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The Journey of a Self-Taught Artist: Breaking the Fear Chain

Written By: Regina Herring

Have you ever wanted to try something new but were afraid of what could happen? Fear is something that deters children and adults. Learning to ride a bicycle is an exciting adventure but most kids fear it because they are afraid of falling. I need to learn how to swim but I’m not only afraid of drowning but wondering if I can be taught at my age. I would like to introduce you to Anthony Burns. He proved to others and most importantly to himself that you cannot and should not let fear stop what you’re destined to do.

Anthony Burns calls Miami, FL home where he works in the technology field. He previously never gave art a try and the most amazing detail is he did not start painting until June 2018. Anthony has always appreciated art but felt he could not possibly create pieces that would get positive reactions. His fear of failing was holding him back; until that faithful third day in June. He purchased his first canvas and educated himself on art techniques and different mediums. He has been painting ever since. A personal goal was made by Anthony that 2018 was going to be the year he accomplished everything he planned to do.

Anthony created his second piece and decided to post it on Instagram. He loved what he painted. Someone replied it was crap and that one remark devastated him but didn’t stop him. The comment helped him. It was a learning lesson. Art is a preconceived fear. What you like or dislike will be the opposite for others. Going forward Anthony decided to post everything whether or not he likes the pieces. He felt it was important to tell his journey. Meditating has also helped Anthony with his fears and doubts.

Abstract is how Anthony describes his work. He can get his inspiration from anywhere because it’s from his subconscious. He describes his work as chaotic, not in a confusing or disorganized sense but pure creation. Anthony does not name his pieces because he feels you are putting them in a box. He wants his audience to think outside the box. Decide what a piece means to you. He wants people to make a connection themselves. Anthony creates pieces that speak to each individual’s subconscious. There’s a piece that looks like a pipe rusting. He describes this as change. Something that was one thing is now something else.

There is a painting that drew me to it because of the colors. Just like the Skittles commercial you can taste the rainbow. It reminds me of a bags of skittles that melted and exploded on to a canvas. I also thought of a very popular piece by Robert Ryman called “White Paint on Canvas”. It allows you to use your imagination.

Most of the paintings Anthony has done was something else. He will take a piece and paint over it. He rarely uses new canvass. Pictures are the only thing he has to show his original work. He paints over his own work. Anthony challenges himself to take a certain piece and see how he can create something new. He does not like to look at his work for a long time because he becomes a “victim of the now”. A painting can be looked at so much that he will find things wrong with it and doubt starts to set in.

We all have goals we would like to achieve. Whether or not we speak it or write it down there’s something we have a desire to do. Anthony’s dream project is to create pieces on buildings around the inner city. The pieces could be landscape or abstract but in the middle of the piece would be a black hole or portal. Within that black hole would be the galaxy with steps at the bottom where you can step up to that piece, just stare and understand the possibilities are limitless.

You can see more of Anthony's work @khaotic.ish 


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