This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY, artnet, WorldNetDaily (WND) and Art Fag City. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 19,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
An artist recently stated that he spent 5 hours on a portrait study -- time that he described as, "Way too long". It was almost as if he was trying to convince himself that the hours spent in his studio were justified. I was quick to note that it is better to spend hours in the studio than hours doing what the average adult does with the same length of time. The discussion served as a reminder that creating art is (or should be) the reality of an artist.
Adults, in general, waste a lot of time today on trivial pursuits -- keeping up on Reality TV, clicking away on time-consuming social network games (Yoville, Mob Wars, FrontierVille... etc.), being glued to the commercialized dreams of others instead of focusing on their own. The irony being that it is not uncommon to hear/read people complain about 'not having enough time in the day'. (Note: That is one of the most common excuses I come across in regard to why some artists focus little time on art marketing efforts).
I'll offer some numbers:
* The average American adult spends more than 4 hours each day watching television. One study suggested that the average person spends the equivalent of 9 years watching TV by the age of 65.
* As for Internet usage -- a 2009 poll suggested that the average Internet user spends 13 hours each week online... not including email use or work related tasks.
* A researcher friend of mine made it clear that the average Internet user will spend the equivalent of 3 to 4 non-productive years online within his or her lifetime. Again, that is the average Internet user -- those addicted to online entertainment will lose far more time.
With the above information in mind, it is safe to say that many of us will throw the equivalent of 12+ years away. All of those hours add up as the years go by -- and the end result is devastating if you think about it... especially if you happen to be an artist. It is a waste of time. That is a lot of artwork that will never be created time-wise, artistic mastery that will not be achieved, AND art exhibits that could have happened had the artist been more focused.
I know I have mentioned these problems before -- so has Jack White and number of other FineArtViews regulars. We can't stress it enough: don't waste your time, talent, OR the visual gift that you can share with others. As Clint Watson, the founder of FASO, states -- "Sharing art enriches life.". Enrich your life. Enrich the lives of others. Make art your reality -- live it... really live it. You have a mission to accomplish... and you won't succeed if you spend your life enthralled by casual entertainment.
In closing, we have become a society that embraces non-productive lifestyles. Casual entertainment has become something more than casual -- it has become a way of life for millions of people. It is sad when pursuing something other than casual entertainment is viewed as being radical. That said, be a radical -- go against the grain of popular culture. Turn off the TV... step away from the computer if you are not being productive -- return to your studio space. Create, create, create. You don't need reality TV OR a virtual farm -- art is (or should be) your reality. Live it.
Take care, Stay true,