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Art Talk 1:A Conversation On Making Art

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ArtTalk 1 Splash Image

"Deathvalleysky nps big" by Dan Duriscoe, for the en: U.S. National Park Service. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

ArtTalk, a conversation with video artist Frank Dellario and Renderosity artist Mies de Graf (dochtersions). Moderated by Ricky Grove.


Do you think people in general people care more or less about art today and why?

Mies: My idea is that people care more about art these days. But, I'm talking about the part of the world in which I live. In the Netherlands, on television there are many more programs that discuss art. Also in the newspapers more and more attention is given to art. For example, it's in the city where I live quite close, to a vacancy rate of shopping. Now, it has been devised to show all kinds of art forms in the empty store-fronts. Which also mentioned, where one can learn a certain art form. It is my opinion that the artists of the past, such as Rembrandt, van Gogh, etc., that one is very careful with all those works which have been left for this generation, and those who come after us.

Frank: That's a tough question and I think the answer is Yes and No. Yes in that I find, because the barriers to entry to various forms of art and their techniques have dropped due to technology, and because of the internet and social media, we're exposed to more art and also get to know who their creators are. For example, we're big fans of the DIY video filmmaking Youtube show Film Riot. We follow these guys every week, know them by name, and want them to succeed (make a living making narrative films). If they ever had a Kickstarter, we would give to them gladly and it would be a win all around. Because of crowd-funding like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and now Patreon, you get to really support art. The No comes from too many people I meet who are very quick to dismiss and judge any creative work harshly and toss it aside. I find the general public has no idea the amount of work that goes into creating and producing any amount of work. I feel strongly that anytime we can support someone creative we should. If I see a musician on the street I like, I will buy their CD because I want to support them and let them know their hard work is valued. Currently working on a 3D animated short and VR project created simultaneously in Maya and Unreal called "Beware the Cuidado." We want to play with a simple story based narrative we've had for a while, animate it as a short but also experiment with it in VR. It's nothing ground breaking, we're just creating various trigger points to give the user as many options as possible and see what happens. The idea is based on a short with a beginning, middle and end so it stands on it's own. We're interested in the idea of story based games in VR that are basically just a series of cut scenes where you have a certain amount of agency. Much like Telltale games but with much less interaction How do you evaluate your work? Do you do it yourself or do you share the work with others and get their feedback?

Mies de Graf Nightmare
Mies de Graf - Nightmare

Mies: Usually I'm not very easily pleased, and also have sometimes some sort of nuisance indecision. I always try to create an abstract work in which are to discover deeper layers regarding significance. It should inspire others, so that they come to recognize it, or discover their own personal feelings, that can evoke the work with them, or they can go "play" with their own imagination. In any case, I try to create an abstract, which I myself can make a poem. I make a lot of spontaneous poetry. Have so many poems that I do not remember where I got this sort of written books 'lying around' everywhere in our house. It is quite often that I'll judge my fractals, with their operations in f.e. PSP, or their combinations with my pictures, from my dear husband, Karel. As Karel has a great gift, to absolute see directly whether the fractal is harmonious. And this also in connection with the combination of light, depth, color and little details, that extra attention should be given to the whole work. It is also true that sometimes I go too long, with ever try another operation; and then, when I ask Karel to make a choice, the first original fractal was ultimately the best. I've actually done much work 'for nothing', but, alez I can always learn from my uncertainty. Because that's what I still basically have, my uncertainty, that I go through a lot of work too long. But, oh, how happy I am, and then everything is grateful in me, when I suddenly got an amazing result by just more trusting myself on understanding, regarding my insight, my feelings, and my realizing therein. Okay, actually, I would say that of course exceptions in general, on Rendero one gives me, as a sort of automatic I suspect, beautiful words in their response. And it's usually (I suspect) because they like me as a personality, but often do not look at, or something more or less precisely, how the art is mapped. (not to mention bad things about someone on RR, they are just too kind for me LOL)I do want to mention two people who follow all the depth that, namely Lucinda Maxwell (myrrhluz) and Mark (anahata.c)

I think you are so right about how the general public thinks. Supporting creative work I think is one of the best things we can do as artists. I'm constantly buying friends works because I like them and because I like the work. I think the net has made it easier to do this. That brings me to my third question for you both: How do you know when something is a work of art or not? Are there specific things you look for or is it just a feeling?

Mies: To make a comparison, an example relating to the formation of music.: You can technically be very good at playing the musical notes, and it is played perfect. But that's not making art.I think something is only art if one can put in his personal feeling. So it is with fractals, you can have a perfect formulas, or the script you want, but then the real work begins, by giving it your personal feelings. Art is something that comes from within, your mood, your character, a song that gives inspiration at that time.(But of course one makes a choice, what script, formula, or program one want to start with).Another example, someone put his aggression in his paintings, and it is like to feel when seeing this painting, this sense of the maker is palpable, and can be called unique, and art, because of the personal "note" speaking out of it. You could have tweaking a fractal formula of another, but then, you have to 'let go' at least three operations, and therefore process your personal kind of trait. Only then, you can call it your own artwork.

