Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It´s All For Nothing

By Jesper Ejsing


I have a very good friend and fellow artist. His name is Emil Landgreen. He has unfortunately left our studio a while back to work in the gaming industry. I have been sniffing up that tree for the better part of a year now too. We got together a month ago and, as so many times before, the talk landed on what is it all for and where is this going to lead us. I am not talking money, more artistically.

"Are you still gonna do charging monsters when you are 70, Jesper"? Emil asked me with obvious doubt in his voice.

"Hmm, yeah I could", I answered knowing it might be untrue.

Pushing the subject further Emil asked, "This day in 20 years from now. What is the illustration you are doing. Where do you envision yourself?

"Easy. I am sitting in the forest painting an old Oak tree in oil, perhaps sipping a red wine"

"Me too",  Emil said. After a long pause. "Why is it exactly, that we are waiting 20 years"?

This was the beginning of something fantastic. We started arranging small pools of painting time during Sundays, were we drag the paint out and start dotting down strokes. What is really beautiful about this is that as soon as we begin, I realised I haven't been painting for no one in many many years.

Everything I do is for a product, a game a book or something. When I paint an old tree out there in the forest for a couple of hours there is no one I have to impress or satisfy. It is only a matter of spending time together having fun while painting. And it has made me realise how much I miss that part, the pure undiluted joy of painting. I am not even gonna post pictures of the actual paintings since what matters is the act of it and certainly not the outcome.

We paint for ourself and thus are not getting paid, so you might say it is for nothing. But the reward is so much more. It is for the passion and pleasure of creating for the craftsmanship and the feeling of being at one with a piece of art. Being present in the moment and living the brushstroke...

It is not for nothing; it is for everything. It makes me remember why I love doing art.

20 comments:

  1. That's beautiful Jesper. Makes me want to go out and do the same.

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  2. The "why are we waiting twenty years?" bit gave me a real thrill, and almost brought me to tears. Why indeed?

    Every creative-type out there should read this, and ask that question. Maybe not answer it yet, maybe not head out into the woods with a canvas, but that question... it is everything.

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  3. Benjamin nailed it up there - Amen !

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  4. Hells yes! Great post. I am all for delayed gratification but if there so source of fulfillment that is within reach, I say grab it with both hands now. It will make the rest of that road leading to 70 so much more fun.

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  5. Thanks for posting this. As a hobby artist I often wonder where all this will take me (if anywhere). Great post.

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  6. Awesome post. Whilst my ultimate dream is to indeed produce art for the games or film industry, first and foremost I just want to be the best artist I can possibly be, because I just love to draw. Personally, nothing comes close to sitting down and just creating something for myself, for the simple joy of doing it. Everything else that brings in the future is a bonus.

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  7. This post complements Arnie Fenner's post the other day about revenue streams just beautifully. Both made me think (again) about how I actually want to spend my life. Something with drawing and painting, yes - but what role should that play in relation to that thing about paying the bills? As it is now, I feel quite satisfied with a day job that requires minimum brainpower and allows me a lot of spare time to draw and paint for the sheer fun of it. If I made a living from art, I suspect that I could easily spend just as much time on the whole business part of it anyway.

    But maybe I should get outside a bit more - those pictures look inspiring, the light is so damn pretty at this time of the year!

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  8. We have a Plein Air group in Cork and I join them as often as I get the chance. With Ireland's phantastic scenery, painting outdoors gives you a whole new view about your art. And yes, it doesn't matter how the painting looks in the end, it's bursting with great memories. And there's nothing wrong with getting some fresh air now and then, especially if you're stuck in your studio for most of the time ;D For me, plein air painting brings me back to the days when I did art for myself. With the benefit of learning something new. Great post, Jesper. Everyone should go out and paint more often!

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  9. Fantastic post, it totally echoes my current situation. I saved some money so I can afford doing no "real" paid work for about 3 months, and I'm working on my own personal graphic novel project full-time! :D
    No idea whether it's ever gonna pay off financially, but oh boy it will ROCK to have made That Comic I've Always Wanted To Read.

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  10. Excellent posting! I'm a plein-air artist and there's nothing like painting outside with friends... just for the fun of it. Hoping that, one day, my career will be these paintings that I do for myself, but it'll be a long road.

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  11. I love you Jesper! Perfect blog post! <3

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  12. I wasn't sure where you were headed with this until... "Why is it exactly, that we are waiting 20 years?" My eyes widened a bit and from somewhere in the room a small amount of precipitation gathered near my eye balls. Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. I've only been making plans for like...ever, instead of living them today. Thank you for the inspiration. Perfect timing for the weekend.

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  14. Beautiful, I feel very calmed and in tune with my soul after reading this, its a strange feeling, I just feel good, I need that kind of experience just doing something for myself and enjoy each brush stroke while I see a beautiful landscape, good post, thanks for sharing it. :)

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