Monday, August 3, 2009

identity crisis

Bitter enemies; the commercial arts and the fine arts. In collage, it seemed the two departments couldn't be in the same room without hostilities breaking out. And I bounced from one to the other. Back and forth again, shifting my allegiances, both sides looked at me with suspicion and distrust.

I feel that pull now too. the dissonance, in my work.
And every time I encounter other artists work, from the both fine and the commercial fields, I experience an identity crisis; "oh, THAT's what I should do!"
Swinging back and forth.
I'll be like this, I'll be like that...

Influenced. It's what artists do. We are influenced by everything.
That's normal.

I need to keep it from becoming the halting choking disabling identity crisis.
MY work.
Influenced by a plethora of other styles/genres/every day objects and individuals...
absorbed, assimilated into MY style.
"Just be yourself!"



  1. I've never felt like I could call myself a visual artist, though I had no problem calling myself a graphic designer. (This was validated by my job title during the dot com days, "Lead Design Technologist.")

    Are you thinking of graphic design when you think of "commercial art"? Or are you thinking of artists who work in similar media (say, painters) but who are divided by how overtly they create for a consuming/purchasing audience?

  2. it's partly the "consuming/ purchasing audience" thing

    But I hope to be financially successful as an artist.

    So this also has a lot to do with negotiating the divide between high brow and low brow.

    specifically on my mind: working out a visual style/method that is authentic to me (not just appropriated because of it's popular appeal) and that is also a successful vehicle for the ideas that I am working with.

    Not selling out. Being accessible.

    if that makes sense...

  3. (oh, and in answer to the rest of your question; commercial art to me is the vague conglomerate of visual images created specifically for marketing and/or market value. Graphic design, illustration, and yes, painters/sculptors working in styles that have broad popular appeal. ie, the stuff found in commercial galleries vs non-profit art spaces.)

  4. I never understood the fight between the two. Same thing happened for me at college. Now I just produce what I want to produce. Then go to work and produce what they want me to produce. And I come out creatively fulfilled both ways.