I've been investing a lot of thought into the hows and whys of my art lately, and the issue of technical skill has been a recurring issue. More specifically, the way that technical skill and personal vision affect the overall impression of a piece, and whether or not one has to be sacrificed for the other.
After so many years of practice and improvement with my art, I feel I'm coming to a point where the pressure to take my skill to a "professional" level is starting to bear down. It's not that I question my ability to do this; that's only a question of putting in the time. It's just that there is something that I've noticed over the years that makes me stop and consider exactly what it is that I want out of my art.
I'll not give any specific examples here due to the fact that I wouldn't want anyone to mistakenly think I was badmouthing their art, so let me try to explain what I'm talking about here the best I can without using pictures.
In art, I have noticed that there is a certain correlation between the amount of technical skill involved in a piece and how much it moves me, and not in the way you might expect. If I were to make a scale illustrating the various levels of skill and rate the potential for my being emotionally moved, there would be a cutoff point somewhere near the upper skill levels where the chance of my being enamored with a thing becomes relatively slim. In other words, once an artist gets "so good", their art doesn't really do anything for me anymore.
There are many artists whose work is really near and dear to me, who are not the "best of the best". Conversely, there are many exceedingly skilled artists (I find many concept artists who fall into this category) whose work, while technically brilliant, seems to lack a soul.
So, I have a few questions for you. Is this a real thing, or just a personal bias of mine? Does an artist really need to sacrifice that personal spark, the joy of their work, for the sake of "excellence"? What do you value more in art, execution or emotion?
Let me know your thoughts, I'm interested to hear your opinions on the subject.