Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #80

The road to bad art is paved with good intentions.

“What we must discern,” says the museum docent, “is the intent of the artist.”

Ugh! I cringe. That holy of holies, the “intent of the artist”!

My students don’t get away with that stuff. If they try to justify something that doesn’t work with “but that’s what I meant to do,” I tell them to hell with intentions. There is only one thing that counts, and that is the work itself.

Self-indulgence does not bring out the best in us. Working through difficulty does.

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