As a production artist the idea of collaboration comes up a lot in my discussions with clients. A lot of the art world caters to making art in service of something else. I’m not talking here about people starting out or learning the particulars of a job requirement. I’m talking about professional artists who have established their ability. This is just as true for a portrait as it is for an illustration. In production art I’m often called on once the style of the project has been set and I must insert myself into that process as seamlessly as possible.
My solution for this is personal work. One of the reasons I developed a gallery presence is there is none of this in my gallery work. I in my personal work I paint pictures that I want to paint. No one is in on the decision process as I work. All the creative aspects of the painting are my decision. The gallery is free to accept or reject paintings I offer to them and buyers accept or reject what gets hung on the walls by buying them or not.
For me this is where my creativity and skill get pushed to new heights. It the only time I grow as an artist. I have to shrug off all of the outside opinions and dig down deep for my own solutions. I stand or fall on my experiments and decisions. Its all mine and its where the real art is for me. No one can see the visions in my head or how to paint them better than me. I could find solutions in other artists work but that would be a cop out for me, it has to come from inside. The best part of this path is when these paintings connect with clients. Then I know I have accomplished what I have set out to do. It’s not about shortcuts and monetary success though, it’s about the truth of my journey on canvas and it’s the only thing that really matters to me.