Guest Blogger: Michelle Snyder; Artist & Photographer Voice Over Artist Linkedin
Artist are very weird creatures. As for the artist I know, and I happen to be, we are nocturnal, addicted to sound or silence. The ability to create is a torturing life commitment.
Take for instance Van Gogh.
The genius literally took the world by storm after cutting off his ear and passing away. What do ya know… Artistic genius more successful in the after-life. He was tortured, he was immersed in the color, mood, tempo of the scene he created on canvas.
Then there is Michael Angelo.
He had the damnation promised to him by the Pope if he did not fulfill the wishes of the Pontiff. It is a process that has been researched by mental professionals and yet no one artist is the same.
We may or may trend with our work, we may become a success, but we are rarely happy with our own work. Whether you study performing, visual or finger painting by any nature, it is a subjective placement in our brains.
“Will my client like the work? I took painstaking effort to work through my process.”
An artist in any field will judge themselves before anyone else does. Because art is subjective. It should be celebrated in any form. Whether it comes from the 2 year old writing his or her name for the very first time the child takes an elective art class in the dreaded teen years.
The teen years are the worst when you come to find your passion and wait in judgement of every line, move and message you want to convey with your art. I remember giving up on my art for a while in my 20’s. I was happy.
I didn’t need to put fourth the effort for anyone’s approval.
Heck, I only won one art contest in 4th grade. That’s it. I gave up until I found myself not happy with my job(s).
Then came the endless dollars wasted in supplies and paper. The study of light when I didn’t find myself happy with the current view in my life. In the end, I always came back to perfecting my hand, my strokes of a pen.
Because of that, I found a cathartic way to re-enforce my wishes for myself and my passion. I wanted to be a starving artist. I wanted to be like the best in the world. (I still have a way to go, but I practice my hand everyday.)
I started shooting photography and taking non-credited courses for photography in Salisbury Maryland shortly after my daughter was born. It was a “little hobby” as her father would say.
I didn’t care what anyone thought.
There was a moment I might forget, so I wanted to capture the first smile, the silhouette of her chubby little sausage body. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I had great instructors teaching me about the aperture, the F-Stop the film speed and visual noise. I wanted to perfect my “little hobby.” I wanted to saturate myself with memories of her and my family. My daughter and I recently went through the worst time in our lives.
Then I remembered an instructor I had at The Art Institute of Seattle, requiring 10 “visual pukes” everyday. Didn’t matter, scribble, doodle and be practical AFTER the “visual puke.” When I noticed my daughter feeling unworthy from with in herself…Every morning… 4 am, my visual puke communicated that I was there for her.
I would draw a cartoon of her EVERYDAY in her sophomore year of high school. Kids would make fun of her for getting little messages from her mommy. Without batting an eye, she would reply “It’s not my fault my mom loves me and not you.”
Everyday the kid would have my visual puke to communicate to her that even if she felt unworthy, she was worth everything to me. When we left Seattle in June of 2013, she asked me to throw away the cartoons. I didn’t. I kept everyone of them in my sketch pad for 6 months. When she was not feeling like she fit in on the East Coast, I gave her every cartoon I ever drew from the previous year.
She cried and with her big brown eyes, she told me I was the best mom ever. I took time, I shaded, I put fourth positive messages with her favorite characters from TV. I conveyed on paper, my love for her and my wishes for a good day.
She then understood why I do what I do. That was the idea behind n8illustration.com.
To supplement my money situations I taught private lessons to some very “well of children.”
The children weren’t there for the money, they wanted to express themselves.
I felt honored to teach the rug-rats everything I could. I find it so satisfying to teach them the “visual puke”, because our school systems across the nation has made sure to drop the funding for the Arts, performing & visual. There is no booster club for the artist.
To this day I get text photos of their work from those nuggets, then I praise them and advise them on perfecting what they had in mind for their vision.
A starving artist, a creative person or a design professional will most likely want to work alone. It’s a solo gig and you won’t be able to gauge the finished product until you study light, put fourth the “visual puke.”
Accept that the creative wants and wishes will never cease to exist unless you find the time to study the world around you. Diligence and guts will put you out there with a vulnerability and a sense of purpose.
Your art will always be subjective. That was my fear and now that is my advice to anyone of any age.
I don’t like hearing the words “I wish I was creative.” For crying out loud, it is work, not all fun and games. If it was easy, there would be no such thing as talent. I hid my art for 35 years before getting professional take or professional advice. Bio: Here.
All the advice and all the work will amount to nothing unless I listened to every word and throw out the advice I didn’t care for. I encourage and even dare anyone, find your style, find your muse, but do it now.
The world will not come to you. You have to present yourself and your work before the world. I had no way of knowing if I was good or not. I still don’t know. It’s all subjective. View Michelle Snyder’s Photography.
You may find Michelle behind the Camera at Startup Weekend Bellevue.