You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Be an Artist

Sep 13, 2013 by

Most people have an artistic streak in them, some to a larger extent than others. There are those who have a natural talent for singing, others for dancing, and still others for acting. Then there are the visual arts, which include sketching, painting, and sculpting. Many people are drawn to the latter disciplines, either because they have a real disposition towards them, or because they just find the whole process extremely liberating and relaxing. They may feel that this is truly their calling in life and start painting or sculpting away, hoping that someone will appreciate their works and they will be discovered. They often do not give much thought to the potential suffering that they might encounter along the way. They usually do not believe that they will go insane in the process. But, then again, there is the example of Vincent van Gogh.


Does Crazy Help?

Van Gogh is generally categorised as a painter of the post-impressionist school. Although he achieved limited success during his short life (he died of an apparent suicide at 37), after his death his works had a profound impact on all the artists who were to follow. In some ways, it might be said that he paved the way towards the modern way of painting. Art critics and historians recognise that he suffered from repeated episodes of mental illness. He once famously cut off part of his ear, and yet we don’t really know why. So the debate that has been raging ever since his death is whether his mental illness actually helped him to be a better artist, or if it was just part of the package. The truth is, we will never know for sure.

It’s Never Too Late

It might be an inspiration, or perhaps even a consolation, for young artists to know that most critics regard the last couple of years of van Gogh’s work to be his best. His early works were fairly drab, using mostly dark, monotone colours, and definitely do not reflect the vibrant brushstrokes that he is famous for. Arguably, the change in style was due to the fact that he moved to southern France, which is known for its plentiful sunlight and lush landscapes. It may have been just this change of scenery which inspired him to start using brighter, bolder colours. Then again, perhaps he was just beginning to fall deeper into his unstable mental state that caused him to see things differently.

Getting the Right Inspiration

It must be difficult for an artist of any type to pick up a brush and have the final picture already composed in their mind. From some of van Gogh’s works, art historians concede that he changed his mind often during the creation of one of his paintings, literally painting over what he had done previously with something new. This invariably happens to a lot of artists and can probably lead to a lot of frustration. One way to reduce the stress is to know exactly where to buy your art materials. Having a reliable provider who carries everything you need is one less cause for concern. Just remember not to start fiddling with your ears!

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