Letters to A Young Artist/ TEDTalk

The book, Letters to a Young Artist, contains a compilation of letters written by professional artists to young struggling artists. One letter, in particular, stood out to me by the artist Joan Jonas. Joan’s work involves performance art, video art, installation, sculpture and drawing. In her letter she states, “To be an artist you must love art – and you must respect and find a haven for yourself in your work.” This line resonated with me because I tend to criticize my work more than others. I tell myself that I could do better and what I have created is not good enough. I believe the reason for this is because I have yet to find my artistic style/ medium. I have been drawn to many mediums such as drawing, painting, photography, special effects makeup, makeup, sculpture and so on yet, I have not decided what I want to focus my time on. I have not found a haven in my art because I don’t know what I want to create nor what my style is. Another line from her letter that spoke to me was, “One should understand fear – fear of failure, fear of not getting this or that. ” Instead of criticizing my work, I should let it be what it is and gradually find my preferred medium and style. I shouldn’t be afraid of not being good enough or my art not being important to other people. As long as I create something that I connect with it’s fulfilling its purpose.

In the TEDTalk, Be an artist, right now!, Young-ha Kim explains how we as people are born artist. What I gathered from this talk is that throughout life we either accept we are artist and pursue it one way or another or we simply push it aside. To be an artist is to be happy, to create and not worry what others might think because it’s what we enjoy. To not pursue art is to push the artist within us aside and solely focus on everyday tasks that might not bring us the same type of joy. We often say we don’t have time to create any type of art such as drawings, paintings, dances, music, acting because it’s not our priority. We should find the time to have hobbies and find what inspire us to be happy. To let ourselves be children once again when we create art because it make us happy and not because it’s required of us.

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