This Takes No Skill

So I was doing an art show and this guy comes up and engages in conversation. He asks how long I’ve been painting, what inspires me, why I chose Pop Art, etc. I’m super nice, as usual. Then he moves on to the next artist. There’s no one at my display so I’m watching this guy talk to the artist I’m sharing space with. Granted, they’re less than ten feet away.

They’re chatting about her work and then he says, “I know art. Your work is fabulous.” Then waves his arm at my work and continues, “This takes no skill. It’s just imitation. Seriously. I know art.”

I’ve had people insult my art before. It’s par for the course as a professional artist, really. That didn’t bother me so much. What bothered me was the fact that he came over and played nice to my face before talking shit about my work.

imitation-cropped

On the drive home from the show, I came up with the idea for “Imitation.”

Imitation is mixed media on 30″ by 30″ canvas.

Here’s the thing: I don’t care if my art is just imitation. I don’t care if it’s 2D and boring or if it truly takes no skill compared to the grueling oil paintings I used to spend months on. It’s fun and it makes people happy. Therefore, it serves its purpose. I enjoy thought-provoking art as much as the next girl. My favorite painting is The Scream by Edvard Munch.

However, there is something my art has that those other pieces don’t. And that is the ability to make people smile. I have been at shows. I watch people attending art crawls. I see how their eyes are glazed over as they go from venue to venue. I see how bored they are. I’m sure they like art. They wouldn’t be there if they didn’t. But, as when people get to my work they stop. They really look and they register what’s going on. Then it starts to show on their faces. Their eyes light up and, sometimes slowly, the edges of their mouth turn up. Sometimes people will openly laugh. One time I had a girl scream, run off, grab a friend, and drag her back to one of my paintings, so they could both laugh together.

So, though my art might never have astounding reviews in high society magazines, I am pretty fucking happy making people happy.

❤ Liz Kelly Zook

P.S. If you like my art you should totes sign up for my newsletter! ❤

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4 thoughts on “This Takes No Skill

  1. Your stuff looks really fun and I follow your work, posts and the like but it doesn’t seem you’re selling enough to turn profit, let alone keep producing in your volume.’
    It’s only my opinion but most of your stuff is overpriced for what it is, materials used and time took to produce. If it’s imitation anyone can learn to draw it and color/paint in the lines. So it’s not going to sell for hundreds, prints, stationary, postcards and totes, yes.
    But how do you financially support your production?? How does an artist that most likely isn’t making a profit support or contribute to the survival of their family? At do you work nights or go to school? Have a plan b?? I see you have kids, so at what point do you have to take on sure fire ways to make money to fund your retirement or weddings or school for your kids??
    Just curiosity that I tend to want to ask a lot of artists.

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    • Aside from your blatant grammatical errors, that’s an incredibly uneducated point of view there “Allison”.
      The only way to tell if art is overpriced is if no one is buying it. My art sells at the price it is. Therefore, not overpriced.
      Anyone can learn to paint how I paint! Yes! I’ve been saying it for years. In fact, I recently started painting tutorials to teach people how to paint just like me!
      I have been a full-time artist for less than two years. If you’ve taken any business classes, or read anything about business, you would know that it can take anywhere from 2-5 years to even break even as a business – for artists it can take much longer. Aside from that, my family is taken care of. I have no plan b. I will paint until I can paint no more – even if I never make a profit, because I love it. I am an artist.
      As for your curiosity: curiosity killed the cat. So be careful, sweetheart.

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  2. So for a feminist who touts equality and all that, you’re bankrolled by a man or men. Not you. So you can play. You couldn’t do what you do 100% you funded, or even 25% and your kids are sustained in life, everything they have by other people. Men most likely.
    Take a bow sweetheart and threaten someone in person

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    • I’m approving your comment so people can see what it looks like when you’re so unhappy with your own life that you have to focus on other people. You’re a pathetic mess and I would feel sorry for you, “Allison,” but that would be a waste of time. Fix your grammar and your life.

      Like

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