Why Do You Do Art?

I was recently asked the question 'Why do you do Art?'. You'd think after forty plus years of doing art I'd know the answer to this question but I actually had to stop and think about it.

Anywhere but here, by TET, July 2004
"The art that I'm most proud of is work where
I've set out to communicate an idea..."

I'm aware many people create their art as a relaxation or escape from stress. I suspect many artists in this category are those that get their inspiration from painting their surroundings - such as landscape, still-life and portrait painters.

Just from my observations those artists, once they've developed their skills and are confident in their techniques they can afford to relax and enjoy the experience of creating their art without stressing too much about whether their final artwork will be successful... chances are it will be.

I'm not one of those people.

Creating my art certainly isn't a stressful experience by any stretch but I can't say my mind is relaxed during the process. If anything, it's more active than ever as I have to bring my idea out into a visual image from my imagination. On top of that, my painting style is rather quick, so the next decision is never very far away and I'm usually planning ahead to what I imagine the finished result to be.

Some people do art to earn a living. I'm certainly in that category but it's not why I do art. I create art whether I think it will sell or not. I do consciously try to steer my non commercial efforts towards a commercial gain, as I did with my GoAnimate videos, which started out as a fun activity two years ago but this year earned the bulk of my freelance design income. However the reason I do that is to avoid having to get a regular day job - which would severely limit me from doing art.

The more I work as a freelance artist/designer the more I realize that bringing other people's ideas to life is not personally satisfying to me. Challenging sure but not satisfying. Even though I'm the first to admit that some of my best work is done for other people (particularly among the cat paintings that I'm known for) this is more a result of my high personal standards than trying to fulfill my need to create art.

I used to think I create my art for other people because I'm not that sentimental about hanging on to my own work. Having other people enjoy my paintings and having them on display in their homes. It's great to know that people do that with my work but I think it pleases me mostly because, if I kept hold of it, I'd store it away out of sight - because once an artwork is completed, I've got from it what I needed. I don't need to keep looking at it.

 When it gets down to it, I do art because I have an idea to express. The art that I'm most proud of is work where I've set out to communicate an idea, whether that be a simple emotion or an entire narrative. It's why writing and animation both appeal to me. They allow me to express complex ideas and complete stories in a creative way beyond the single image or series of images you can create with a painting.

That's pretty much why I do art. I'm all about expressing an idea.


Keeping Up with TET on your Mobile Device

Click image to install my
Mippin Mobile Application
Works on most devices.
Mobile internet and devices have become a lot more popular since smart phones and tablets have really taken off. Especially with the launch of iphones, ipads and their Android equivalents. With so many different screen sizes to cater for my web site isn't always that easy to browse on mobile devices.

To help make your browsing experience easier I've enabled Blogger's mobile view on all my blogs. This view essentially strips back all the sidebars and leaves you with just the articles, which scale nicely to fit whatever size screen you're using.

Download my Apps...

However if you want to keep up with everything I upload to my three blogs, two YouTube channels, My Facebook Page, Flickr, Ebay and more (so many sites that I can't even name them all off the top of my head) then I'd recommend installing my Mippin Mobile Application.

The application works as an installable app on iphones/ipads and Android devices. On all other mobile devices it gives an 'app like' experience using your mobile devices browser. It includes everything that gets channeled through my Master RSS feed and has separate sections for posts to my TET Facebook page and both my YouTube channels.

Finally if you have an Android device and would just like my main site (i.e. www.extraordinarytourist.com) installed as an app instead of having to open your browser then you could install my AppsGeyser Android App. It's no different from viewing this site in your mobile devices browser, it just allows you to access my site directly as an app.

Software Stylus for Tablet Drawing

 I own an Android Tablet that has available to it many great drawing applications.  The trouble is, drawing on a touchscreen with  your finger is like trying to sketch with jumbo crayons.  As is trying to draw with most stylus pens which are only a marginal improvement over using your finger.

 Precision drawing on your average touchscreen seems like wishful thinking.

 However I've had this idea for a software stylus that acts like an extension of your finger and allows drawing with greater precision.  See my rough diagram below.  Essentially it's a pointer that follows your finger around the screen. Its angle can be adjusted so that from your vantage point it looks like the tip of  your finger is coming to a point.

Softnib concept sketch.

 You simply move the pointer around and the line is drawn from the point of the stylus instead of somewhere under your finger, where you can't see it.

 Obviously I haven't worked out all the details - such  as how the pointer tells the difference between positioning the stylus and drawing with the stylus. I'm sure these kind of things can be sorted with further development. It could even have different shaped pointers for different shaped lines.

I'm calling it 'softnib'. A solution that allows for precision drawing without the need for an actual stylus.

What do you think - is it a good idea? Have you seen it before?

If it is a good idea let's hope someone sees this post who can actually implement it.
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