Thoughts of George Woollard, MFA

- from an interview for The Honolulu Advertiser, June 18, 2001

Woollard is not possessive about his work. "Possessiveness is a great source of trouble for a lot of artists," he said.

This unconventional artist believes in collaborative art and often uses a collaborative project to get his students "unstuck," such as the almost-heretical idea of having two students work on a painting at the same time.  "Once you've done it, it's very liberating.  It frees you up," he said.

Woollard said art "has become this thing in an ivory tower.  It's the sense that the artist is alone and it has to be a lonely thing.  But that's not the traditional thing for artists.  Historically, artists have collaborated."  He cited pre-Renaissance  times, when art was produced by studios, not by individual artists.  The pieces usually were not signed because the names of the painters weren't considered important.

"Another person's view can be very beneficial if you're willing to look at it that way.  It's not your project or my project, it's just 'The Project.'  For artists to be burdened with this thing of having to somehow be 'original,' I think it's not a healthy thing.  I think you actually become more creative and more original when you let go, when you're not so attached to your work," Woollard said.

"I don't think you can really be any good as an artist unless you have a lot of philosophical stuff going on.  It's not just decoration to me.  It has significance.  It is important.  And it has value in the long run."