If I could choose to be a certain kind of artist, I would be Edouard Duval-Carrie and paint enormous, politically charged, original landscape paintings. Or maybe I’d be someone like Kehinde Wiley and paint beautiful portraiture. But I seem to generally gravitate to none of those things except maybe landscapes, and my ideas for those always seem so mundane.
I think I might think much more conceptually about my art than I’d sometimes prefer to. I like having ideas nested within other ideas within other ideas. Similar to a ‘conceptual artist’ I see the visual component as a manifestation of ideas, but I strongly feel the need to have the visual component be able to function as a standalone object. The work should not be so obscure that it deters interpretations in the absence of explanation. At least one idea should come through the piece so conspicuously that it can be understood without needing any further information. In that sense, the visual part and the idea develop together, and for good taste, neither should exert dominance over the other. I hope I’ll be able to avoid that trap where ideas become more interesting than the actual artwork.
Speaking broadly in terms of type of content, I would say I tend to focus more on observation than on imagination. I’d rather be able to recognize my artwork as an extension of an experience rather than of my mind. Of course I suppose all experience is in the mind, but I guess I mean that I won’t be conjuring up any cyborgs or aliens any time soon. The imaginative side for me comes from putting things together.
On one last note, I never make art just for myself. I don’t even really do the whole ‘sketchbook’ practice that some artists seem to do religiously. I always make work considering whether or not other people would want to see it, and I feel this has one of the greatest influences over what I choose to make.