Interview with painter Brandon Province
Our guest tonight is Brandon Province from Jefferson City, Missouri. He is mostly working on abstract paintings with the occasional commission of the client's choice while also working on making his art career flourish. We have conducted an interview with him about his perseverance through the struggles of being a professional artist and his artistic vision.
What is your artistic vision?
My artistic vision is completely centered around an emotional experience. Everything in life provides an emotional experience in one fashion or another. My self image is that of a creator manipulating colors and images to provide the viewer a specific emotional response. In my opinion, good art should make the viewer feel something when they see it and in turn remind them that it is ok to feel.
Which are the top 3 challenges an artist faces?
The way I see it, an artist's top 3 challenges are first finding themselves within the world of art, finding the audience that will appreciate and validate the work that they do and lastly to find the perseverance to stay true to their vision in a very unforgiving society. Finding yourself as an artist is almost inevitable being as your "inner self" will assert itself in almost everything you do. The tricky part comes with your willingness to allow that to happen or not. Most artists are riddled with self doubt and because of this they get a manipulated view of what "true art" is or is not and in most cases believe their view is wrong. The more you come to realize how truly subjective art really is the more you realize that there is no such thing as "good or bad art".
There is only art you like and art that you don't like. With this realization, the artist's defenses and self doubt ease up enough to allow the artist's true self to emerge. Finding your audience is incredibly daunting being as the only way to find them is to put your work out there and wait for some interaction. There is a lot of fear associated with this because rejection is inevitable. It's impossible to please everyone and most people feel the need to critique; even when it's neither welcome or warrants any form of credibility. An artist must look past these people and the things they say and hone in on those who have the eye for their specific vision. Lastly, in my opinion, finding perseverance is that hardest task of all. We live in a society where everything is suppose to be a certain way and if you don't live up to that code you are both shamed and invalidated for being different. That alone can make life's more frequent and ordinary struggles seem devastating to an artist. Again the artist must look past these things and stay true to their vision. It's all about opportunities. The more opportunities you open for yourself the more likely success is. Stay strong.
Which do you consider is the most daunting struggle of being a professional artist? How did you persevere through?
I truly think perseverance is the most daunting struggle for a professional artist. When your cabinets are bare, the car is breaking down, your children are upset because they want things that you cannot provide and your utilities are getting ready to be turned off if you don't hurry up and sell something, it can become overwhelming to put it mildly and this can supersede your vision. Self doubt starts to set in and you begin to buckle under the pressure. Then to top it off we live in a society that promotes that this is a acceptable response and a normal reaction to such pressures. When did it become normal to give up on your dreams because life sucks? Financial stability doesn't truly make you happier; it simply makes you more comfortable and the more you pull away from your vision the more comfortable you'll become in your misery.
What are your favourite subjects for abstract paintings?
My favorite subjects for abstract painting are definitely energy and people. I love energy in a painting because it can give even the simplest of paintings it's own life. It can make viewers see things that aren't actually present and that alone is one of the greatest emotional experiences. It allows you to relate to the painting.
People are another great subject matter because we as humans inherently relate to other humans and their experiences. Even if we've never actually experienced the subject matter we still find ourselves imagining the scenario and how we'd respond to it. This gives us a sense of connection that is vital to the human experience.
On what criteria do you work on occasional commission of your client's choice?
My only criteria for commissioned paintings are comfort and trust. I will not start a piece until both parties (myself and the client) feel comfortable that the services will be paid for and that the service will meet expectations appropriate to the value paid. Which leads to myself having to trust the client not to stiff me on the bill and my client trusting that I know what I'm doing and won't stiff them on the service. Aside from that almost anything can be worked around.
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