July 14, 2013

Copying the Masters

I found it.

"Often, we’ll easily discount our experiences.  If someone has written a book or created a film about something you’ve wanted to do, or if a friend has traversed the same territory, that becomes our frame of reference, and so cliche haunts us (a word I don’t like because it limits the possibilities and the value in why it became cliche in the first place, devaluing our individual experience in the world). It is entirely possible to carve your own path in the same territories others have tread.  This goes for art and all forms of creativity as well.  We bring our unique perspective and energy to everything, allowing for things to happen through chance meetings, and serendipity, and the chemistry of a moment —creating something that didn’t exist before."

-Lisa Nola

That's what I have been trying to put into words. That being cliche isn't actually a problem. After studying Monet, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, I have learned to find artists that I want to replicate, who's works look like mine, who speak to me. In writing, music, art.

So in the journal aisle of Target on Friday, while helping my new friend Riley pick a birthday present, I discovered Lisa Nola and Nathanial Russel. Their works simply interests me. That paragraph above is what kept me reading Lisa's blog, because she finally said something that I have tried to say before. She is another human who gets that part of my thoughts. I am constantly avoid things that are too cliche, too trendy. Or I find someone who's creations inspire me but I feel the need to avoid "copying" them too much. But then I remembered what my mom always taught me when I was younger you copy the masters before you become one. 


I took a break from writing this post to go do family history with my best friend. While I was driving I was thinking out loud about what I am writing. Lisa Nola has bits of profoundness that fascinate me, but as a person she is missing some truth that I believe deeply in. The first works by Nathaniel Russell I happened upon were in the journal of sorts, Listography (sold at Target, it's a really cool book) and his pictures reminded me instantly of Marc Johns' stuff, which is why I was drawn towards more of Nathaniel's art.

Yesterday I sat in my backyard and doodled. What I came up with was very much inspired by Marc Johns, and you will get to see it if you wish, as soon as I scan it to the computer. I also am going to transfer some of those doodles to my very own big white wall tomorrow, as soon as I begin that new project.

Whenever I find new inspiration, you know I love to share it with you. Thinking out loud in my car helped me realize better the kind of people I am drawn to, but also what it is about people like that that turns me away. From now on, when I get quickly excited about a new person, I will be sure to tell you what it is I like about their art, instead of just endorsing them completely. Which also goes back to the cliche thing-- No human being will ever create things the same way you do, so even when it is similar to the style or creations of others, never let that stop you. Even if it is very similar, you are simply on a journey to finding a style that really is all your own.

Side note: I do love the way Lisa Nola's blog is set up.