I work when I am not working. I think if you are a motivated creative you would understand this! I work on multiple projects every day and it is a lot to manage with social media, graphics, editing, photography and so much more! However, I really do love all the different things that I do.
Second lockdown and being at home for many months and doing the same things every day became very dull for me as I am very much an outdoor person. Not being able to do outdoor activities affected me mentally and I got burnt out and I was losing interest in my passions. I started to feel restless and I was slowing down on getting my project tasks done.
I took a weekend vacation in a beautiful place with so much green space and outdoor activities. Things had opened up a bit more so I spent my time away from all work activities and amused myself with biking, walking, hiking, tennis, golfing and photography! It was a beautiful and healing experience. Even though I did most acitivites by myself I never felt alone because I was surrounded by so much life and energy around me.
If you are feeling down as a creative I would suggest completely changing your physical environment by going to a different place and completely replacing you normal routine by different activities.
Staying in the present and enjoying the beauty of the day for what it is. This has helped me mentally to get back on track with my creative projects and have greater focus on my creative energies. This is great for mental health; not thinking about what could have and what should have if there was no pandemic.
Non attachment to things, places and people. I learnt this from a beautiful little doggie I named Maggie who came to find me every morning on my walks and kept my company for the entire time. She was a happy, free spirited, gentle and loving dog who did not seem to belong to any particular person or place. She chased birds, watched the sunrise, roamed the grassy fields and greets everyone she sees. She’s an explorer and lives in the moment and I thought that was admirable. It was that moment when I tried to hug her on my last day there and she jumped away playfully like she was saying she does not do goodbyes and she was just happy to share my company in the moment.
So to the creatives out there take a break! It can be for a short weekend or during the week. Go somewhere new and completely change your routines, replace everything you would usually do at certain times with different activities.
Here are some beautiful picutures I am sharing with you from my very short weekend break.
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Many people had such high hopes for 2021. Did you have any new year’s resolutions? A lot has happened in just a few months which has caused a change of plans. However, it is never too late to start. Whether it is the beginning of a new year or the new month, always set a goal; something you want to achieve. Remember the year is what you make it despite the things that may happen. Not sure where to start? I am sharing some tips for young creatives and those creatives who are young at heart!
One of the things that really allow you to grow as an artist is to constantly do new things. Creative challenges get you out of your comfort zone. Try your hand at something crafty such as a DIY project from Pinterest or YouTube. Maybe try origami and think about how this new skill can be incorporated into what is you specialty. Maybe you can make origami flowers to include with your thank you cards, maybe you can turn it into a business making origami bouquets! Explore your creative expressions, have fun with it and keep creating. Try something new this year! Embark on that creative project you always wanted to do. This is a great way to start of your month with some new creative energies!
Creativity is a journey of self and it is important as a creative to find yourself through your media. Trying new things are going to help you on this journey. Finding that connection with a media whether is it wire, clay or paint will allow you to tap into your creative energies to produce wonderful works of art.
It is important that you do not compare yourself with other artists.
You style, your choice of media and your being is unique. Focus on your strengths and the things you are interested in and work on them. Be yourself in your creations and put your work out there. Your biggest mistake would be thinking that your art is weird, not good enough, not perfect enough or that people would not like it. Own your style, be your authentic self and express yourself in creative ways. In a world of over eight billion, I guarantee you that people are going to connect to you and your art. Give yourself and your art a chance. Do not let self-doubt hold you back.
Make this something to do! Of course this would be dependent on the Covid restrictions in your country. Go to new places or to that place you always wanted to. Think about what there is within a reasonable distance to you and a place that is safe to be. This could be a park, a garden, a museum. Keep the inspiration going. To be honest, in a pandemic, I have found the best place to go is in nature where there are little to no humans. Fresh air and sunshine will be good for you. Go to the places that inspire you and spend some time there every week or every month. This will allow you to meet new people, or maybe just be by yourself. The world is yours to explore. Stay safe, be responsible and follow the protocols.
