Feeling limp?

Posted on March 18, 2009



I have a growing excitement with the rise of the amateur artists. With the introduction of Photoshop, Mac tech, hi-end cameras, the internet, and other resources, young artists are resourced more than ever. With that said, I also have a growing concern with the dependence on these tools- actually less like tools and more like crutches. More and more, I see 1st rate equipment with 2nd rate artists. Not because of their hearts or intentions but because of the tendency to take short cuts rather than developing real skill or discipline. Now that so much can be done in post production, a shift is occurring from quality to quantity. When photography was just film, you had to compose a scene, wait for the right lighting, use the right exposure, and the right shutter speed. Now, you point and click about a 1000 pics hoping one is good enough to Photoshop to death. I think that’s why I appreciate art in its raw forms like painting, dance, live vocals, etc…No cheating raw art because there are no crutches. I’m excited that such tools are no longer reserved for the wealthy elite, but I feel there is too much focus on the tools and not enough on the craft.

It actually surprises me when I see someone with expensive, fancy brushes and a nice studio create amazing paintings. It doesn’t surprise me when I see someone with old, cheap, and inferior tools create a masterpiece on a napkin. The former creates within the limit of their crutch. The latter creates despite their tools.

I applaud anyone who wants to begin their art or improve their expression. But before you buy/download/install ANYTHING, first learn composition, storytelling, chorography, pitch, color, balance, and the other building blocks for developing your craft. The less you rely on crutches and more on raw skills, the more creative your expression will be. It’s never too late to learn the basics.

The irony is that if you learn how to walk with a crutch, you’ll end up running with a limp.

Also posted at: http://spin.willowcreek.com/c/blogs/arts_blog/archive/2009/03/21/feeling-limp.aspx