Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Are you original?
I have seen many types of artists in my career and the most surprising type is the artist with tremendous skill but no true creative ability. They are great copiers. They can produce amazing images, perfectly executed, yet totally unoriginal. I knew an art student in college who had more ability than anyone in the class. He would bring in his assignments and they would be remarkable copies of art in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He was remarkable, but I noticed that the teachers were surprisingly unimpressed. He later dropped out of BU and the last time I talked to him he had become a professional copying machine. Copying masters paintings for the rich, maybe even illegally who knows. All I know is here was a guy with tremendous talent and skill without one original idea. Tragic. I have known several artists like this and I always fear of becoming one myself. In animation, it is very easy to follow trends, to become a professional copying machine. The industry is a collaborative art field that feeds on artists being able to copy one another, the unfortunate result however is that there are mountains of unoriginal work out there.