What are you creative intentions this month?
What are some new projects you are working on?
How are you going to stay inspired in a pandemic?
Share your thoughts and ideas with us!
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Check out my creative projects, painting series and awesome online stores!
According to where you live, your experience of the Co-vid 19 lockdown and its effects will differ. There has been an overwhelming amount of negativity surfacing as a result but there has also been a lot of positive and uplifting things! I am sharing my perspective and how it positively changed me. Without a doubt the lockdown was challenging mentally and emotionally. Being such an outdoor person, I felt like a bird caught and put in a cage. I did not know what to do with myself. I decided to do everything I have always wanted to do since I had so much time on my hands. This golden and once in a lifetime opportunity made me feel so free and happy to create despite being in a cage.
And so I began my journey in March 2020 when the lockdown began. I created a routine every day in the studio where I created art every day.
This is a very beautiful and profound series based on my emotional state of mind during the pandemic. It consists of 20 monochromatic Chinese ink paintings. It reflected my state of solitude I felt and the silence that surrounded me for many weeks. There was a sense of nothingness, emptiness and the feeling of being alone. I focused on the idea of one; one small person standing alone in the ocean, one bird in the sky, one tree, one empty boat, one mountain etc. Other landscape paintings focused on minimalism and the idea of emptiness, abandonment and solitude. I felt very lonely and like just one person existing in a vast world by myself. This collection is truly stunning and worth checking out on my Instagram @chineseinkpaintings!
This was the beginning of my journey of art therapy and painting to keep me balanced. I most definitely felt a difference mentally and emotionally after completing this series. I felt less depressed, anxious and sad. I am deeply connected to this series more than any other I have done as an artist.
Moving on from those beautiful monochromatic paintings, I started exploring color again. I call this series ‘Colorscapes’ because it is the energy of colors in art that kept me positive in a pandemic. Inspired by my love for the ocean and sunsets and sunrises by the ocean, this series consisted of an abstract as well as a more representational approach. Creating abstract and semi abstract art is a very liberating experience and I used that approach for this series. I missed the ocean. I missed the sunrise and sunset over the ocean. As a result I attempted to capture the colors, the mood and the feelings as I remembered it. I had the best time creating this beautiful series.
Check out this awesome collection on my Instagram @artist_de_couleur!
I went on to create many other series of paintings such as human figures, yoga, hummingbirds, seascapes, landscapes and portraits. I created freely based on whatever I felt inspired by at the moment. It was an experimental and liberating phase of creation in the studio.
That liberty of expression for an extended time really changed my life. Being in a lockdown for a long period of time allowed me the time to create art constantly and it was the best feeling ever as an artist who does art part time. Check out my blog on Habits of a Creative to see what my routine I developed is like!
I had found that my early morning routine of painting became a sort of meditation for me. The art therapy was healing and energizing. After many months of painting hundreds of paintings, I felt my brain rewiring itself. I felt more balanced, calm, energetic, motivated and happy. Daily meditation and art and color therapy changed my life. I felt like I was able to make better decisions daily because I was more in tuned with myself. I had found stress, anxiety and depression did not bother me at all. My brain was able to identify the triggers for stress or anxiety and deal with the issues differently compared to how it would usually.
I felt a shift in energy in my life. It was not a new energy. It was a forgotten energy. I used to be connected to this energy as a child but I lost it as I started to grow up. My new rewired life became about maintaining and protecting this energy from negativity and low energy things and people. I do not have a large studio space. I do not have a team of people doing my photography, graphics, editing and social media. What I do have is a re-discovered energy that I have tapped into that drives me, my ideas and creative endeavours. This energy is amazing!
The truth is we all have that potential to rewire our brains and tap into that energy source. It is the action of doing that thing that you love consistently every day for an extended period of time that helps you to align yourself with that energy. Do what inspires you and keep on creating as much as you can!
