Why a lot of Men Don’t Become Artists

Perhaps this should be entitled, “Why I think a Lot of Men don’t become Artists”

Yesterday just happened to be International Women’s Day. It’s just a coincidence that this one was in the queue and I mean no disrespect to women in any sense by posting this now. Women in my opinion are the most deserving and yet under-appreciated people on the planet!

If you’re someone who grew up in the sixties and seventies you might find this applies to you. If not it still may be of some help to you, especially if you are male.

Art from where I have seen it is assumed to be either a woman’s thing or for men who are more effeminate. In some way if a man is artistic he is showing his feminine side.

Strange isn’t.

Perhaps I have some unique experience here. Perhaps for you it seems to be the exact opposite or that as many men pursue art as do women.

I worked with a young fellow once who came from the background of the construction industry. In fact he was born into a family who owned a construction business. Once when we were working together on a back shift clean-up-job he shared with me his incredible drawing skills. We often had time at the midnight lunch break to take it easy, joke around and exchange stories. We traded favourite movie scenes; he from James Bond and me from Star Trek. He showed me some fantastic drawings and sketches he did on paper.

I asked him if he would pursue some art or design career. ” Nah, no money in it”, he said. So over the years I periodically met him by chance to  discover he had, indeed kept up in the construction field.

He was not the only male artist that I knew that had had similar experiences. In fact if men can create art sometimes it seems more acceptable for them to paint wildlife,trucks, fishing scenes or other subjects that might lean more toward manliness. I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with whatever subject one chooses to paint.

The perception in society is that ‘art’ is not a money maker. It also goes hand-in-hand with the idea that the man is the sole or main bread -winner. As much as I am in sympathy with women and women’s right I think we may tend to forget that out there in the world, still hiding in places is this expectation that men face. Young men want to please their fathers and follow in their foot steps.  I wonder how many men with considerably advanced skills in art or design have followed the perceived path of money to pursue their ancestral, patriarchal dreams?

How many males either don’t see art as a ‘manly’ vocation nor one that will provide the bucks necessary to build a home and family? Besides it’s no insult after all to be compared to female qualities. It’s a good thing!

This would indeed make a good study.  What’s your take on it?

 

My Art is not as Good as…

Wolfville Chimney Swift

Robie Tufts Nature Centre Wolfville NS. Acrylic on canvas board by K.Cameron

“My art is not as good as someone else’s.” True or false?

This is a feeling that comes over every artist sooner or later.

The fact that your Mom posts your art on her fridge or more likely her facebook- wall is no real assurance either.

I mean it’s great if she does post to social media (especially if she knows a crap load of art collectors) but she is ,after all, doing what a Mother would do. She’ll likely love your art no matter what.

This is where I’m supposed to come in and console you  by saying it’s the nature of art that there is no such thing as good art. Did that sentence make sense?  In other words it doesn’t matter if you color over or outside of the lines.

Yes it does. If it’s not an abstract piece and it’s supposed to be an architectural rendering then it does matter if you colour outside of the lines.

Or, on the other hand, you might be expecting “You’re art is brilliant!” and you’ve achieved your highest level of skill. In this case you’re only lying to yourself. One day you may wake up and be embarrassed to find out that you’re really not the best painter,singer, writer, etc.

So how do you know if you’re art is any good?

Basically by comparing it to someone else’s in the same genre.

Two things to remember are that :

Art is subjective (poor art can be liked by someone).

It doesn’t have to be the best art in order to sell.

In other words you can still be proud of what you have accomplished and at the same time strive to increase your skill level with the medium you use. Your art does not have to be technically perfect but it has to express, to some degree, the emotions and message you intended it to say (not so much in words).

How to get better at art.

Nonetheless, your art can always get better as your skills increase.

The only way to increase your skill(s) is to increase time spent on said skill(s).

The question of whether your art is good enough to sell is really a  no-brainer since a lot of bad art sells. If you want to get better art then you want to get better at art!

Your art has to please you, to some extent. Otherwise you will have no fun at it at all.

Being good at art means being genuine and honest with yourself and your work.

Being better at your skills means comparing your skill level to someone, like a mentor, who has put in the time to bring out (more) flavour in their art. You will be amazed at what you do if you strive to get better, taking a peek and learning from those more skilled but also having joy and thankfulness for the stage you are at now. Don’t become obsessed with someone else’s level of work; they too had to follow the same path you’re on and are following their own path.

Success as an artist can be measured in many ways but the outcome of such gauging will always lead the true artist to humility, respect and awe for others and the world around them.

Thanks for visiting! join the discussion over at my facebook page if you like!

In Defense of Snowflakes

 

You wanna know the worst cuss word , name calling descriptive you can use on someone you hate? Get ready. The word is Snowflake. It’s not a four letter word . It’s a four letter word plus a five letter word.

