Portfolio Link

Should you be interested in viewing a more "formal" portfolio site, please visit: http://www.carlverster.com

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One in a long line of Starving Artists ...

"Why 'starving' artist?" I was asked by someone recently. "You aren't starving!", they challenged.

I replied, "I am sick to death of staving. I have been starving so long I can't remember what it was like not to be starving". The reaction was a very blank, almost cow-like stare before she changed the topic to something less challenging and safer.
 "Sally", A3 Charcoal on Paper
(My 1st charcoal sketch... not crazy about it. In fact, you can say it, it's crap ... but I promised I'd post, so ...)

Most people seem to get that the "Starving Artist" title is somewhat ironic and multilayered in meaning, but there are less ... shall be polite and say, insightful ... people who need a little hand-holding when it comes to interpreting the less obvious.

I chose the title precisly because it works so neatly on different levels.
Obviously the concept of a starving artist is the art world cliche. There is a certain expectation that artists should suffer for their art. After all, Van Gogh who is claimed by many to be the best artist of all time (not a huge fan personally), created around one thousand of the worlds greatest paintings in four years before his death. he never sold a single one before his early demise. Supported by his brother Theo, Vincent's only monetary goal was to earn enough to buy bread and paint to try and ease the financial burden on his brother.  (here are some other interesting Staving Artist stories.)  An artist who goes straight from obscurity to success without a long struggle has no where near the 'street cred' that someone who has lived under a table (done that by the way), lived off dog food (haven't done that) and sold their children to buy canvas (haven't done that yet) has. So yes, I may not be dying of hunger, but one can be starved of other things, can't they? Yes, I am starving.

Aside from that, it's an obvious marketing tactic ... people like the idea, and my business card pretty much always gets a smile.

I can understand why an artist might be prepared to starve for their art. It's an intoxicating drug, creativity. To work with ones hand and mind and fabricate a slice of reality that wasn't there before, it's arguably right up there with the biggest highs one can get. No wonder I never take a day off. Every day is either working at my craft, or funding the paint, canvas, and time that my art demands.  Oh that I will oneday be skilled enough at my craft to have earned the title and feel worthy of it; that YOU believe I am worthy of it.

  • is listening to this (close your eyes, listen and imagine. Such beautiful music this album)
  • is watching this (nice idea, poorly executed, not worth writing home about really)
  • is not sure how he feels about charcoal! I'm hoping to be sent some figure pics to draw ... the fluidity of the human body might suit the medium better.
  • is battling to find time to write poems and book (another dream I'm chasing).


Anonymous said...

so if you were not starving would you still paint?

Carl said...

Now THAT is a very interesting question! Pull up a chair, pour us some good red wine and lets debate it. :)
What? You want the quick answer?
Okay ...
Truthfully, I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly positive I would. the subject matter may be different - focused on what fulfills, not what what consumes me; the style may be more friendly; the moods lighter; different ... happier? but I think I will always paint ... It's more to do with what I am that I paint, not what I lack. The reason for specific paintings and what I paint is another story.
Does taht answer your question?

Anonymous said...

you more than answered it :)

Wormyzn said...

Wowe Carl thats a nice job.