My grandmother used to say, “As soon as you start to think about art, you’ve already blown it.” She believed in the Blink theory before it was even a thing.
When I’m creating something, I usually think about her motto for a few seconds and go with my gut, avoiding the “thought” of it. Which is like not thinking about George Takei holding a baby armadillo. I know. My mind works like that. This non-thinking approach has helped not only me but also my other artist friends to not over think when creating. What emerges is something that your brain and heart held and that you didn’t hinder. She liked to call it, “Getting out of the way.”
My friend Jeremy Myers is a photographer in Ojai. He takes some pretty wonderful shots and says that most of them are accidents. “Every time I think about what I’m going to do…like plan it out, it gets really unfun and the result is too slick. I think many people can say that their art ends up being the result of a quick decision, the snap of a moment.” Even more so, he had no hesitation when choosing a piece for a canvas print. “I always pick the shot that was purely spontaneous,” Myers says.
Myers says that he likes the challenge of a large mountable canvas print because, “It puts my work out there even if it’s in my living room. It’s also very satisfying to see it in that form.”
Jed Martu shoots pro surfers. “Yeah, my whole job is so radical because it’s not a job. I can’t believe they pay me. It’s beyond kind of explaining. Surfing as your sport, as a thing…is…what it is. All you can hope to do is catch the right shot at the right moment. I’ve been lucky.”
Martu also prefers putting a lot of his favorite shots on canvas. “I have a lot of framed shots but the marine layer gets to them and kills them. It’s a major bummer because one of my favorite shots is one I took with my dad and it’s kind of wrecked now. I don’t have the negative anymore.”
Martu likes the resilience of a canvas print. “I know that I can get a shot to those guys and they can make it work, won’t kill the resolution. It’s slick but maintained the essence of what I do.”
When choosing a great shot or preserving something from the past, it’s best to talk with the resident artist at the canvas print shop about color, size and resolution expectations. It’s helpful to let the artist know where you live. Close to the beach or extreme temps such as living in the dessert should definitely be considered.
As for the creation side of conjuring any piece that will end up on a canvas print, get out of the your own way and prepare to be amazed.
Tip: www.canvasshop.com has skilled arty types to turn your photos and other keepsakes into hangable canvas art.