I share your idea that art comes from personal feeling. And because everyone has their own unique perspective on the world, it seems that good art is something that gets through all of the phony ideas and clichés that culture places on us. An honest expression of one's personal world. I wonder: is everyone capable of making art? Or is the artistic talent limited to certain kinds of people?

Frank Dellario
Frank Dellario & Pixel Valley Studios

Frank: Mies description using fractals is wonderful and made me think. When I lived in New England I would visit various seaside towns for the summer, most had art galleries full of paintings...of seagulls flying over waves. They were just a step above velvet paintings and they drove me nuts. But I could never answer were they art or not. One day I was working on a drawing techniques course where the focus was on practicing certain strokes over and over, like a musician practicing scales. It had me realize, these paintings were just that, all strokes, technique, over and over, with nothing of the artist in them. They may have been inspired by the sea or to recreate something they saw but there was no inspiration in what they ultimately created. This is what I see in a too much art- derivative work based on the artist's knowledge of other media. Where's the spark of inspiration from the world or their imagination? They're recreating strokes of someone else's, seagulls flying over waves. Now if someone showed me a painting like that, that they were excited about creating, I would congratulate them, I can't paint like that. I can't mix color to safe my life. I would applaud their technique and the work it took, and then ask them what really inspires them. Technique is great but what's going to push you to explore what inspires you, in order for you to create "your" art.

Very true, Frank. I like the phrase you used "where's the spark of inspiration from the world or their imagination?" I guess then, we have a kind of craft that looks like art, but then there's real art that is inspired. Perhaps the issue behind it is twofold: the marketplace, where looking like art is everything, and outside the marketplace where people create art to match what it is the see in themselves and the world. Too simple? People love Hitchcock films and call them art, but I find them derivative and distant. Whereas, films by David Lynch or Guy Maddin (they make art in the marketplace) move me and make me think about what it's like to be human. So, how do you tell a work is inspired or not. Is it subjective?

Frank: Yes, definitely subjective. One of my hobbies is pottery. Whenever I have extras to give away, which is often, I'll show a few pieces to a friends and ask them "what do you think of these" with no other context. They immediately respond to one of them and immediately pick it up, turning it this and that as they check it out. They'll say something about the color and/or shape, "I love this color" or "this reminds of such and such." Then I tell them I made it which is usually followed by pleasant surprise. I then tell them it's there's for the keeping. And half the time, those pieces were one's I wasn't sure were good or not, in my humble opinion.

Mies: By doing my work today, and during my bike tour I was thinking over, and over these specific question. My spontaneous idea initially was: of course everyone can make art.My thoughts also went to the fact that people in some kind of mental distress are often encouraged to make a painting, or working with clay, etc. So do everything to promote, the 'patient' can express his feelings through of this form of therapy. These blockages can be detected. Blockades, which "patient" himself often was not aware of; like, what was the cause, that the patient could not get on his true feelings, and his own unique personality? It's often the soft, sensitive people, which are braked, a kind of blocked, which, sometimes already very young, through the agency of the educators or the environment have been imposed. (are caused) It also happens that their social environment these lovely people forces and thrusts them to look at themselves in a wrong way. (indoctrinating)It are often people who have an eventful life, which have very rich talents. What does not imply that you only can be an artist from misery. No, but if I compare with people who can only live from the enlarge their power in this world; people who have a very big ego 'philosophy'; when I see these people, they have blinders on, that prevent them to give the slightest value to artistry. You have to have some form of open-mindedness, a kind of resource, of which you may not always be aware, that that source is indeed given to you; but it is the inner wealth of feelings, that if you are in connection with it, you can let it speak through 'art.' Art can also be maintaining your garden, the harmony, which brings you into this creation of plants, flowers, colours, heights, etc. Art has many forms, and as a man live from his inner consciousness of what he was given. You can go all ways with 'art.' I put *, because in Dutch this would be a funny pun, which is not to tell in English.

I think you'll pretty much summed it up, Mies. People must be in touch with their feelings in order to express themselves artistically. And you are right, that art can be gardening or the organization of a festival. "Art has many forms." Indeed it does.


ArtTalk is an ongoing series of conversations with artists from within the Renderosity digital arts community and from the community at large. The conversations usually center around making art that is authentic and personal. ArtTalk will publish bi-weekly.

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art talk, artist, renderosity, Renderosity artists, ricky grove
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