Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Five More Things from Milton Glaser’s Book

"Skudeneshavn Norway" 16x20 Commission SOLD (Prints available)
I have never done anything in my life the easy way. Art is no exception. After spending half my life marrying young, raising six children, working as an office manager and then a free-lance writer/consultant, I came to art in my thirties. Unable to finish college because of my children’s university expenses, I struggled on my own with the help of the Public Library and some inspirational art teachers.

My interpretation of the “10 Things I have Learned—The Secret of Art” by Milton Glaser continues.
"Inset Kirke" Original Sold (prints available)
Glaser’s book seems to be designed for those who had the money and encouragement to attend University and study abroad. It is designed for those who plan from the start to pursue a career in art or design. But there are things every artist can learn from his observations:

1.    Style is not to be trusted. Life is not static. It is in constant flux and usually unpredictable. That’s what you never want your style to become; predictable. If it does, your buyers will get bored; your work may become dated and obsolete. Glaser’s example was the famous bull painted by Picasso. Several versions were made, each a variation of the other beginning with realism and ending up with abstraction and a simple line. Each was unique, each a different style by the same artist.

Glaser’s point? “Anybody who is in this for the long haul has to decide how to respond to change in the present moment (zeitgeist). What is it that people now expect that they formerly didn’t want? How do you respond to that desire in a way that doesn’t change your sense of integrity and purpose?”

"Vikeholmen Lighthouse--Skudeneshavn, Norway" 16x20 Acrylic on canvas

  1. How you live changes your brain. This statement almost sounds Biblical; “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Prov. 23:7). Mahatma Gandhi put it this way: “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Drawing each day changes the brain. Repetition and programming improves cognition. Your actions may literally change how you see things.
  2. Doubt is better than certainty. “You just have to know what to compromise,” said Glaser. “Blind pursuit of your own ends which excludes the possibility that others may be right does not allow for the fact that in design we are always dealing with a triad – the client, the audience and you.” My interpretation: Being open and teachable is more important than being right all the time.
  3. On aging Glaser said: “It doesn't matter!” I’ll go with that!
  4. Tell the truth. If you’re in business, and art is a business, you must stand by your product, your word, and your promise. When you accept a commission or a project, you should seek to fulfill it. Customer satisfaction should be uppermost in your mind. You should go beyond what is expected and offer your customer some additional incentives for buying from you; free cards, a copy of preliminary sketches of the painting, or other gifts of appreciation. Never deceive a customer if you want a repeat customer.
"Egret Reflections" acrylic on canvas SOLD (prints available)
Featured Artist:
Kandy Cross, a teacher of art and art history who has since been fortunate enough to live near the sea, visit many of the places written down on her bucket list, and paint within the Mediterranean and Caribbean-inspired areas visited across the globe. Shown is the painting “Boats at Burano” and a link to Kandy’s online gallery.