Archive | November 2016

What about originality?

28 November 2016

Some people say: “Everything has been done already before”.
And I’ve always been afraid that the things I paint are created by someone else once before. That I am not aware of it and therefore I innocently could be accused of copy-catting. A demoralising thought!
Before the start of a new painting I thoroughly search the internet for images that could be interpreted as similar to my idea. If I find one, then the inspiration is instantly quenched.
Luckily it only happened once. I wanted to paint a Dutch mill on a moonscape, but a friend found an image of a comparable scene! I was disappointed and relieved at the same time.

There are artists who are inspired by the work of another artist. I think most of the artist are. At least at the beginning of their career. A lot has been written about the concept of inspiration, but personally I don’t want to see who is the source of inspiration in one’s artwork. If that is too transparent, I think the artist hasn’t fully developed his or her own handwriting. I won’t say then he is not a good artist, but for my own work I find it a requirement that nobody can see the early puppy admiration.
Actually, I’m not flattered anymore if someone says: “Ohh, your work reminds me of Dali!” Grmppff … what Dali?!?! My work is completely different! And it isn’t Willink-like too. Phew, get some new glasses!

I really want to stop checking the web before I hit a new canvas. Both beforehand and afterwards.
When I started my series of portraits in 2011 and just had finished 3 of them, I discovered a Serbian painter who created the same kind ‘deformed’ portraits and also had added a kind of fantasy stories to them.
I was upset for months! I so had enjoyed painting my own portraits and making up their imaginary lives … and now suddenly I could not go on with this project. The spark was completely dead.
It took months before I found back the fun. Months before I could see that the difference between the Serbian guy and me was big enough to go on. That there was room for both of us.

The image on the top left I found on the internet and is made by Justin Miller. On the right side my Agaricia Bullio.
The second left image was named ‘Gonzo Green forest’, but I couldn’t find any more information.
Justin, Gonzo, Slavko and I possibly have been the soil for the seeds of the same source of inspiration.
It doesn’t matter … everything has been done already before. It was a stupid fear anyway.

inspiration, originality