Creating Art as a Game

A game: something which is fun, done for the sake of it. A child as playing, as building sandcastles by the beach, to only have it be washed away by the ocean (Heraclitus), yet not feeling “sad” that the artwork is impermanent.

Life is short, Art is long.

Seneca

I see all these people addicted to playing video games, sports, and other games. Which made me wonder:

What is the most productive type of game, in which you can build equity in yourself?

Also the game which is the most substantial?

To me — this ultimate game is art. Specifically, making artwork with your own mind and abilities.

Making artwork must be fun!

For myself, making artwork is only worthwhile when I do it out of a spirit of play and fun. I never treat making artwork as a “duty”. This is why the notion of “forcing” yourself to make artwork seems so vulgar to me. Any artwork that you make which isn’t spontaneous and fun for yourself isn’t worth it (and probably won’t last).

Imitate art which you love

I’m actually getting more inspiration from painters than photographers as of late. I’ve been loving the work of Cezanne and Piet Mondrian. I use Procreate for the iPhone/iPad to sketch/trace/re-interpret their art works, to help me practice my composition and to better learn/appreciate their art works.

Cezanne
Abstracted, with eye dropper tool to select colors.

Composition as a game

Another realization:

To compose a scene is a game.

In artwork, I think to “compose” is the active verb of art-making/creating.

Cezanne sketch

So even in photography or when I’m making my own digital art works, I treat composition like my paint strokes or brush strokes— but with my finger and mind.

How to discover inspiration

For myself it seems the best way to discover inspiration is to consume the artworks of artists you admire from the past. And don’t worry whether an artist is considered “legit” or not. Cultivate your own tastes. If you like the artist and their artwork, it is good. If you find their art works boring, just ignore them.

I have been cultivating my taste for a long time, and as of late — I am really into abstract artwork (cubism, Impressionism, De Stijl of Piet Mondrian and the other Dutch painters, futurism, suprematism).

Picasso during his period azul (blue period)

What I’m trying to do is this:

Discover epic compositions from the past to inspire me to make my own art works.

Or in short, imitate who you admire.

ERIC

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