The Cloud Gallery - Tony Schaefer

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The Cloud Gallery - Article - Art Comps, Anachronism or Good Exposure.

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Is competition a good thing for an artist or does it stifle creativity?

While researching what "the internet" thought about art competitions, I was watching my mind for how articles made me feel. I DO tolerate Art competitions and have enter a couple and will probably enter a couple more. But I usually do a lot of research first, which inevitably saves me a lot of time and heart ache.

Once again, "the internet" offers everything from "it's a great learning experience" and "know your legal rights when signing an entry form" thru to a straight out "Fuck art competitions!" While I am not as passionately negative about art competitions as the later, I understand the sentiment. And once again I would have to bring our attention back to purpose...What's it for?

My work, as expressed in my bio, is not what I would consider for the main stream. I accept that it's lack of appeal is not a personal attack but more so a lack interest in Spiritual Art. In a True sense I don't have much to say about the imagery that appears in my artwork. I wrote down something that came to me, in my art class, which may help to clarify this idea.

"The creative process pulses, like blood rushing to a sore thumb, its intensity blinds us too mundane and worldly pursuits. As this deeply personal vision is expressed and made manifest the intensity of this creative energy seems to dissipate. In time it seems to quieten and change, less intense. Yet it is always a constant, eternal Source. It may appear to be "over there" or "happening to them" but in Truth it is ever present and constant. It hits us like a hammer yet is benevolent in its intent. If its expression is not found in one it simply moves to another, within this creative energy all is one. Pray that this vessel will not crack or warp from the pressure of this eternal, creative emergence being made manifest, in order to better communicate the vision that is held within."

What's The Purpose?

The artwork I create may not come close to showing this communication. My process is an attempt to better reveal the symbols and beliefs of the world as being subject to question. And yet I must use these very same symbols in order to find some correspondence, otherwise I would be expressing a language that doesn't communicate.

I, nor any other artist can tell you whether or not to enter art competitions. I can tell you that if it doesn't excite you or bring you some joy, then you should reconsider why you are doing it. Because ultimately being True to yourself is the only thing that has any real value and how you express that creatively, is something that is personal to you. Trust the creative source within you and everything else, including the money, will take care of itself.

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