I've been re-watching interviews with Jeff Koons and John Baldessari over the last few days to reexamine comments each of them made which I've found inspirational. Jeff Koons states, an artists focus should simply be to follow their interests. By that I understand him to mean, don't try to please others above yourself and don't be fearful of not getting approval when your done. Having that permission to do basically, whatever you like is at once comforting and ultimately liberating. I'm sure there are those born without the need for external validation but for the rest of us, that little vote of confidence, given at some remove I must admit, can be the spur that's needed.
John Baldessari was raised in a religious home which he felt gave him a great sense of moral obligation and from that point of view, couldn't see much practical value in art. At one point he wanted to be a social worker. During his teaching career he realised that his art and his teaching were fundamentally the same thing, a way for communicating ideas. At that point perhaps he reconciled himself with his desire to make art and felt validated in pursuing his own interests.
I've been wondering about my fish paintings and you know...whats's the point? But I've let myself go where my interests take me and pursued ideas without prejudging their merit. It started with those squid which I've wanted to use in my art for a while. Reports over the last few years speak of an explosion of Humboldt Squid off the west coast of Mexico and California, devouring anything in their path including prize table fish and the odd Mexican fisherman. Which leads to stories of the global depletion of fish stocks. I heard a recent report declaring that there won't be enough fish left to eat by 2060. I'm not really much of a conservationist but I am interested in the stupid shit that people can't seem to help but do.
Jeff Koons also expressed a belief that an artist should use all the tools available to them, so I got some practice in with Inkscape to make these little vector graphics of "The Happy Fisherman", soon to swap his tuna catch for a hold full of calamari!