As artists we are always feeling the pressure to fit into certain categories. Am I ever going to get selected for that Art Prize? Will that group of people over there ever notice me? Oh, my work is not political enough, my paintings aren’t big enough, my CV isn’t long enough. There are games that we will never be invited to join, categories that will never quite fit what we do.
But there is another category, the one that you get to create, the one that is the most powerful of all, the one that defies comparison and you get to own. The Category of One. This is the one that belongs to the artist who gets up at dawn and just sketches people in the same café. This is the category that belongs to the sculptor who rides his bike to the top of his local mountain and creates with found objects when he gets there. I set out to be the only postman who could create an oil painting within 15 minutes while out delivering mail.
Of course, being unique is not enough. We should also aim to become really, really good at what we do. But once we can define our own Category of One we feel the shackles of comparison and expectation begin to immediately slip away… our confidence starts to grow and our skills begin to improve in leaps and bounds.
No-one will ever be able to create art in exactly the same way that you do. What’s your Category of One? .
Richard Claremont - artist. A peek into my studio. How I think. How I paint. How I run my art business. Bite sized daily chunks of goodness. Just me talking aloud, really. Join me for a chat over a cuppa.
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