Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #57

The only thing that makes a work of art good is the work of art.

We all have ideas about what a work of art should look like. We hold onto these biases even as we try to suppress them. We push our egos on our art as we make it, and become blind to true innovation when we see it.

When making art, any particular characteristic of the art only has one function: to make the art better. The work itself will tell you what that is. It is not easy, but it is all you need to know.

Previous: You can see it but you can’t say it.

Next: Facts and common sense interfere with our systems of denial.

Table of Contents