“I like your drawings” or “You have such a beautiful grandson” or “your kids are so talented.”
I was told years ago that when someone compliments your art you should say “thank you.” That was supposed to take the place of what Gomer Pyle would say, “ah shucks.” Or making some excuse, like, “well, it would be better if I had of sharpened my pencil.”
This got more difficult when people would compliment things that I didn’t make, as in “I like your wife.” Do you say thanks? I certainly didn’t draw her into existence.
Once someone asked my dad if I did good art and he said, “some people think so.” I’m still curious where that remark came from.
Though I’ve been doing similar pictures since the 5th grade, I really don’t take credit for them. A few days ago I was trying to dig into the “does G_d exist” question. When I hear that question I start marveling at the exquisiteness of the universe and then, whether I say yea or nea, I know that what exists is far beyond my comprehension. Can we take credit for creation if we didn’t create the creator of our art?
In the same way, I’m repeatedly surprised by my art. I can’t for the life of me understand where it comes from. It feels as if some agent has possessed me and takes control of my pencil, camera, or whatever. Even when I say something (or write something), I have no idea where it came from. It is the miracle of birth, I suppose, where two relatively stupid forms join and become something stupendous. The whole is bigger than its parts. Much bigger.
I’m curious about others. Do you take responsibility for what you do? Are you possessed in those creative moments by something you don’t understand?
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