Some time ago I was in the local pet store buying hay for my rabbit. A woman approached me who I barely recognized and asked if I was still doing art. I said “yep, still with the art”. My mind scrambled to do some facial recognition so I could place a name to the woman I was talking to. Unfortunately my brain doesn’t have the latest google or facebook app for facial recognition.
Anyways she began talking about my Bluejay painting ( the one you see above) which I had painted some 10 years previous. I was amazed at how she recalled vividly the texture in the foreground tree bark, red leaves, “the lovely blue shades of the jay “, etc. It blew me away since she hadn’t recently seen my paintings online and she didn’t even remember my full name ( imagine that, ha!).
The thing with being an artist is not knowing if your art is really making an impact. We live in a world of terrorists , suicide bombers and these people , regrettably always get front page as opposed to the philanthropists, artists and musicians. Most artists are modest….very modest people. They have no desire to be vainly praised but they do want ever so much to be appreciated and know their art is making a difference in someone else’s life.
One of my wife’s grandmothers was an avid baker. She did the best pastry rolls and some pickled mustard relish, et al. I will not name her for reasons of privacy. However one of the things I always noticed is that she wanted feedback. She wanted to know how good that pastry was or if the mustard pickles were the best you ever tasted. I wondered if she was needing an ego fix. But, No…I get it now. She wanted to share in the joy of giving pleasure to others. It was less a vanity thing and more of need to know just how happy her work made others.
I remember once seeing a photo of a Christmas gift basket being awarded to someone locally and they purposely chose to have the event photographed in front of a part of a Christmas mural I had painted. I only knew when I looked at saw the photo in a local newsprint. It made me smile.
Artists thrive on feedback. They are inspired by your enjoyment of their work. For a lot of artists it’s a lonely world inside their heads. To the artists out there- Keep on doing your thing. You don’t know just how much of an impact you are making. Usually way more than you think. As an example just watch the Doctor Who episode ( Vincent and the Doctor) of a Tribute to Vincent van Gogh at the museum. Never give up on your work and never give up on yourself.