Need a rewind for this little movie? It'd be a pleasure. I joined a forum for artists. After all, I intend to be one and it'd be nice to have "connections". The problem? They're very well-oriented in "fine art" and I'm... well, I know less than ten paintings by name, on a good day I can remember who painted 'em, and I recognize one style of painting on sight. Drip painting is pretty tough to mislabel and as long as you mention Pollock you'll do okay. Say some stuff about expression and ingenuity and you'll do fine.
The problem? As I've come to discover, fine artists are very formal people. They are refined, talented, sophisticated, and intelligent. I... aint. Never have been. I've been to a lawmower pull. It's like a tractor pull, but instead of purpose-designed farm tractors or semi trucks to pull the sled it's purpose-designed riding lawnmowers. Over the course of my life I've consumed at least some of every edible game animal that is legal to hunt in West Tennessee and enjoyed all but two. I own more knives than neckties, and more firearms than business suits. I'm... me. Rather than being carefully refined in the finest restaurants in New York I've been carelessly distilled on the north side of a hill in the Smokies.
I was actually fitting in though. I felt somewhat out of place but I managed not to screw up too badly. The methods there are foreign to me and I don't personally agree with some of 'em but I'll fight to the death their right to use them. Then I managed to screw it all up. They're big on drawing/painting from reference, that is that they like to look at a picture or a live model and then draw or paint a picture. It's a skill I respect because I tried it and it's incredibly difficult. The problem lies that it won't get me where I want to go. I know where I want to go and think it best to go there.
My goal, my dream, my ambition, is to draw tattoo style pieces which I will then put on products which I will then sell. In some instances I might outright sell the tattoo "flash" to local tattoo shops. It's a long shot but some long shots work out quite nicely. In my obviously biased opinion it's a market that isn't played out and there are quite a few folks out there who might absolutely love tattoo style drawings and art but who would never ever get a tat for one reason or another. To a point you can use reference materials but at days end you need to put pen to paper (or digipen to digipaper however this doesn't sound as cool) and draw. It's tattoo art and while much of it will be realistic quite a lot of it is not. Drawing from reference isn't as critical.
I poohed up by posting a picture over there of the first thing I ever drew with no reference. It was not realistic, it was not supposed to be, and it was the first true drawing I've actually done. I used a method I picked up on youtube and by following it I managed to complete a drawing that I could be proud of having drawn.
I'd never seen it happen before but I think all the air disappeared in the forum. The collective gasp created a vacuum which completely evacuated all the air from the area. I could hear eyeballs being drawn from the sockets by the vacuum, I could hear eardrums rupturing under the negative pressure and I think I actually heard a few jaws drop at the speed of sound. Or one of 'em saw my totally unrealistic work and played Russian Roulette with a semi-auto.
That thread died as soon as I posted and a few of the folks who'd been quite warm toward me became very cold very suddenly. I'm not sure but I think I got kicked out of the club unofficially. Nothing overt saying "noob leave" but they just started ignoring me in general. Kind of a "if we ignore him, he'll take a hint" sort of thing. I can live with that. I'd rather be an original me than a copy of anybody else and I'd rather fail doing what I want to do than succeed doing the same thing everybody else does.
It put things into perspective for me though. This place, I've had days when coming here was low on my list of things I wanted to do. I've had days when it's crossed my mind to go and not come back. Very quiet stuff, never anything huge or worthy of note, but I've had days. At the end of day though, this place has always done well to take me for what I am and support me in what I do. Not telling me I had to copy somebody else to accomplish anything, never telling me I had to do ____ & _______ & ________ or I'd never amount to anything. That forum? I was informed of what I'd need to do but because I chose a different but viable path I was out of favor, deemed a waste of effort on their part.
That place is like a cafe. good place to hang out, maybe have a cuppa and see what others are up to, but it's not home. This place is my home. I'm an outsider everywhere I go but I feel like I'm more at home here than anywhere I've been. I get frustrated at times like everybody but the longer I stay around the more I see that there are far worse places to spend time.