Prioritize

Atey Ghailan


Let’s hypothetically imagine an artist who has mastery in every single aspect of art. Even with all the capabilities, that artist would not be able to capture every emotion possible in artwork. That’s because every artist must prioritize a particular message in their art.

I want you to take a glance at the top of the line professionals in any art field. Most of them have an “artist’s statement”, a detailed description of what an artist aims for in their work. These tend to be self-written or written by someone credible to speak for them. On either end, a good artist’s statement summarizes the entirety of an artist’s soul.

Alexis Rives

Call me ADHD but a lot of these statements can be overly winded and pretentious. They tend to be aimed at the grandmother strolling in a gallery to have a catalyst for hour long conversations on how “deep” an artist’s work is. I thought of a much simpler way to fulfill what a statement does while keeping it elegantly deep: adjectives.

Every artist prioritizes certain adjectives. It might be one or it might be many. Keep in mind I am talking about adjectives and not subject matter, which is obviously specified through nouns. This goes beyond what the artist is drawing. No matter what being of the universe they choose to draw, a professional artist retains the prioritized adjectives in their work.

Sebastien Larroude

As stated before, it’s the soul of the artist. With every painting process, an uncountable amount of decisions are being made.

“Should I move the hair over here? What colour should the eyes be? Does the brush stroke need to be here? What can I do to make this look lit? Where is the light coming from? Does the need to be this big? Is the angle of the face working? Is the composition balanced? Do the breasts need to be bigger?”

Every single question, of course, must be answered and one constant is that every artist, no matter their background, will inevitably tell the truth with their art. There’s simply too many questions asked to create a lie for every single answer. All the answers are driven by a subconscious, crafted through an artist’s life experience.


Eddie Del Rio

This is also why I believe no two artists can ever be perfectly duplicated. Even artists trying to achieve the same adjectives will inevitably create different art. One notable one is creating beauty; try getting two different artists to draw a beautiful person and you’ll end up with two different answers, even if similarities pop up. Our biases of life is what differentiates us and makes us unique.

Take a note of the images I've attached here. The subject matter are all clearly inspired by the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. However, notice how each of them portray that subject matter in a vastly different way. The perspective of how an artist chooses to depict a subject matter speaks volumes to who the artist is and/or what the purpose of the art is.

Yifan on Artstation

I urge everyone to take a look at their favourite artists and really try to simplify their whole gallery with a few adjectives. Get into the mind of what aspects of life they are accentuating and alleviating. What words can you associate with your favourite artists which make you go “oh it makes sense”? Afterwards, compare the artists will similar adjectives and compare their artwork. You will learn a lot by doing this.

And then, bring that newfound knowledge into your own art.


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