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mfa or no mfa?this comment is for...janet

updated sat 31 aug 02


Jeff Longtin on fri 30 aug 02

Hey Janet!
Thank you again for reminding me how difficult it is to successfully
communicate a complex idea in a short comment!

You said:
>Anyway, was Vincent's work stupid and should he have changed because
>everyone said it was stupid? I am glad he did not, but then all he had his
>brother to support him.

I completely agree with you! Let me try to rephrase my point.

If you are an artist (potter) and if you choose not to sell your work to the
public because you find their "stupid" comments too annoying, if you think
they will affect your work too much, than I would argue that you ARE NOT an
In other words, a true artist, a person with an artistic vision, does not
allow "stupid" comments to affect their artistic vision one way or another.

About Van Gogh:
Van Gogh does not fit into the model I describe above (as you point out).
While yes, people made stupid comments about his work he did not allow those
comments to affect his artistic vision. If you read his letters to his
brother Leo you will see that he steadfastly resisted responding to the
so-called "stupid" comments his work was generating. He chose, instead, to
respect his artistic vision. He was a TRUE artist!

You also said:
>What happens to those who do not have that support?

Truthfully Janet...I don't care about those who are washed away by the
current. If an artist doesn't have the strength of character to endure the
hardships his or hers chosen path creates for them then they aren't doing
work to which I need to listen.

This is why, on some levels (but not all) I think LIFE is a far better
teacher for those who want to be an artist than grad school. Life REALLY IS
a bitch. But if you can endure it AND make truely artistic/truely touching
work (pots/paintings/whatever) than you are making work that I SHOULD listen
to. Work that others, as well, probably will want to "listen" to.

That, at least, is my goal.

Take care Janet!
Jeff Longtin