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.

Subliminal messages and Free will

Admit it, this is making you think of playing Dead or Alive: Paradise right now, and making you wish you wanted her in your pants.

As you can guess, I am a believer in free will, and as you can also guess, my belief in free will and choice often runs into conflict with the idea espoused by others that we are brainwashed by subliminal messages, or other forces beyond our control, and that no choice or action is our own. I, however, have a different solution.

You know that ads and other media often carry subliminal messages. However, these messages are merely inspirations that steer or affect your desires, choices, and later actions, which are still your own. Therefore, even though there are influences, you are still responsible for all your actions, thoughts, desires, and choices. That’s why I believe that just because we have subliminal messages doesn’t mean there is no social free will.

For instances, the image for this post (screenshot of the PSP game Dead or Alive: Paradise) is an example of the classic “sex sells” tactic. You all know how this goes. Put in a sexually attractive figure and use it sell your product. A nice sexy woman for the young men, and a physically well-toned man for the women. Now, this does send messages inspiring you to buy the product, due to the association of the product with the sexually attractive figure. But it is your choice, that you are responsible for, just that the message affects said choice. Sex isn’t the only thing that sells. For men, power, boldness and strength are quite appealing as well. Meanwhile, in women, sensitivity and affection seems to be a recurring source of appeal. And of course, beauty has great appeal to all, in different ways. This could just be a generalization on my part, coming from opinion.

It helps, though, to be aware of the messages, that things do influence and inspire you in some way, but at the same time, do not deny your accountability to your own actions.

Why not be an objective self?

Reality is not objective, or at least not as simple or objective as you think. But let’s not focus on emulating reality. Instead, let’s be objective about ourselves and refuse to go with the flow. We are all unique individuals. We all have different tastes, traits and things that define us as individuals, I suspect most often in different combinations of tastes. And there’s so many voices telling to conform out there, so many messages. If you have the strength, then refuse it. Be yourself absolutely. Refuse to bow to someone else’s vision just for its own sake. Refuse to worship any god but your own. Refuse to die for someone else’s dreams. Don’t kill your dreams, vision, and inspirations. And don’t run away. Make your eyes as fierce as flames. Make yourself free. Know what you want. Be strong. I myself am just another person trying to be objective in the face of the world and slowly walking that path of fire, and have yet to reach the goal What about you?