Check out my creative projects, painting series and awesome online stores I have created as a result of my brain rewiring itself from art therapy and meditation!
Do you have a challenge working creatively on your ideas/ projects? Well the first question you need to ask yourself is do you have a designated space for yourself that you can work? One of the most important things as a creative is to have a space no matter the size that is inspiring to you. It must be a place where you can work and focus your time and attention on your creative endeavors. Here I am outlining some tips that you can use to help you create that work space for yourself.
Look at the space you have around you and have a creative approach to how you think about it. How can you make it work? Rearrange some furniture and de-clutter. You may need to create a multi-functional space where for example, the dining table is for eating during the day and your work desk at night. You would want to have a space with a desk/table, a chair and some kind of storage space such as a bookshelf or storage containers for your materials/books especially if your space is going to be multi-functional.
I am sure that many people think I have a spacious studio because of the amount of work that I produce and the numerous projects I manage daily. The truth is that my studio space is very small. It consists of a folding desk and a folding chair in a corner of my bedroom. If I have bigger projects, I work on the floor, my bed, the garage, the kitchen; anywhere I can find a space.
Decorate your space with things you like and that would inspire you whether it is a live plant or a motivational poster or plaque on the wall. Add to your space positive and motivational things to keep you going. Be careful to not create too much clutter in your space with unnecessary things. It could be a vibrant comfortable chair. It could be a new pen. Think about what inspires you. Keep it simple.
My desk faces a wall which is not inspiring at all. I hang colorful tapestries which I change every few months to keep the space evolving and visually interesting. My current tapestry is a large and colorful mandala because I love colors and the mandala helps me to be calm, balanced and focused on my tasks. I also cover my folding table with a matching table cloth so that it does not look like a folding table at all. I have Christmas lights hung throughout the year, again because the vibrant colors make me happy. I have 2 thumbtacks on either side of the wall in which I ran twine. I hang my paintings with clothes pins for display and it is changed every other day as I produce more paintings. This change visually in space keeps me going and inspired.
Frequent changes in space for you may be too much and that is perfectly fine. You need to figure out what works best for you. I personally love changing things often for a different look, approach and feeling.
It is so easy for your space to become disorganized with many books, materials and gadgets, especially when you are working daily. Have a cluttered space is not conducive to work at all. It is challenge to navigate space with all these things around you and it is not inspiring to be in that space.
What kind of creative are you? What kind of materials do you use?
Take some time to figure out some organizational items you may need such as a bookshelf, table size, storage containers, stationary organizers etc. Always make sure at the end of your work session you clean up and put things back in place for your next work session. Having a clean and organized space is encouraging and inviting and you become more focused on the task. Take some time to figure out your organization of things you use your space so that you know exactly where to find the things you need.
Do you have an inspiring and creative space where you work?
What is it like?
Where do you work on your creative projects?
What advice would you add based on your experience?
Which one of these points are you going to work on?
Join the conversation and leave your comments below! I would love you hear about your stories and ideas!
Being an artist is just as a serious career as a lawyer or an engineer. There are so many components of being a successful artist that are not taught in school. Creative endeavors are not all fun and games, but it is a game you have to learn to play to win. You don’t necessarily have to play by the rules but you have to understand the rules to understand how the game works. There are some key things you have to know to be able to make it as a successful creative in a competitive world.
Being an artist is one thing. Being a successful artist is another. As a professional artist and creative, I am sharing some things I have learnt over the years on how to be and stay a successful artist. This blog is for those who are aspiring artists, young creatives who are working on being successful.
At every opportunity you get, display your work. Yes, I know the thought of putting yourself and your art out there may be scary and may give you anxiety. Your creations are imprints of your soul and it is a very vulnerable feeling of putting yourself out there for the world to judge. Some artists make it look so easy! And then there is the socialization and talking about your art aspect! Whoa! You did not sign up for all that!
