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Letter #2-9

Dear Artist,

Is it possible to look at the process of another artist and use it to expand our own personal style without being tempted to just copy? Let take a look at a couple artists’ thoughts about their work and see what happens.


Frank Bowling an abstract painter who lives in New York shares his process in a short video found here.


Bowling says, “It all happens very much in an extempore way. I don’t have any pre-planned idea about how I’m going to make a painting.” His work can be found at the Tate Modern museum in London, and also sells worldwide at prices anywhere from $30,000-150,000.


The freeness of Bowling’s creation process is inspiring. Layers after layer of paint, found objects, and debris such as chalk filings are built up to create his masterworks.


Of course I want to copy this process, it all seems magical to me. But will I get a result that I will actually be happy with in the end?


Another free spirited creator, Jessica Zoob, a British contemporary impressionist artist shares a short video about her work and inspiration that can be found here.

Zoob says that creating something she finds beautiful lifts her spirits and gives a moment where she feels transported. Her goal of finding beauty in all her work is lofty.


At times, as an artist I feel it’s easier to find what I don’t’ like about my own creation rather than the beauty of it. However, the sense of peace that comes at completion usually yields a sense of beauty or admiration for the art piece or else I find I am not actually finished with it yet.


Now after watching both videos do you feel the need to copy one or both of these artists’ techniques or were you inspired to further develop your own personal style? Even if we tried to copy these artists work it would be difficult to create the same type of emotion and results in our work that they’ve created in theirs. It’s hard to get genuine emotions coming through when our only goal is to replicate another’s work. Learning from others and experimenting with their techniques can help us grow while keeping us on our own path if we don't settle to merely copy another.


Make your own style while taking in everything around you,

Uncle Salvador

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