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  • Tamara Sagathevan

Make Bad Art...Well

*Warning - I used the word shit a lot, excluding the time I used it in this sentence*





This past week has seen me diverge from the "beautiful" art I have been making since I started painting, and leaning into the slightly weird.


I am not doing it on purpose, I wish I were, then maybe I would feel like I know what the heck I am doing. I am just following the pull of my heart and the movements of my hand, and I feel more authentic than I have in a long time.


Authentic to me, in this context means artwise I am doing what I want, with what I have, and I am not too overly concerned if people like it. I mean I am not trying to freak anyone out with what I do, and if your sole taste in art is whimsy and beautiful women, then the stuff I have drawn over the last week you may find unpleasant.


The harder part of it all is looking at what I have made and thinking, this is "bad art". It's bad not because it is weird or authentic, but bad because of my own skills, or technique, or line work. So today when I finished an idea of mine, I felt seriously shit. I enjoyed the process, adjusted with care, signed it, and then I felt really...stupid. I thought, "so not only will people not like this (which means people liking my shit is still a concern), but it is also dumb as hell"


I had put love and energy into this thing, which is basically an ugly face with blue eyes stuck on a koi/carp/gold fish hybrid...what's the matter with me, it should at least be good art. The funny thing is there is also a part of me who loves this painting because it has meaning! What's going on here?


Anyway, since I am in the process/journey of healing and not being a dick to myself, I decided to ask myself some questions. After rationalising a bit, I decided this bad art might be bad, but I did it well, and that for now is fine by me.


So some rationalisations from my mind if you ever need it:


- We are going to die anyway, so do what you like, paint everything orange - who cares?

- If you "fail" you're going to end up in the same space you were, as if you didn't do anything at all

- Just make bad stuff, eventually you will learn what makes "bad stuff" so you can change it or work on it, or you may love it so much you don't stop

- Or among all the bad stuff you make, you will find something good

- The more you use your voice, the stronger it gets - same with exercising my authentic art muscle

- And this clichéd phrase "enjoy the process", it's the only part of your work that is guaranteed, so just enjoy the damn process

- Everyone has different taste, thankfully, else we would all have to paint the same crap (or in my case carp)

- Criticise your work next week (As next weeks me is usually kinder to last weeks me's art)

- Truthfully who can decide bad or good art?

- Lol, am I going to be in the Louvre?


- Most important, none of this matters


Then I stumbled onto this video ,and I really enjoyed it; someone talking about making bad art in a more artsy and raw way.


How do you deal with making "bad art"? Or with making bad anything? Remember food, reports, cleaning...these are all art forms, so I wanna hear from you :)


Tamka Out




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