This is really odd when you stop and think about it. How did such an innocent unassuming word get to be so vile?

Well. I don’t know.

What once stood for strength and beauty is now the thing of useless dregs of society.

Want to bring someone real low? Call them a snowflake.

Pendulums swing as pendulums do.

Let’s face is it. This is just a pendulum swing, a knee jerk reaction to a generation raised to think of themselves as precious and beautiful.

There was a time in this fair land that to be associated with a snowflake was a good thing. Now valedictorians claim the idea is Victorian. You are not special we are told. Nobody is special and you don’t deserve anything.

This from a generation (mine and my parents’) who pretty much consumed everything. So there is not as much to go around. This is why they want you to buy the only thing left: the lie that you are not special..in any way.

 

 

Young people…don’t believe it!! You can be special and not entitled. You do deserve a kind of bestowed dignity by being part of the human race without earning it. *But you can lose it by being an idiot or criminal or both.

Now presidents mock you if you think you have basic human rights and call you a snowflake.  Snowflakes have no rights, they say. “They think they deserve everything.” Not true.

Every human being despite their skin colour, gender, etc deserves love, shelter, acceptance and basic rights.  Once you buy into the lie that a snowflake is something that melts in the face of confrontational heat you then open yourself up to bullies, tyrants, rapists (people who chose to not be a snowflake but a stagnant puddle).

A snowflake, like a spider’s web, is a strong structure and does what its particular design calls it to do. It is beautiful and unique. Combined, that is unified, with millions of other snowflakes it is a powerful , almost unstoppable, force.

I think it’s time to defend snowflakes. I think it’s time for the pendulum to swing back toward the middle just a little bit.

Those are my thoughts anyway. Thanks for visiting and please check out my ebook, especially if you like snowflakes. :^)

 

*Please don’t read into this that two wrongs make a right. For all you social justice warriors out there this post is not fuel to excuse screaming someone out of their right of free speech or pounding down university doors, etc.

 

Dusting off the Pixels

Michellesummer

Have you ever had a project you’ve put off for a long time; maybe days or months?  What about years?

As well as working on my business ( kevincameron.ca ) my side project for this year is to finally finish compiling a book I created way back in the nineties.  Yes folks that makes me kinda old depending on how young you are. ha.

 So I wrote and drew/painted this children’s story based on a character named Michelle.  The scene above was a test promo painting with the famous Cape Blomidon, Nova Scotia in the background.  The actual story is based in the winter time.  I have all the pages and they are in good condition as I kept them in an acid-free plastic bag.

Wow has technology changed!

The good news is that in the past you almost had to get a publisher to accept your story in order for it to get printed but now you can simply upload your pictures to popular book creation websites. Years ago  this was an expensive process.  I remember an acquaintance  self publishing her colouring book and it cost her thousands to do so.  I think only the front page had full colour , of course.  Back then your only alternative was to outsource the artwork to be printed to an inexpensive overseas printer ( that is, China).  Today , not so. We have the option of ebooks and such.

Although all the pages of my book were scanned in ( some stitched) they were only scanned in low resolution.  Home computers had limited power back then or you had to have one the size of Hal 9000 to copy a book. ( exageration , of course).

My goal this year is to purchase a decent large format scanner ( 11 x 17 will do).  Then I can rescan at a higher resolution and do touch-ups in CorelDraw or Photoshop.

Well, that’s it for now.  Please visit again to see  my progress.  To those younger than I:  You have many more advantages today for self-publishing and reproducing your art.  Sure the competition may be more but , hey, you don’t have to go through a gate-keeper just to publish your stuff.  Get out there ( or in here) and do it !  Have a good one!

Canada Day

In honour of Canada Day I’m posting this Cartooniture or caricature of three well known Prime Ministers. It’s a drawing I whipped up a several years ago for a live event (which happened to be on Canada Day, of course).

From left to right  we have Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin and John Diefenbaker .  These were drawn  very quickly as a last minute idea.

Below is an old picture from around that time.

This particular gig was at Hennigars Farm Market in Greenwich, Nova Scotia.  I enjoyed meeting and talking to different people as they had their faces drawn.

Just for fun I drew a Cartooniture of our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.  I know it’s customary to complain about acting Prime Ministers and then deify them years later but I’ve always tried to avoid this.  However Stephen Harper hasn’t been one of the greatest supporters of art culture in Canada.  Ah but it’s Canada Day and I don’t want to taint the spirit of celebration. Besides a picture is worth a thousand words they say. So here is that sketch of Harper as mentioned.  Really I am thankful to live in a country where we can at least attempt to live in peace and toleration,  have the freedom to pursue our desires,  and caricature our beloved leaders without the threat of a hanging.  That’s something! ha ha Happy Canada Day everyone!