8 Comments
Feb 23Liked by Michelle Lindblom

It may be an oversimplification, but these days, I create with a basic summation - there is no audience. And never will be.

I understand desire, cravings, and addiction (being a former junkie, now 20 years clean and sober), and I understand the human need for social inclusion (despite being an introverted anti-social Luddite), and I also realised that, whenever I'm writing or painting or buried in music, that the outside world ceases to exist. Yes, it would be nice to share my efforts and thusly gain some sort of approval, but I stripped that premise back to discover what actually motivates my love of the arts.

And it wasn't the dopamine hits afforded by social media. It wasn't getting approval from strangers - the unqualified critics of cyberspace - whom I would never meet. It wasn't to stroke the ego, or gain self-approval, or satisfy an ambition that would elevate my social standing. I simply like the mindset that artistry creates, the beautiful silence of isolation and solitude, and the introspective process that manifests my imagination into something physical: I look at what's inside my mind, my hands and fingers then construct it outside, thereby reproducing my mental visions as something solid, creating today what didn't exist yesterday.

That may make me sound like a bit of a wanker, and I probably am, but it works for me - If nobody will ever read my stories, or see my paintings, would I still bother to do them? The answer is yes.

And that's probably completely unhelpful, but I like your observations and perspective, and even if I announce myself to be anti-social, it's still nice to meet a kindred spirit here in cyberspace, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Cheers from my little corner of Australia.

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It's difficult for the general public to understand the mind of an artist and the fact that many of us will create no matter what and, yes, sometimes just for ourselves. It is too much of an abstract concept for most to grasp. Thank you for responding in such an honest and eloquent way. Carry on my friend.

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That made me think of mind-reading. If the general public could actually understand and visual an artist's mind - walk the unbeaten path through the forest of discovery - then the opposite would also be true: We, in turn, could see the mind of those who cannot grasp the concept of creating art (of any sort), and I'm not entirely sure I want to visit such a place. Imagine, if you will, visiting a parallel universe, a world where books, literature, paintings, sculptures, and music did not exist. What the hell would we do to avoid losing what's left of our minds? : )

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I prefer not to imagine. But I do believe that there are those who do not see any kind of art in their lives, thus their existence is indeed a dark place.

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Feb 22Liked by Michelle Lindblom

Nice work!

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Thank you. And I appreciate the restack!

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Hi Michelle - I have a question. Would you continue to paint if you had no market or stopped marketing your work altogether? Would your paintings change do you think? Would your motivations change? Just curious.

I hope you’re enjoying your life in Oregon. I have to admit to being a little jealous.

Best regards,

John

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Great to hear from you and great questions. Right now I have the gallery in Bend and one in Astoria, OR where my work is always displayed. Plus I show through several arts organizations. So those avenues keep me painting for display purposes. But I paint what I want, not what is popular (which I've always done). And that is because painting for me is not about selling, it is about revealing what needs to come to the surface. It is what levels me in this chaotic world, just as writing does. Selling and displaying my work is secondary. But then, as an educator, I would like people to connect to my work because it's different, it's thought-provoking, and it gets people out of their comfortable "traditional realism" bubble.

I have an excellent website, which is where I would like viewers to end up. So in order to get traffic to the website and get new subscribers, social media is the vehicle in which to do that. Thus the conundrum I and many others face in the creative realm.

My work will evolve with me (as it has always done) and not because of anything I do or don't do with social media. I am more deliberate in my process, feeling less compelled to create so many works. Plus I am beginning to minimize my studio by using up materials I have as opposed to buying more supplies. It's a great challenge I am having fun with.

Thanks so much for reading and asking the questions.

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