Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: Chuck Close Says ‘Get to Work’

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case."

If you know Chuck Close’s painstakingly accurate photorealist painting, you’ll know that this man is the master of “showing up to work” and pushing through anything to create what he wants. And if you haven’t already, check out Eddie’s article that is very much in the same vein of Close’s words — waiting around for a sporadic stroke of brilliance to grace you with its presence won’t lead to a productive artistic life. Or as Close has put it, “for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain.”

Now, get to work.

Kingdom by Jeremy Stout