Another word for creativity is courage by Henri Matisse.
Recently, while preparing a lecture for third-world children, I came to think again about who an artist really is. In a short, it is a question I kept asking myself in fear when I first debuted.
Who is the artist? How do you differentiate between a real artist and a fake artist? Why do some people not go on the path of an artist even after formally graduating from an art school? On the other hand, why do some people learn on their own and continue on their way as artists confidently? If you make a lot of money selling your paintings, are you an real artist? Does getting on the media make you a true artist? Does graduating from a top university with excellent grades make you more recognized as an artist? Does having a lot of followers finally make you a real artist?
It seems that I have been asking this question repeatedly for a long time since my debut. In the past, I used to search in google for getting the answer or ask other artists who call them artists themselves.
And because of these concerns, I tried to solve the essential problem of what art is. Even now, this work is still in progress. That's why the title of my blog is "Art is...". I believe the answer to this question is the key to resolving who an artist is and what is the most important requirement for being a true artist.
One of the answers I gave myself while working on this idea for over ten years was "Courage".
French painter Henri Matisse said,"another word for creativity is courage".
I think it is a keyword for getting creativity. And I think this story is the most important word not only in art but also in life.
Creativity gives artists indescribable joy. and create energy. This energy allows artists to immerse themselves in their work with full enthusiasm even though they are isolated in the studio. Me too. If you don't have this series of processes of making something yourself, being displayed and displayed in front of your eyes in the way you see it, and sharing the pleasure with people, then the job of an artist is not something I would recommend.
Artists as professionals are not free from economic aspects, are always anxious, pay less than their efforts, and are unstable in all aspects. However, when they create one by one, get healed through it, look back on themselves, develop, gain inspiration, and eventually achieve, artists grow while tasting the results of this creativity. And I think thoroughly enjoying the energy is the best reward for artists.
But creativity doesn't come naturally. Because it takes courage to experience this kind of creativity.
For this kind of creativity, you have to enjoy being in an unstable state, getting out of the existing comfortable and stable frame. An insecure state creates fear and worry. On the vague road of not being able to see the front, artists enjoy the blurry, get ideas, create works on the road, experience a kind of rest, and realize one truth through this process. It is a posture of resting in anxiety, fear and worry. And this attitude is courage.
I found this kind of courage while drawing nature through painting.
There is a tree that grows crookedly and looks like it will break at any moment. The tree has probably been exposed to rain and wind for a long time and its behavior has been deformed. And by itself, it bends, changes shape, adapts, and survives. But the shape is so beautiful. They seem to have known how to take a break in the midst of such difficulties. The trees used energy called courage.
Confidence, hope that you can stand tall even in difficult times, and self-belief that you can overcome it even if no one acknowledges and loves you. This energy makes trees live and eventually creates beautiful shapes. This is your own value that cannot be compared with anything else in the world.
While drawing, I think that this courage to find one's own value is creativity and art. And in fact, an artist is someone who knows this truth in his or her life and communicates it with the world by putting it in the form of art.
As we go through life, we experience ridiculous limitations, are criticized, suffer resentment, and kneel in front of limitations, but we have experience. It means that every time I did that, I got courage and woke up. And if you think about what that courage looks like, it's because of the hope that there will be another way. This is the moment when the tree takes shape in the rain and wind. Hope arises when you dream of a different path.
As it turns out, it is impossible if we do not imagine a fantasy called hope. In this way, humans survive by envisioning impossible hopes. Without the strength and courage to face limitations and fears, there would be no creativity. Because these two are very close. Each uses each other's energy and grows. That's why I think Matiz said that another word for creativity is courage.
If you know it, I think that any job is made with the professional spirit within it. In this sense, as an artist, I look back and think about what kind of day I will live and how I must be courageous and challenge myself.
Myungja Anna Koh