“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
~ Andy Warhol
Five years ago I began a journey of coming back to my artistic roots and honoring my most authentic self. Its' been a perilous journey filled with fits and stops, but one that I realized I must take. Now I spend a lot more time letting go of outcomes and instead, focus on process in all aspects of my life, not just my art. I used to think my art had to look like something, be easily explainable – not too esoteric - agreeable to most. That idea still looms but the difference is, I’m mindful to pay attention to those beliefs, I just don't feed them.
Rather than dreading people reactions to my work, now I enjoy observing how people respond to my creations. Sometimes I spend time at River District Arts where our Spirit Boxes are being shown, and I watch people as they move in and out of the gallery spaces. I see some people are immediately drawn to the boxes. They will comment how they "love them" and they are "so unique." Occasionally they even purchase a box or two.
Others don’t even see them. They look beyond the display or glance at them and look away. There is no stickiness for those folks. Or there are some that just don't understand what they are looking at. One person was confused as to what they were, ask if the “sticks” were some kind of mechanism to open the box. I wanted to explain, but then I thought, hmmm what a great Idea! I wonder how I could do that!
I’m ok now with letting others decide if it’s good or not, if it’s art, or not, and what it means for them, if anything. I am compelled to keep working, and making art, deepening the exploration of the medium I’m working in and where that takes me. It is how I honor my most authentic self.
Rarely now, the thought comes into my head that I'm not a "real" artist. I know that people often said that about Andy, but he didn't seem to pay that any mind. Maybe, unlike me, his inner voice was confident, helpful and supportive? Or maybe he, through great emotional learning, discovered how to tame the critics in his head. All I know is this one man not only generated the greatest paradigm shift in the history of the mainstream art world, but also forever changed the way we would experience our culture and our day to day lives. All because he just "kept making more art..."