wat is art?

interviews and the artist perspective


I like illustration, but I never finish anything. I make videos sometimes. I don’t use my flickr the way it’s meant to be used. I also have a blog.
Here I am doing the dishes.
Does 2 make a series? If so, then consider my series entitled: What are elephants?

TR: How would you describe your work, Paul?

P McC: Oh I think the best word to describe my work is haphazard. I’m all over the shop, no central theme or focus, or even technique. I’d say it’s all fairly dark, in the sense that even the cutest little robot monster is a little bit evil inside. But it’s all really just silly.

TR: You often use pastel shades and simple colour structure. Is this something that you do consciously?

P McC: Yes, I’m conscious of my limited pallet. I’ve never been great with colours, so I try to limit my use of them, I figure if I use just a single colour then I’m less likely to screw it up. Also, my canvas, being primarily shirts (which come in a limited range of colours), dictates to a certain degree the rest of the pallet.

TR: How important is it for you to include a message or social commentary in your artwork?

P McC: Sometimes it’s the only thing that’s important, other times there’s no message at all. Sometimes I do my scribbles for no other reason than I just wanna doodle something, other times I have a very specific reason for doing something. While social commentary is an important part of art, I don’t think it should always be the focus, otherwise it’s boring. There’s no reason to be a sad-sack all the time.

TR: What surprises you about other people’s reactions to your work?

P McC: Well, I’d have to say the biggest surprise is that people buy it. I’ve also managed to make connections with people through these scribbles, and that is nice.

TR: Would you call yourself an Illustrator?

P McC: The term illustrator denotes a level of professionalism that I sadly lack. I therefore cannot and will not refer to myself as an illustrator until I actually illustrate something like a book. I’m secretly working on making this a reality at the moment. Shhh… secret.

TR: what does the word ART mean to you?

P McC: Absolutely nothing. :D

Art is either subjective, in which case it’s meaningless—just a word, or it’s an actual level of achievement that can be measured objectively, in which case I want nothing to do with it. So where does that leave me? I have no idea.

I’m pulled in both directions. I want to side with those that say art requires proper training and skill. That there is a line we can draw to determine what is or isn’t art. That art used to actually stand for something. People used to give there lives to art, spent their entire existence refining and creating great masterpieces… but then, the world we live in at the moment doesn’t allow a person to exist solely for one purpose. While that means that we may not produce the “geniuses” that previous centuries produced, how could we? How can any average person be so irresponsible? I think the democratisation of art is a good thing. I have limited respect for elite artists who were afforded the opportunity to create what they did, when so many people were never given an opportunity.

Umm… that and, I can’t afford a University arts degree.

Visit Paul McClintock at Redbubble