Monday, May 10, 2010

A Reminder To Myself

"You do not have to believe in yourself or your work. It is not your business to determine how good it is, how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. But it is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly to the urges that motivate you.
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, the expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through another medium and will be lost. The world will never have it."
Martha Graham

11 comments:

Dave Doolin said...

There's a saying my friends and I have: "Her opinion of you is none of your business."

We work hard at being the very best we can. Some people find this offensive.

Nobilis Reed said...

An author was talking to a fiction magazine editor, and mentioned that he had written some stories.

"Have you sent any to me?" said the editor.

"No," said the author, "They're really not good enough. I'm still learning."

"How dare you!" said the editor. "Deciding whether your work is good enough for my magazine is my job. Now you send those stories in as soon as you get home, young man, and let me do my job."

Or something like that.

ArneA said...

You do not have to do good to be good.

Barbara J Carter said...

It's a lovely sentiment. Very uplifting. But I don't think it's quite so simple as that.

Not everything I create is great. Some stuff is downright awful. I reserve the right to show no one my worst efforts, and gesso over them. A little self-critique is reasonable, not to mention necessary for improvement.

There's a balance to be struck, as there is in so many things. Yes, show what you're proud of, and yes, maybe show what you're uncertain about, but lose the real losers. Knowing the difference is part of being an artist.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hazel,

FYI, Your unique expressions make me happy whenever I am in the same room w/ them. :-)

Sincerely,
-M

Sarah Marie Lacy said...

One of my very favourite quotes.
And timely, as I just took 6 paintings to a new gallery and had 4 of them sent back with me, informed that they were "no good, too dark, too grim, too wintery."

But it's my vision. And it's my duty to share it with the world.

Dimitrios Art said...

Thanks for this quote Hazel. It's uplifting. On the other hand, I'm sodding that even when I think my art is cool, no-one is paying attention or bothering to buy....

Monique Sevenans said...

It's a little contradictory in the semantics, but otherwise, yeah. In essence, as long as the artist/creator knows what they create is valuable due to its originality (them) it's worth doing = "believing in yourself and the work". Whether other people get it or buy it is optional. It does not or should not determine the art or the artists worth.

TET (David) said...

You may not have to believe in yourself or your work but it sure does help.

I believe every mark I ever made is valuable to me regardless of what others think.

Though it may not mean much to me now I know I'm going to come back to that mark many years in the future and see something I missed the first time around - or not.

If I even understood the value of my work to others I'd know why the work of my own I don't like seems to sell better than the work I do.

Put all your work out there because even the work you don't like is uniquely yours. Take ownership of your failures.

erinrichardson said...

Most of the time, I look at the mixed media work I create and think 'what the fuck?' I don't know where it comes from, I think it looks weird, I think I certainly wouldn't buy that, nor hang it on my wall.

BUT they sell really well.

Fortunately by the time I started painting these pieces, I'd realized the truth of this quote. I know my opinion is not only irrelevant, it is generally self sabotaging.

I concentrate on colour, composition, balance and quality of paint/material application. My opinion/experience matters in these areas.

Ginny said...

Thank you Hazel, I needed that!