Should an Artist Tell All Their Secrets?

Should an Artist Tell All Their Secrets?

Drew, Telling All!

Drew, Telling All!

Are you generously sharing your painting secrets with other artists?  Or do you guard them as if they were top secret?

Since Drew put out his DVD last year titled “Paint Pen Techniques with Drew Brophy” tens of thousands of artists and wanna-bes have learned new painting techniques using what they learned on the DVD.

Over and over again, people will ask Drew “Why do you share your secrets?  Aren’t you afraid of competition and losing business?

Some people don’t seem to understand, when you share what you know, you continue to grow.  There are enough pieces of the pie for everyone, enough work for everyone.  In art, there is no competition.

What about all those artists copying your style?” They ask.  “Doesn’t it piss you off?”

Drew’s response is always:  “I’m stoked to have influenced people with my art.  It feels good to know that I’ve inspired them.”  And, then he adds “And I’m always one step ahead…..

This brings to mind Maxfield Parrish – he was a huge influence on many artists in his day, including Norman Rockwell.  And Norman Rockwell became incredibly successful, in part, due to Parrish who came before him.

Imagine having an entire generation of artists who were so influenced by your art, that your style become a phenomenon in itself…  Isn’t that a good thing?

After all, most artists intend to impact the world with their art.

spunk-brophy-head-shotShould you guard your techniques, or share them?  Please, comment below and tell us what you think!

Spunk Brophy (Follow me on Twitter)

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  • Maria "Spunk" Brophy
    Posted at 16:25h, 14 May

    Marshall, thanks for the comments. I’ve heard that the Tattoo industry is full of tight-lipped artists. Maybe you can help change that trend by being the example and showing new, up and coming tattoo artists what you know.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Marshall B.
    Posted at 16:15h, 14 May

    When an artist opens up to share something that so heavily influenced him, as Drew has done with the pens, then shares it with other artists, like myself for example, it just allows for more artwork. I had never really come across this technique before, but it is tailor-made for my style. I’m just starting to understand what these pens can do, but when it goes from copying a style to incorperating it into my techniqes, it will become more uniquely mine.

    I wish more artists would share what they know. It helps. In my profession as a tattoo artist, things are so guarded that it is rare to learn everything you need to know from the tradesmen. You have to seek this knowledge. That is part of the Artistic journey. Somewhere, you are going to find the open-minded souls that will carry your work to that next level. Just remember, there is always another level you haven’t reached and keep learning all that you can.

  • Sean
    Posted at 09:30h, 14 May

    I think that anytime anyone shares their talent/skill with the rest of the world it leaves their mark on the world for the better. In times where there is economic downturn and gloom, it is nice to see that by sharing art it can inspire others.

    Here’s my share –

  • Jay Alders
    Posted at 07:40h, 14 May

    I think in order for any Art or Science to advance, we must learn and be inspired by the hard work of others. In that respect, I think the idea is to be “inspired” by to achieve a completely new & unique outcome/style.

    My personal belief is that when an artist, photographer, designer, scientist etc, blatantly copies another’s style or methodology, it is ok for “learning”. Modeling is a proven stage of the educational process.

    However, once that “Author” now moves into the professional arena and is presenting themselves as a unqiue entity to the World, that is when I draw the line on what is acceptable and what is a “rip off”.

    Artists to me I most respect created their own genre or advanced it in such a way that it is undeniably theirs.

    I think what Drew is doing with the DVD series is awesome, it’s providing inspiration and education to people everywhere. We all have learned from other artists, whether via a book, museum or a class or DVD. No one is truly “self taught” in that regard.

    But I do have a problem when those same people now “copy” his style to the point of presenting it to the public in a professional manner calling it their own “thing”. Learn, yes. Be inspired, yes. Teach and share techniques, yes. But Copy, plagiarize, Steal…NO.

    Thats my 2 cents.

  • Tristan Schultz
    Posted at 16:00h, 13 May

    There is a big difference between inspiration and appropriation. Other than cultural sensitivities which should always be acknowledged, art is limitless and fluid, and by being inspired by each other we can all progress, as long as we don’t appropriate i.e completely copy and claim as our own..bitterly compete, Drew is right, there is no need for competition. Style are secrets that when made public the artist can then move forward, progress to find his/her next style to discover, make public, and so on and on..Drew has inspired me for years in my work as a Surfboard artist myself, and i hope i have inspired others too…

  • Jennifer Seeley
    Posted at 15:08h, 13 May

    I agree. Working with more artists makes us all better. And a true artist its a giver more than a taker. That’s why we sit around redrawing the beauty of everything we see so more people can appreciate it.

  • Blake
    Posted at 05:05h, 13 May

    Even Picasso had influences…he studied Cezanne and African art to help him create Desmoiselles D’avignon which started the cubist movement. When Jackson Pollock broke through with his drip technique, he attracted countless imitators, but none could do it like him.
    Keep doing what you’re doing Drew

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