Five Steps for a Budding Conceptual Artist
We are all creatives. Each one of us has the gift of Imagination, a specific vision and the desire to express ourselves in the world generally. However, for me personally, this deeply spiritual impulse is best served by the process of beautification; both around us and inside us. After all, the essential aim of art is to embrace meaningful notions within our souls, whereupon we then seek to externalise these ideas, or concepts, in such a way that they take pride of place in our lives. All implying, the principle focus behind skilfully preparing “found objects” from nature, or gathering the raw materials required for “individual inventiveness” (such as paint, a laptop, metal, a camera lens, wood, a tonal instrument, cloth, ink, a script, etcetera) must lead to an eventual realisation of our hopes, fears, or dreams, in a materially significant form.
So said, every artist is a person engaged in activities related to the practice of arts (as a case in point, authoring and directing my own mini-drama Fate’s Good Fortune), or anyone demonstrating an artistic attitude overall. Thusly, the term “artist” is used in a lofty aesthetic sense, whereby decades of dedication to private creativity are affirmed through collected works, or in the entertainment industry for classically trained musicians, or just as tellingly for other performers (less often contemporary actors), who contribute to the imaginal qualities required by a conceptualist production in toto. Hence, it’s never too late to engage with these singly significant and health-giving processes, while this type of commitment frequently leads to alternate, or higher, states of consciousness. Either way, the following are my suggested outlines for actualising each item of conceptual art:
Step 1. From the raw insights of your subjectivity, form a clear conceptual model (in as much detail as possible), at the same time as making sure your desired aim is achievable.
Step 2. Do not be afraid to teach yourself new skills, or adopt different modes of sensory perception in order to realise your work. Indeed, be fearless in finding a mentor or/and becoming proud of endlessly improving your ability-to-refashion fantastical structures.
Step 3. Understand what the job entails and what your intentions will demand. In other words, ask yourself if the project at hand will centre on the beautification of a discovered item, or the reification of an entirely new piece.
Step 4. Choose your materials carefully. Let them speak to you in their own language and then listen to their limitations; alongside their potentials.
Step 5. Hire a colleague to make your notion manifest, or build a physical cocoon for your concept yourself by assembling the required substances around this immaterial image.
All in all, it is the low quality of so many conceptual artworks, accompanied by the sheer lack of any acquired talents, which currently drag conceptualisms through the critical mire. However, conceptualists are pursuing a near-mystical process that raises human consciousness to previously unexpected heights, as well as spiritualising the mundane world itself. Indeed, creative experience is a vital necessity for every man, woman and child on our Earth, whilst as a conceptualist myself, I have become certain fellow aspirants should seek to integrate their soul with each surrounding corporeality to achieve an all-embracing beautification. Strategies, of course, I will be further exploring in my next book Andy Warhol and Radical Tradition.
Rev David William Parry is a pastor, LGBTQIA+ activist, TEDx speaker, church planter, author, poet and theatre director. He is the author of two collections of poetry and a collection of essays. To learn more about Rev Parry, visit his website at www.davidwilliamparry.com.