The image you see above is of Reza Arabnia, a native of Iran, CEO of Geico S.p.A. (an innovator in the automotive painting industry), and alumni of the University of San Diego.
This charcoal on paper illustration was done for USD Magazine a few weeks ago.
As an artist (and a perfectionist), I am endlessly analyzing my work, trying to figure out what's good about it, what's bad about it, and how I can make it better. One thing I always aspire to is a confident stroke.
Confidence shines through. Like in people, confidence in art is an attractive quality. When I see a piece of art where every stroke owns its place on the canvas, like there is no other conceivable place in the world it belongs, I am mesmerized. I want to know what the artist was thinking as he or she laid that stroke. I want to sense the pressure of the finger that produced that smudge. I want to feel what they were feeling. A confident stroke fills the art with life. I am drawn to art that takes me on a journey, visually and emotionally. If I'm committing to that journey, the art should leave me better for having taken it. Confidence is like the fuel that powers that journey, and lets me know I'm in good hands.
A timid stroke doesn't burst with life. And, what's the point of lifeless art?