I follow a fair few art share accounts on instagram, these can be great for finding inspiration and supporting fellow artists. However, about 50% of what these accounts post is hyperrealist art. This really bothers me. Why? Yes hyperrealism shows great skill and patience, but in my mind it’s the least creative art you can make. These artists find an image they like, trace it and spend hours upon hours replicating the image like for like. That’s not art to me. There is absolutely nothing creative about it. This kind of art would’ve made sense in a time before cameras became readily available, but this is no longer the case.
In my mind there are 2 kinds of artists, artists who are truly creative (can combine elements in an original way, can draw from their mind, etc.) and artists who are great copiers (not in the idea sense, but enjoy coping images and the meticulous details). I would say I lie somewhere in the middle, but nearer the latter. Not all artists belong to one or another (a bit like A & B personalities).
This doesn’t mean to say that all realistic art is boring. Joel Rea is the perfect example of this – although incredibly realistic in style, his artwork is incredibly creative. If you are going for hyper realism this is the kind of thing you should be aiming for – creative art; not copying an image like for like.
Now, I’m not saying everyone should become surrealist painters.. just to tweak things a little; experiment more, try doing parts in different mediums, stylise it, combine reference images – but most importantly HAVE FUN WITH IT. Art is about creativity and expression, not stressing over the finer details.
All artwork by Joel Rea