Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Serge for all seasons

I had a go at doing my first caricature the other week. I decided to do it digitally as I'm not confident enough with the paints yet. And I decided that my subject would be the late French singer, actor, musician and womaniser Serge Gainsbourg. Why? To demonstrate a point.

The Draw Serge blog is a splendid archive of Gainsbourg portraits curated by artist Jonathan Edwards. The fascination for me is seeing how different artists - all with unique vision and using a range of media - interpret the same subject. I've been trying to make the point in previous blogposts (notably here) that there is no such thing as a bad artist. There is no benchmark against which all other art is measured.

There is no good art. There is no bad art. There is only difference and personal taste.

Among this ... what would be the collective noun for Gainsbourgs? A louche perhaps? Among this louche of Gainsbourgs I can absolutely guarantee that you'll find ones that you love and others that you dislike or just 'don't get'. That's fine. If I were to take 25 readers of this blog at random, I'd put money on them all liking different pieces. That's the nature of art. It's personal. How we relate to a piece is unique to each and every one of us. Consequently, when we create art we shouldn't be thinking in terms of 'Will people like it?' (unless of course it's for a paying client with specific needs and tastes). We shouldn't be comparing our work against the work of others. There's only one you and there's no benchmark of you-ness. How can you compare unlike with unlike? Instead you should be thinking, 'Do I like it? am I proud of what I've done'.

Once you learn to love what you do and to Hell with everyone else, you'll be an artist.


Simon Rudd said...

very true :D love the caricature it looks sort of vexel(ish).

Helen Smith said...

Very good. You're very talented.