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This is a basketball image of Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all times who played his whole basketball career with the LA Lakers. He has been a great inspiration to me even though he is quite a bit younger than I am. How has
inspired me? I remember a quote he said
a few years ago when it was difficult for him to be playing. He said,” I have self-doubt. I have
insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena
and I'm like, 'My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don't have it. I
just want to chill.' We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also
don't capitulate to it. You embrace it.” Kobe
As I am getting older and there are days I just do not want to go into the studio, I think of how much harder it was for him to face the challenge of his daily playing. Me? All I have to do is go into the studio and slap some paint on some canvas. It’s not like I have to go down into a coal mine and dig out the rock with a hand pick.
gives me some perspective on my
that is very insightful - and in particular, to painting. He said, “I don't want to be the next Michael
Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”
How does that relate to painting?
Well, one of the mistakes most artists make is that they want to paint
like someone else. They create similar
work to others so it is the same thing.
What makes interesting art if for the artist to be different than
others. Be unique. Don’t copy what others are doing but create
your own work that is unique to you. We
already had a Picasso or Van Gogh. And
in Kobe ’s case,
there was already a Michael Jordan. It
was great to have a Kobe Bryant or a LeBron James. And now we have a Stephen Curry. It is much more exciting to have a variety of
different kinds of talent. So we do not
want another Kobe Bryant (although we miss you) or a Michael Jordan because we
now have a Stephen Curry. Kobe
Do I want to be the new LeRoy Neiman of sports art? No I want to be the best John Robertson. I may not being the best sports artist or create great sports art but I will paint paintings and not LeRoy Neiman paintings.
This LA Lakers basketball image of Kobe Bryant is 13" x 19" acrylic on paper.