns,
    any genius or paper, any pianos
    or sticks or rubber.
    You have air though.
    No doubt about it,
    a masterpiece.

    You decide to make a god.
    Don't have no commandments,
    no Renaissance altarpieces, no
    relics, tax-sheltered televangelists,
    funny hats.
    You do have yourself.
    Wow, god acts like Walt Whitman.

    You decide to tell your sweetheart
    how much you like humping him or her
    but even as you're coming,
    his/her nipples stiff as pearls
    under your palm, you know
    there's something deeper you love.

    You decide to make a flower.
    You don't have any seeds, bees,
    bat guano, engravings, pitchforks,
    sunshine, scarecrows.
    You have a feeling though.

    You decide to make a gift.
    You have artificial eyes, education,
    lightweight wing material,
    electricity, sugar, chlorophyll,
    a bedroom, doo-wop.
    I can't wait.

    You decide to make a moon
    then realize you don't have room
    anywhere to put it.
    One moon will have to provide
    enough rhyming opportunities.

    You decide to make a suspension bridge.
    You look through a toilet paper tube.
    You have the day off.
    Call Tony but he's on his way to the Cape.
    Watch a TV show about paratrooping supermodels.
    Wipe gunk off a surface.
    Your cat tells you it's dinnertime
    but it's only three o'clock.

    You decide to make a match.
    Don't have any sulfur
    or magnesium. No striking surface,
    accelerant or slogan. You give up
    and sleep and a bride-sized spark plug
    tells you to look within.
    There's a sea horse.

    You are in your pajamas
    eating cold pizza
    when you decide to make a coyote.
    Now all you need is a pregnant coyote.

  3. Sorry, I meant to add that I often feel this way about writing. Or producing anything, really--that I lack whatever it takes to make something good or meaningful or even just what it's supposed to be, but that I persist and then try to justify the unsatisfactory results to myself. Which is somehow worse. Or get overwhelmed by the pure potentiality of the material at hand (conceptual or otherwise), and then end up sort of feebly gesturing at that as though it were sufficient. Or become mired in a solipsistic quagmire.

    Sorry for the heavy. Wednesday morning, raining hard!

  4. whatever, my blog is all about deep thoughts and your even deeper commentary. I'm joking, but also serious, per the usual. No apologies! Action, not words!

  5. I Never don't Want to make art.....
    Reasons why I often don't make art include>

    Need to spend time making money instead, I'm not at a point where the art actually makes money very often, so must pursue the evil world of jobby-jobs.

    Need to do time consuming mundane things....laundry, dishes, carrying firewood, feeding chickens, burying murdered livestock, brushing teeth, brushing hair, brushing cat hair off of clothes and furniture

    Quality time with Family....wonderful but time consuming.

    Yeah-basically my real life gets in the way of my imagined life, which in my happy little mind would consist of rolling out of bed in the morning, pulling on some comfy low maintenance clothes, grabbing a cup of coffee and making art all day every day. Yeah...that's the fantasy.

  6. A lot of the same what Leslie said. I always want to make art, always, but... life gets in the way. I'm at work all day. I get home, we eat dinner, I want to stretch out and veg out. I don't want to go to my studio in the little dungeon room in the basement. I'm thinking I need a different space to work in. Sometimes Making Art seems way overwhelming and requires great responsibility, so I make "crafts" or I write a letter, or I cook a meal, or I think about clothes.

    I'm starting to make more money making or teaching art now, but still not enough to quit designing as a full-time job. Designing is fun and creative, but it's not the same as making art.