Game rule #1: Exposure
Whether you are a writer, actor, singer, dancer or artist, you need to get exposure as a creative by putting your creations out there. Remember to always start small. Start with a small exhibition, a short story, a small concert and it is that small start that is going to build your self-confidence. Use those small opportunities to help you grow as a creative. You will greatly benefit in positive ways from exposure. You will be able to connect with other creatives like yourself, get advice from those more experienced than you and you will learn about the art culture, business and culture you are becoming part of. Go for it!
When is your next exhibition? Leave a comment below and tell me! Send me pictures!
2. Create a niche
Every artist/creative is known for a particular genre such as landscape art, portrait art, marble figure sculpture, jewellery design etc. Take some time to figure out what are your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the things you are good or great at and develop your skills based on that. Fishes can’t climb trees and monkeys can’t live in water. Each creative is unique and their work is based on their own individual experiences and inspirations.
Game rule #2: Be yourself.
While developing your skills in different areas are important, you need to do some soul searching to figure out what aspect of art you would like to be an expert. Do you want to be known as a sculptor or a jewelry designer? Be yourself. Find yourself and your style in your art. It must be noted that you do not need to limit yourself to one specific genre. It is always important to explore and experiment as a creative.
I am an experimental artist and it has taken me many years to figure out my niche. My portfolio is very diverse because I love doing many different art styles, themes and subjects. I had never found just one subject or one theme that I stuck to. However I can tell you that I have discovered though my thousands of paintings that I have become an expressionist and fauvist painter and I also create minimalist monochromatic chinese ink paintings. The two styles, approaches and media are completely different from each but I do enjoy creating in those art styles the most and they are most impactful.
Pro tip: When you create the thing you love, it shows in positive ways and it develops in beautiful ways.
3. Keep working
Game rule #3. Stay inspired.
Staying inspired to keep working is never an easy task, especially when you have to deal with other responsibilities. It is important for you to keep creating and dedicating some time every day to do what you love. Do not let fear, doubt and uncertainty get the best of you when embarking on new creative endeavors. Check out my past blog on Mindset for Approaching New Creative Endeavors. It would give you some encouragement and positivity, especially if you know you tend to procrastinate.
Remember that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard enough. You may be a talented creative but nothing is going to materialize, nothing is going to get done, be created or happen if you just sit around all day contemplating, worrying, overthinking and doubting yourself. Everyone has ideas but only a small percentage of people actually put in the effort and work. Get up and go for it!
Join the converstaion!
What are your experiences as a creative?
What kind of creative work are you involved in?
How do you deal with challenges and set backs?
Why is being a creative important to you?
Share your ideas with us!
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So you have this idea. It is something you have never done before. You do not know what is going to happen. You do not know if it would be successful or not. You do not even know how to get started.
A NEW PROJECT
What are you going to do?
There are two options:
1. Forget about it. It would take too much time and energy. Besides so much can go wrong. The economy is falling apart, you have to change my light bulb, feed your dogs, get a new door handle… probably would not even have the time.
2. You are going to try and see how it goes.
Which one are YOU?
Which one would YOU choose?
Embarking on new projects can sometimes be scary and uncertain. You can list a million reasons why things would not work out but you also have the ability to list a million reasons it can. As a humans we sometimes think of the things that can go wrong because we are problem solvers but this can be our greatest weakness in holding us back from really doing the things we want. I challenge you to think of the million reasons things can go right.
I am constantly working on new creative endeavors such as my social media, working in my studio and building my online art businesses. It is no easy task but pursuing creative endeavors are my favorite things to do in life. Here are some encouraging words of wisdom to think about when working and planning a new creative endeavor.
1. Just go for it
‘Just do it’ – Nike
One of my favorite quotations! My number one advice it to just go for it because you have nothing to lose. Your idea does not have to be revolutionary or prefect. The difference between your idea and another person who has the same or similar idea is effort. Millions of people have ideas but only a significantly small percentage of people actually commit to their idea and manifest it into something physical. An idea is just an intangible thing floating around in the atmosphere in your mind and that is all it would ever be until you make the move to do something about it.
