I am filled with love. I am slightly inebriated in a truck in the rain with colored compressed chalk. And I love you I love you.
Another problem with emotion is how hard it is to use it while you are having it.
I had spent the afternoon in the studio alone, trying to find a flow, but failing. I had beer and rain and chalk. Working old pictures was futile. I was angry at them. Then some combination of the atmosphere, the beer, isolation, I don’t know, but the emotion swelled and I felt full. I wanted to make something with that. But how? I tried drawing, but ended up with a mess. A mess I won’t show you.
I’m skeptical of emotional artwork because it always seems to oversimplify itself. Faces in agony, hands reaching up, overwrought colors, or heavy darks. Melodrama becomes hard to avoid. I’m not immune to ending up with it:
but I see it as a failure.
Emotionless work is no better. I don’t have good examples because I usually destroy things that end up feeling calculated and dead, but maybe something like this:
obsessive detail to no emotional point. Lots of practical artwork falls in this category. The portfolios of kids trying to get into the gaming or special effects industries are full of it. Meticulously rendered objects or monsters with nothing inside them but cool posturing. I used to draw that kind of thing. I think of it as CGSociety art.
I started to actively hate it after a girlfriend once commented, as I was buying a collection that had a giant raging Minotaur on the cover, that it was my kind of art book. Looking through it after that, and seeing the other things I admired at the time, it really did all start seeming the same and there wasn’t much feeling in any of it. That malaise spreads out into the industries that employ it. Generic future. Generic past. Everyone’s spaceships and dinosaurs look exactly the same. And who cares?
Once in a while some unfinished thing I struggle with gets set aside, and then months later I look at it and realize I stopped because there was an emotion peaking through, and not knowing how to deal with it, I turn away.