Art vs Craft

I’ve spent most of my years, so far, focusing on expression and not so much on craft. I think it’s because I personally see more value when creatives make things based on their feelings, rather than making something because they can do it to high quality standards. That isn’t to say I take technique and method lightly, and I am quickly learning the importance of craftsmanship because of where I see my work living.

When I was shooting 35mm, I used to obsess about expression. I just couldn’t stand when my pictures looked like images from other photographers. If there is one thing that bothers me as an artist, or probably even as a person, it’s being similar to others. Maybe that comes from insecurities about being comparable. With photography, I care very little about how great something is lit, or how sharp and crisp images come out. That probably sounds odd to photographers these days, but it just brings little excitement to me. Over time I found my niche, and am happy identifying with my body of work.

But with such a focus on that one side of creation, I hurt my own quality of work, and in turn sort of hurt my expression. I don’t think I could have learned to create any other way though. I think that it might go hand-in-hand with thinking styles and other factors that make up a person’s mind.

I am painting more than anything else these days, and my focus is on craftsmanship. I suppose the decade of expression through photography makes this an easy transition, since I feel like I know who I am as a person. Now I can focus on exploring different mediums with little regret in with what I am trying to communicate in my work. Hopefully ,one day, I’ll need to search my expressions again. I don’t want to stay the same person I am today. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr

Photo of me by PJ Lee.



Artist Blog Untitled

I’ve heard things like, “you need to put yourself out there!” and “this is a new age for the art game”, amongst other things that sway me to begin consistently journaling. But, there is also something that holds me from talking too much about my work as well as my process. I’m not sure if it’s a level of mystery I try to hold on to, or some other fear of losing focus on the most important task at hand: my artwork. Maybe, I still lack confidence in what I write.

Am I doing the right thing? Will my art suffer from putting some attention on writing? Should I find someone to do this part for me? I revisit those questions on a daily basis. But, I think that they linger because I am not exploring it. Maybe these are some of my “what if’s” that I have to overcome. I suppose the only way to find out is to begin. I’m not sure if writing these entries are more for me, or for the individuals reading them, but it’s a nice thought that it could possibly help others on their journeys at the same time I’m walking mine.

I’ll start with this. I’m 36 years old. I’ve created for most of my life, for different reasons at different ages, and right now I am painting about the things I’ve felt so far. I’ll tell you more about it soon. Thanks for reading.


Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Oakland, CA

@rizaldy.jr

Photo by Mark Chua


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