Friday, May 13, 2011

Bad Art

I present to you, Gentle Reader, that Bad Art does not exist. Now, go ahead say it "Kris what about…" and you will proceed to give me multiple examples spanning all genres, mediums and historical eras, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Ishtar, Jackson Pollack, every garage band that ever plugged in a guitar, and so on. We all have our personal favorites. But is it Bad Art? Bad Art implies a value judgment. I argue that no art is bad if the artist created in good faith. Art exists on a continuum from faltering first steps to brilliantly executed form. 

It’s easy to judge our work as bad because that absolves us from the responsibility to ourselves to continue. “I can’t do it.” We whine. “It’s really bad. And then we have the excuse to close the laptop, power down the camera, clean the brushes and put the first draft of our novel in the back of a dresser drawer.

So, if art isn’t bad, then what is it? Experimental, practice, playful, a learning experience, a new direction, a test, a challenge, growing pains, answering the question ‘what if..’ When we chose to honestly follow our creative direction, we all have to start somewhere. We can’t expect to produce perfect results, Good Art, immediately and consistently. We do our best. We consider the process before the product. We actively seek more knowledge about whatever it is that we want to create. And when the work isn’t perfect, we accept it for where we are and try again.