What is it about a piece of art, a photograph that makes it connect to the viewer? What is it about the masterpieces that you can see in musea that captivates and enchants so many people? You can study this subject forever, but I believe that it comes down to one thing....It is the passion that was behind the creation.
If passion for creating was the driving force, some way, somehow people pick up on it. It is contagious in a mysterious way. If the artist, who was creating this, was putting his full attention, dedication and inspiration into the making, this can be felt in the final product. I notice this often when looking at work from a photographer whose work I admire greatly. He is so passionate about his subject, he becomes almost one with it the moment he starts taking pictures. These pictures come from a deeper place. There is no forced willpower behind it, there is pure enchantment with the landscapes that he so deeply cares about that he can't help but make them look magical as this is how he sees them.
I can also see it in the work of Vincent van Gogh for example. It does not matter if he is your favourite artist or not, but when I was gazing at his early sketches last year I felt the depth of his passion for not just the way of life that he wanted to capture, but also for the creating itself. It was almost tangible. I see it in Monet's work as well, his passion for capturing the moment, his passion for the changing colours of light. This all somehow ends up on the canvas mixed up with the strokes of the paint brush, the layers of paint and it leads to something that people respond to. Perhaps they don't know why they are attracted to certain works of art, certain photographs, but I bet that if the artist was creating from a deep connection with his passion, a thoughtless stillness in which inspiration finds root and a connection to the subject, he or she makes art that connects the work to the viewer and that in turn connects the artist to the viewer.
In some way a bit of our soul ends up in the work we are creating if we work with passion. Passion can't be rationalised, it comes directly from the soul and the resulting works of art have something that can't be put into words. They tell the tale of the passion of the artist. You can create on willpower, on experience and you can create excellent things, but if you have passion as the main driving force, I believe it will be tangible in your work and it will connect you to the people who belong to your "tribe" so to speak. Be willing to let your work be as personal and passionate as possible, even if that at times makes you feel vulnerable (and it will sometimes), it will tell the story of who you are at your core. Be willing to share yourself with the world through your art, create from a deep inner drive, create because you simply can't not create, because your tale must be told.
Have you ever created something in deep sort of flow that had this extra quality that people reacted to, which got them to share a bit of themselves with you? I would love to hear your story...