I often think about the heart of most artists. Wondering what an artists true intention is when creating a piece of art? Does one create with the intention of changing the perspective of others, do they create because it's truly their God given gift, or do they do it soley for profit. I call them the money hungry artists. What concerns me is the creative integrity that sometimes is not present in an artist's piece of work.
At an early age I knew that there was something different about me. I discovered that in kindergarten when my teacher asked the class to draw a picture of our family. Like most four or five yrs old kids, the majority of the class drew stick people. My picture was different. I showed facial features such as lips, eyebrows, and even added clothing. When the teacher walked over to me, she burst out saying, "WOW". This reaction caught the attention of my classmates, which triggered them to run to my table to see what I had just created. Just like my teacher's reaction, they were wowed too. At that moment, I knew I could do something that made people react in a special way. I couldn't identify it at the time but as I grew older and developed a relationship with God, it was clear to me that it was a gift from God. One that I don't take lightly. This gift is a characteristic of my heART.
Throughout the years, I've spoken to "artist friends" and other artists about the the integrity of art. Asking them questions like, "why are you an artist" and "what inspires you to create". These questions always centered around my pivotal question, where is the heART of an artist? I asked because of the money hungry artists who are creating art with the sole intention of making money. I get it, we all like money and want to be successful but I think there's a line that one crosses when creativity becomes diminished or compromised for greed and recognition. For the longest time I turned away from the idea of making prints because I didn't want my work to be devalued. Many artists have become extremely successful financially and quite well known from print sales. I just recently started doing research of making prints of my own work. People for the longest time have come to me and asked, "Hey I love your work but just can't afford the asking price for it Do you have prints?". As great as that sound that people want to own a piece of your art, I understood exactly what they were talking about. Original art is expensive and should be respectfully appreciated. So I said to myself, "Hey, it's okay to make prints." Plus money is good to have (lol). If I want to go into business for myself, I have to start thinking and acting like a business man. BUT, and this is a big BUT, you will not see a Derrick Bell Art print number 1 out of 500 or 1000. This is just a personal preference. Not to knock any other artist and their hustle.
So I ask two questions to anyone who is an artist or just simply are doing something that they love or want to do. Is your heART in it and what is your intention?
"Art is when you hear a knocking from the soul and you answer". - Terri Gullemets