This past weekend I went to see the Modigliani exhibition at the Tate Modern gallery. I honestly knew very little about this painter but I don't regret the visit to the museum at all. It was beautiful and very inspiring and left me with a craving to create more.
Amedeo Modigliani started his painting career when he moved to Paris at age 21, and after 14 prolific years, he died age 35 in 1920. In this very little amount of time he managed to create an outstanding body of work, he experimented with different techniques including sculpting, and he created a strong creative network with his fellow artists living in Paris. To me, this is the artist par excellence, but what I feel it's most impressive is the fact that he never stopped creating. Commissioned or not commissioned, paid or unpaid, Modigliani always felt the need to capture the people around him in his paintings.
When I started my photography career, a very wise woman called Nina Malone once told me "you have to test like crazy" (testing being the term used in the creative industries when you collaborate with fellow creatives to try out new techniques or just to create something out of the love of art). And I took her advice very seriously. Since then, I always create. On my own, with another creative or with a massive crew, in between jobs I try to always take new photos. Why? Because practice makes perfect. No one creates a masterpiece on the first attempt. Like Marc Jacobs said when he paraphrased Eddie Cantor: “It took me 20 years to become an overnight success”.
I was recently reading a post on Saatchi Art's blog. It was an interview with Guillermo García Cruz, an artist from Uruguay, where he was asked what was the best advice that he had ever been given. He said that the best advice that he had ever been given was by painter Ignacio Urrutia, who told him: "...if you really want to be an artist never forget this: Never stop working. The more you work, the more things you will get as an artist. Everything else does not matter, you only have to work.”
I don't aspire to have Modigliani's posthumous fame nor to be a well-known artist in my lifetime. My goals are simpler and more humble: I just want to be the best artist that I can be. And to achieve that, I have to practice like crazy. And never stop creating.
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