The ‘Story of art’ and why that excites me

When I look at art in a gallery or even in a book it always creates excitement and expectation within me. I am attempting to answer questions that are presented to me as I become the audience and not the creator and I am always looking for the story.

  • What am I seeing?
  • Why am I seeing it?
  • Am I seeing something else?
  • How am I seeing it?
  • What does it mean?

Of course I have the benefit of an art education and maybe I am programmed to ask such questions. Being a creator I can not help but place myself in the artists slippers. Because of course the little card next to the work on the wall nearly always falls short of satisfaction.


Do we do this when we create our own work?

Are we aware that we are presenting similar stories? Whether they be stories of the creative process or an illustration of a narrative? I wonder if, as an artist, I am prepared to answer penetrative, audience generated questions about my work?

I would suggest that many artists are not. Why?

For me, I think it is because of 2 simple reasons.

1 – I have been educated to react to the current environment that is the contemporary art market and all that it involves.

  • Aspirations to gallery representation
  • The consideration of price in a market
  • Small or large pieces to make them affordable
  • Considering the markets opinion before I even start the work
  • Wondering what my peers might think when i present the final piece
  • General lack of self-confidence in the market

2 – I have been unprepared to acknowledge that the most important dialogue whilst I am creating is that with myself

  • I have been guilty of including the buyers opinion prior to completion
  • I have never noted down my decisions as to how and why
  • I have shunned the company of the part of myself that constantly asks interesting questions
  • I have never been open enough to note down and share my mistakes
  • Perfection is what I have aspired to present.

Where is the story in that?

What other than a solitary artwork on a wall is there to illustrate my efforts, my part in the creation, my thoughts, my decisions, my inspirations, my agony and my ecstasy?

I, apparently, hope to give the work to a gallery and expect them to create opinion, to talk about it, to sell it to their customers.

I offer my silence in exchange for a sale??????

What is the alternative?

In a modern world where you can say anything to any number of people, where you can keep talking until the person finds you that wants to listen, where you can engage and be rewarded by virtue of being included …. Ask yourself why are you not?

Be empowered… Note down your own story in any way you can; pictures of your sketchbooks, recorded conversations with yourself on your phone, numerous photos of sketches and prep work, the sounds of the birds that wake you that successful morning. List the music you listen to, the books you read, record the skype conversation you had with your friend about the work. Post it on Facebook, Instagram, create a mailing list and share it all to those who put their hands in the air and say … Me , me , me, I want to know more.

Because people do want to know, they do want to listen.

And if they do engage, and they do become part of the process …. Well, they are more likely to invest and buy from you.

It really is that simple. The process of creativity is a thing of wonder. None of us involve ourselves in creativity with a silent enquiry. We sing songs with our work we put light in dark places … We should tell that story

People will listen

Related posts