Today I would like to talk briefly about why I do what I do, namely why I run this site. Why I refuse to give up and keep posting article after article. Why I try to share what I know to hopefully educate fellow artists. I can tell you that I do not have any support from any retailers, or any third parties for that matter. I don’t have any deals or sponsorship. I don’t take any money for what I do except those in form of donations from people who appreciate what I do.

Why I talk about this now though? Certain events that transpired recently made me think about these things. To consider and re-consider. To make sure I believe in what I do. I gathered these thoughts and present them to you here. In case you’re interested in what I do here, you may find it interesting to know a bit more about my motives and intentions and the way I think about art and the online art community of today.

My motivation is threefold:

  1. Art is larger than self. In other words, art reaches beyond me and you as opinionated individuals. Art is too big to keep to myself. Knowledge cannot be owned, only accessed and shared. It is our boon and our curse to carry it on our shoulders. As I understand it, is is my responsibility to pass it further, not for the sake of the giver nor receiver, but the culture, the future of the human race, as well as the ideas themselves.
  2. Motivation #2 is to pay back. To offer the chance I’ve been given by others. I consider Frank Webb to be the one who opened my eyes, but many more came after him after I grasped my chance to become an artist. I had the pleasure to get to know great men, both through their work or personally, who provided me with the clues to become a better artist and consequently a better man. These were life-changing events. I’m not exaggerating. I cannot image where my life would be if I didn’t have the courage to accept my journey and if I didn’t meet the men who guided me through.
  3. Last but not least, my final motivation is to satisfy myself. Putting myself on a pedestal would be hypocritical at best. Everyone would see right through it. I am not a martyr and I don’t intend to become one. I have my own life and I love life. It’s all well and good to talk about the big picture and detachment from one’s ego. But the ego is there and it needs to live in order for this whole endeavor called life to make sense. In the end, it is all about doing what we love. From this deep love and devotion stems the need to share, to bestow the beauty we see, we know and most importantly the beauty we feel onto the world. I believe that those who don’t feel a genuine need to share are simply not in love with what they do. For love encourages one to create bridges, form connections where there were none and make the world a better place.

Of course, these are ideals. I am not as naïve as to be devoted to them unconditionally and blindly. I’m not looking at world through the pink glasses my younger me used to wear. And then also there is the issue of making my living by teaching and practicing art. That is, ultimately, what I’d like to do as my occupation. But is that my motivation? No. It has never been so. As I age though, I have to think rationally about providing for myself and looking after those I love. But still, only the three points I mentioned are the true and genuine reasons for doing what I do. Why I don’t give up. Why I educate, why I struggle. There is no other way.

-Daniel

7 Comments

  1. J.P. Keslensky October 13, 2017 at 21:19

    Daniel, First off, thank you for your generosity and willingness to share. I’m not going to get into the topic of value and putting a value on a product or service. That’s why free markets exist. Everyone must make decisions based on their own situation. Instead, I’m wanting to add to your discussion by saying that we all leave this life eventually. And when that time arrives, we can look back on our lives and reflect on what we have left behind of a lasting nature. These are the memories we created for those that remain and follow. A life well spent is a life spent creating positive memories. They can be in the form of physical items like works of art, books, plays, architecture our children and they can be memories created by our actions. People don’t really remember much for long or care much about the amassing of material wealth or possessions but rather the long term contributions and creations from a person. Focusing on creating true lasting positive memories ultimately should be everyones goal in life. We live on thru those memories they are our legacy.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Novotny Daniel Novotny October 16, 2017 at 22:40

      Thank you Jerry, well said. Legacy is indeed the ultimate goal. That’s how I see it as well. Much appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

      Reply
  2. Emma October 12, 2017 at 19:58

    Thank you for what you do Daniel, I find your articles very enlightening and interesting! It’s funny you should mention Franck Webb – two years ago when I started my journey in the world of visual art, I borrowed one of his books from the library and was mesmerised. However, I don’t think I had acquired enough skills then to even comprehend everything he wrote about. That’s one reason I like your blog so much – it explains important things so they become clearer to me (and two years on I’m better equipped to understand too).

    Reply
    1. Daniel Novotny Daniel Novotny October 14, 2017 at 09:45

      Hi Emma,

      Yes, there is time for everything. I know I re-read the first book I had from Frank Webb around 10 times before I got what he was saying. The correlation between theory and practice is an interesting topic (I’ll be talking about just that soon). I’m also very happy to hear that my blog helps you in advancing and understanding deeper. All I could ever wish for.

      As always, thanks for your comment.

      -Daniel

      Reply
  3. Ambi Subramanian October 11, 2017 at 02:35

    You are generous both in thought and deed.

    Reply
  4. Sharon October 10, 2017 at 22:28

    Thank goodness you do what you do! Your art and your teaching have changed the direction of my life! I can no longer pass through several days without painting and I attribute that feeling to having seen your art and watched you paint and read your ideas. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Novotny Daniel Novotny October 11, 2017 at 15:02

      Thank you so much for the kind words Sharon. I couldn’t wish for more!

      Reply

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