I was thinking a little about my art and being an artist last night while working on my latest piece...great time, I know...and I realized how much I had changed over the years and how I have never lost my love of art or the act of creating art.
When I was in my teens I had a very strong attachment to every drawing I produced. I felt that each drawing was the result of an archaeological exercise in collecting my past (and present) life by recovering and examining the memorial evidence and placing them into my work. Once the time and effort had been expended I felt an inexorable safety in what I had created. I needed to covet my own work because the experience of making things come to life and the connections that were made were a great comfort to me. Especially in the midst of the alienating experiences I was feeling at the time outside of my home life. If I gave up the art was ultimately giving up, at least parts of, my identity...scary then.
As time passed and I started the business of art (portraiture) I would feel less and less attached to any piece of work. Part of that is having to churn out many works in a short period of time and simply not thinking about the end and the parting. But the more important other part was that my identity, skill and confidence levels were stronger and I was not longer under the belief that I was giving away a part of my identity but was only giving away a representation of my identity.For example, when a client orders a work I believe that the work is not physically mine. I care deeply for the subject matter, the quality of my work and for the client but I am not so emotionally attached that I fret, I experience an alienated creativity of sorts. That's not to say that there still isn't an occasionally bittersweet moment as the piece leaves me and finds its home with the happy client. It's just gotten easier to let go I suppose.
For example, when I have created a work (or works) without the thought of a buyer, when there is no reference to economic gain, I feel particularly gratified and my personal value in the work increases. Surprisingly, it's at this point that my attachment leads me to manage more work (more artistic archaeology!) and the more work I create the less I'll feel the need to keep it. Interestingly enough once I sell any of those pieces I'm invigorated knowing that someone else felt strongly enough about the piece to make a purchase or ask for more, this is no SMALL detail! Funny that once the piece is gone I honestly don't think on it much. Then the process begins all over again. hehehe, the artists vicious circle.
I'm not an artist who wants to find the horrible, dark recesses of my mind and explore them through art, fascinating in its own right and cathartic for some, I am simply interested in exploring beauty, light and color, enjoying myself and pleasing others who are interested in my work.