What keeps an artist working?
Is it inspiration or a muse? Sometimes it’s far more practical, like an actual job. You know, for the money. Many consider it a pastime, or a passion. Art making can also be about seeking praise or accolades (beware). Ultimately, it’s for our own entertainment.
But I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. What keeps most artists going is the thrill of the hunt.
We want to get looser or more accurate, achieve better likeness, perspective, foreshortening. The color needs to be more vibrant, less vibrant, up the contrast and fit it all on the page. Give the figure believable proportion. Learn to draw hands. Provide narrative. Eliminate narrative. The list is endless.
Art making is problem solving and the problems keep changing. No matter how good you might get, there’s always some thing (some elusive thing) just on the horizon. I can see my new work, it’s right there in my peripheral vision. When I turn my head to look at it, it moves. But it’s close dammit.
My students innocently think if they can learn this or that, or paint like this person or in that style, satisfaction will be gained. Sorry Charlie. Welcome to the hunt.