Charter of the Artsmith's Guild

It's been decided: I now have a website.

Before I had a domain name and a bunch of pages with my art and writing on them, but I didn't really have a website. It's not enough to make the occasional miserly contribution to an online portfolio of random samples I hold some inscrutable private affinity for. How I decide what's worth releasing and what's not has always been somewhat of a mystery, even to me.

At the moment I'm thinking a website ought to be more like an open door to an artist's studio. Sometimes its diverting to wander into a place like that and get an eyeful. Often the creative process is more interesting than the final product anyway. I much prefer a sketchy rough someone scrawled off in one draft while they were high to a technically perfect, painstakingly Photoshopped hyper-realistic painting more detailed than real life. Most of the time I spend reflecting as an artist consists of me harping on this one point but I've been surprisingly oblivious to the ways it might apply to how I present myself.

Just as I prefer works that are rough, spontaneous, and a little nonsensical, I feel it makes more sense for me to share my work with a shovel. Ever since I can remember I've tended to hoard my work, hesitant to show it lest people should think I was blind to its flaws. In fact, I'm usually harshest on what I'm most eager to show. I love my sketchbook because I feel it best represents who I am. Yet, I always have to reassure everyone it's just a bunch of crappy doodles. On a technical level I know I could do better, I just don't want to. What's important to me is striving to represent something I don't yet have the skills to, something beyond the strictly technical. I want to meet that mad genius that churns out my dreams.

Failure is an important part of the creative process. If you knew every experiment was going to turn out, why bother trying? What's the problem if you make something that sucks anyway? Just make more. The thing about leaving a door open to your studio is that sometimes people are going to walk in when you're naked. They would if it was my studio. Considering how important life drawing is to art this shouldn't be all that embarrassing. Experimentation and failure are as important to an artist as getting over the inevitable awkwardness associated with learning how to render a nude figure.

So just what am I planning for my site? I'd like to start posting about the projects I'm working on; my process, my failures, and previews of my work as it evolves. I have a feeling that if I start posting whatever random junk pops into my head I'll probably find an audience for it. I'd also like to start re-posting stuff I've done elsewhere. A little bit of polish and it should be good to go. And instead of trying to complete entire projects and release them all at once, I'm going to focus on updating gradually, as I finish things. In particular, I'm going to try and put my sketchbook up as I work my way through it.

I'm hoping that if even a handful of people follow what I'm up to at least I'll have someone to hurl the proper abuses at me when I get too lazy for my own good.