Think of all the reasons it can succeed and focus on that. Stay positive and go for it! Remember that there are no failures, only learning experiences. Most of all, you would only know your potential, strengths and limitations from trying. Go for it!
2. Get out of your comfort zone
‘Great things never come from comfort zones.’
You want to make a change but you are not doing anything different because you are living in your comfort zone. Yes comfort zones are warm, fuzzy and everything is routine and controlled. You know what is going to happen today and the day after today. Besides, the outside world is cold, harsh and unpredictable. Why venture into such places? Everyone has a comfort zone and can get so comfortable because it is safe and you do not feel stressed or anxiety. So why put yourself through those emotions?
Well, the truth is that fire places, hot chocolate, homemade soup, blankets and winter socks are also warm. You can only discover such things outside your comfort zone. Yes, life outside comfort zones are not routine and as controlled but you are the creator of your life. Your life is what you make it. If you believe it to be cold and harsh, it will be cold and harsh. If you believe that it will be a positive experience, it will be a positive experience. Give it a chance. It may be the best thing that would have ever happen in your life. Your comfort zone is holding you back from living your best life and being your best self.
3. Seek help and advice from others
Pro tip: Do not try to invent the wheel when it was already invented.
Go seek out the wheel makers, research, ask questions, read and make informed decisions when embarking on your new project. Do not be intimidated by those more experienced and feel like your project/ idea would never take off because of the competition that exists. Create a story and personal connection with your project/ idea. Share that story. Humans are emotional creatures and connect to stories. Genuinely connect to your creations, put in the work and all the right things will come. Find out about that program, that app, that technology and device. Connect to others who have done what you are seeking to do. Learn from them and you’ll be on your way. What is going to make your idea different from the people who have done what you are trying to accomplish? YOU.
3. Be patient
‘Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.’ – Saadi
Be patient with yourself and the creative process. You are going to experience frustrations, annoyances and challenges. That is all part of the process in the every project that has ever existed in the world. Make your prototypes, trial and error, conduct experiments, do your surveys and research. The most important thing is to keep working and progressing. Do your planning, get your sleep, water, sunshine and meditate. This will help with any anxiety and stress that you may encounter along the way. Keep your eye on the prize!
What is your experience like when embarking on a new creative project?
Have you been doubtful?
What were your successes and failures?
What is holding you back from your ideas and new creative endeavours?
Join the conversation and share your stories!
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Follow my social media art portfolios and check out my online art stores! They are my newest creative ventures!
Mindfulness and meditation have been popular subjects over the past couple of years. Those practices have become more mainstream in society even though they are ancient practices that have been done for centuries. Mindfulness is a powerful practice of thinking in the present and opening your senses and awareness wholly to the activity you are doing. It boosts your mental energy in staying focused at the task at hand. Meditation is the practice of mastering control of the mind and its thoughts. It has proven that mindfulness and meditation have rewired the brain for positive thinking, increase immunity and decreases stress and depression
I have a daily morning routine where I do certain things for my mental, emotional and physical health. These practices help me to be more balanced, happy and more capable to deal with the challenges of the day. I am sharing my routine which I practice daily that has been very meditative and therapeutic for me as a creative.
1. Wake up early
As a professional artist, I think of my practice as a form of meditation. I usually wake up between 4:00am – 5:00am to work in my studio and I would paint for 2 – 3 hours before my day job. I love early mornings because of the peace and silence which I find to be very energizing.
You are able to feel the potential of the day and this helps you to accomplish many tasks that you having been putting off or because you did not have time. Especially if you feel that as a creative you don’t get enough time to create, waking up early gives you a few more hours in the day which adds up in a week and in a month. Imagine all the great things that can be done/created! This is a really big part of creation of my art.
