Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Atta Boy Chuck Close

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
― Chuck Close

“Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
- Chuck Close

This is Chuck Close (known for his super realistic portraits) doing a self-portrait.

I’ve been thinking about these quotes for awhile and how true it can be.  It’s often that I’ve sat – perusing Pinterest, Tumblr, or some other site looking for something that makes the big light bulb go off in my head.  Really – WTF.  It’s true I have gotten a certain “springboard” moment off of a visual image, but it’s always the process itself that makes it work.  You work, you rework, and the inspiration hits – the solution is at hand and the piece you finish makes you feel – well – satisfied you took the time to work the process.  And, if you are satisfied you find out people recognize that - and they tend to, "feel the feeling" you did, while you were creating.  It’s a difficult but necessary process in a “ready-made” production world.  But, the more mass-produced things get the more people are turning to handmade.  And THAT is a good thing.


Roberta said...

This is absolutely correct. Right on the money. I have always found that one day plays off the next. One minute plays off the next. Looking on Pinterest and all the other media sites looking for inspiration is a total waste of time. The work comes from within...........

I greatly admire Check Close. He has overcome adversity in a way few can manage and creates spectacular artwork in the process.

rosebud101 said...


Janel said...

Ah, yes, the butt in chair technique. Sometimes it's torture and sometimes it's magic. :)

Sharon Driscoll said...

Often it can be torture - and I know I can win awards for procrastination - but I find if I can just get my butt into the chair I get absorbed in the work in front of me, everything else fades away, and solutions are never far behind. Sometimes though Janel I do think the writing can be different. The computer and writing can be my muse - but if it were my tool and I was uninspired well - I guess then picking up beads might have to be my muse. What do you use when you are stuck?