My art is my own, not of the past

In both art class at school, and in art college, I keep being asked to compare my art, drawing, techniques, and ideas to past practioners and theorists, even when I can’t. Why, when my art is my own? I am the progenitor of my work. The only reason teachers would ask me to compare to past artists I don’t know or even care about is so they can fill in blanks, tick boxes, and grade me.

That is not to say I am without any artisitc inspirations. The way I draw fire, for instance. I get inspired mainly by esoteric Buddhism of Tibet and Japan, and the fireballs that dragons are seen with in Chinese artwork. And I draw characters in an anime-like manner, and I am often inspired by the demon designer Kazuma Kaneko, of Shin Megami Tensei fame. But I simply see no relation between my work overall with work of any historical artists, with names at least, nor do I see any relation between my art-making philosophy and that of art theorists and philosophers, any more than I see much relation between my philosophy and that of other philosophers (though as with my art, my philosophy is not without its sources of inspiration).

I also don’t like the notion that my worldview, especially artistic worldview, is somehow determined by what generation I’m from, and the artistic and cultural disposition of that generation. I was born in 1994, so were a hell of a lot of other people, just like every year. The opinions and worldview of each varies wildly, despite being born in the same generation and similar upbringings. I don’t believe I should be labelled as having the same way of thinking as everyone else in my generation.

I do get inspired by things, but I did not create the same art, and I should not be made to compare with other artists and theorists. I wish only to make my own work.


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