Once I started working with the Polaroid, I would take a shot and if that shot was good, then I'd move the model and change the lighting or whatever... slowly sneaking up on what I wanted rather than having to predetermine what it was.
Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.
I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognizable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won't be able to give much information about who it is.
In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.
In the 7th grade, I made a 20-foot long mural of the Lewis and Clark Trail while we were studying that in history because I knew I wasn't going to be able to spit back the names and the dates and all that stuff on a test.
It always amazes me that just when I think there's nothing left to do in photography and that all permutations and possibilities have been exhausted, someone comes along and puts the medium to new use, and makes it his or her own, yanks it out of this kind of amateur status, and makes it as profound and as moving and as formally interesting as any other medium.
All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you.If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens.But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.
See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to participate in 'problem creation'... You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you'll find yourself all by your lonesome - which I think is a more interesting place to be.
When you come up in the art world, whatevers in the air, the issues of the moment, end up becoming part of the working method or modus operandi of how you think about doing a painting. And I came up at a time when-actually painting was dead when I came up. Sculpture sort of ruled.
Art saved my life in two ways. It made me feel special, because I could do things my friends couldn't, but it also gave me a way to demonstrate to my teacher that, despite the fact that I couldn't write a paper or do math, I was paying attention.
Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don't have the answers. And if you don't have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else's solutions will seem appropriate. You'll have to come up with your own.
Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don't apply to you. Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea I've ever had grew out of work itself. Sign onto a process and see where it takes you. You don't have to invent the wheel everyday. Today you will do what you did yesterday, tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually, you will get somewhere.
Ive said its a little bit like a magician performing for a convention of magicians... all the magicians in the audience watching this illusion-Do they see the illusion, or do they see the device that made the illusion? Probably they see a little of both.
Neurologically, I'm a quadriplegic, so virtually everything about my work has been driven by my learning disabilities, which are quite severe, and my lack of facial recognition, which I'm sure is what drove me to paint portraits in the first place.
Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will - through work - bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’
After a few days in hospital, I was thinking, Oh, gee - I raised in a church, Protestant upbringing which I'd rejected as an adult - I'm lying in bed thinking, Hmmm, maybe I ought to pray. They always say there are no atheists in a foxhole... and I thought, Here I am in a pretty good-sized foxhole... and I thought Naahhh. I wouldn't respect any God who would listen to me after I'd rejected him so vociferously.