Master Advice From Photographer Tim Forcade

"Offering" by Tim Forcade; color photograph.

"Offering" by Tim Forcade; color photograph.

For as long as you can remember, people have been saying how talented you are and that you should be an artist. But where do you start and how do you know if you have what it takes?

Regardless of where you are in your career, there is always an opportunity to learn something new. As recognized leaders in our creative community, we’ve asked the artists in Kansas Masters to share what they’ve learned along the way, including what the word “master” means to them.

Hopefully, through their wisdom, you’ll feel a push in the right direction, or at least the inspiration you need to keep going and keep seeking.

Photographer Tim Forcade says:

It’s one thing to be called a master and quite another to believe it. If I’ve learned anything given all these years as an artist, it’s that the minute you consider yourself a master the world will conspire to set you straight.  Though being called a master is complementary, kind and admittedly appreciated it has nothing to do with the work. My best work appears when self concepts—preconceptions about what I’ve done, what I think I know or who I think I may be—dissolve into the pure experience of doing. Much of what the work consists of is connected to letting go and connecting with process, media, phenomena—the moment. Forget aperture or focus, forget which combinations of color produce other colors, forget surface, space, composition, texture, timbre, pitch and plie. And needless to say, forget master. Drop them all and realize them all completely.

Regarding a couple suggestions…

Survival as an artist is connected to the acceptance of never knowing—a commitment to being clueless.  It’s useful to find a balance between living analytically and living intuitively, between thinking your life versus simply living it. Remaining as open and flexible as possible leaves space enough for the unpredictable—the magic—to appear. Try everything. As you sort through options consider those you would least entertain right along with those you most desire. Along with my work as an artist, I’ve worked as a dental technician, laborer, blues band member, author, teacher, software developer, commercial artist and more. Along with all my study of the visual arts, I’ve skydived, scuba dived, studied classic opera, experimented with electronic circuitry, computer programming and so on. I’m frequently fascinated at how traces of these experiences continue to show up in my work providing wider perspective and influencing everything from small details of technique to my overall approach to a given series of pictures. Pauses are fine, however, remember… never stop.

Come see Forcade’s paintings in Kansas Masters, which runs September 2 through October 21 at the Sabatini Gallery.

Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.