Most of my paintings are done early in the morning, I work on an average of two to three paintings per morning which can add up to a collection of 60 paintings per month or 100 paintings in a month and a half! You do not have to create a Mona Lisa masterpiece but start small. Work on some miniature paintings and build your collection.
Here are some of my collections I have built from working early in the morning. You can see the full collection on my Instagram @artiste_de_couleur!
2. Art Therapy
Focus on the brush strokes.
Focus on the color mixing.
Focus on the layering of colors.
Focus on the act of creation.
The practice of creating art is a very significant activity for me. I do not see it as a fun activity or a work activity. I see it as a meditative practice. I can only paint if my mind is clear. Focusing my mind on the present moment on literally every movement is a calming process and I always feel mentally balanced after a painting session. I focus on the application of color and brush strokes and I think about placement of color. My portfolio is very diverse because I create whatever I am currently inspired by or what I would like to explore creatively. That free expression of creation is therapeutic to my soul. I have an innate and natural ability to create every day and doing that one thing I feel like I was born to do is most fulfilling and makes me happy.
3. Sound Therapy
I listen to Tibetan healing sounds and music based on certain frequencies such as 111Hz, 222Mh, 528Hz and 432Hz. It has been proven that sound played an intrinsic part in the creation of the Universe, therefore it is an important part of humans. The fascinating study of cymatics which is the study of visuals created from the vibration of different frequencies of sound is incredible. It is believed that sound therapy which is listening to sounds at different frequencies during meditative activities can rewire the brain, regenerate cells, cleanse energies and restore energy. I can honestly say that it has been healing for me in my daily practice of creating.
While this is concept is not widely accepted in mainstream science and medicine in the 21st century, it has been practiced by centuries by ancient civilizations in parts of China and around the world. It has proven to be beneficial to human’s emotional, mental and psychological health. There has been research done in this field, especially since the discovery of cymatics.
4. Morning Yoga
Physically moving the body, whether it is a walk or yoga in the morning before your day has proven to boost energy levels and prepare you mentally and physically for your day. I practice daily morning yoga which allows the flow of energy throughout my body. This practice is an extension of the art and sound therapy which focuses on my mind and emotions and yoga which focuses on the combination of physical, mental and emotional. It is also a form of therapy for me because I get to practice meditation and mindfulness.
These practices of waking up early, art and sound therapy and yoga are the secrets to my success and productivity as a professional who manages a great deal of tasks daily.
I define myself as a creative soul. A creative soul is someone who expresses their creativity in all aspects of life and it is not restricted to solely artistic activities. I had decided that I wanted to explore other creative endeavors that would allow me to be creative while learning a new skill. I wanted to combine my artistic tendencies with other things such as business, marketing and cooking.
Without a doubt, I am a super busy creative soul. I have a lot of energy that I direct it into creative projects because it is most fulfilling. These are my habits as a creative soul that I hope inspires you to adapt or try a few!
1. Stay Inspired
“Creativity takes courage,” said Henri Matisse
Boy, he is right about that! It takes courage to go after inspiration and to put in that work. Inspiration is magic. However, inspiration is not magically going to come to you on that couch or in that chair. You have to go looking for it. It is a journey of discovery. You need to go to that place that you love and that you feel connected to. You need to follow those accounts on social media that inspire you. Read books that motivate you. You need to find people who positively influence you. When you find that inspiration you need to direct that creative energy into the creation of something.
2. Create Often
Being consistent with creating is challenging, I know. Finding the time and motivation is not easy. However, from experience I must say that when you are inspired you will always have an urge to create. Do not let the energy of inspiration die because it is not the easiest thing to find. Create as much as you can in the time that you have. You may not have the time to create a large masterpiece but you can start on a small scale. Sketching is a really good way to create often. Carrying around a sketch book or even a tablet/ phone with a stylus allows you to create on the go. Find creative ways to continue to create.
3. Try new things
I personally thrive on doing new things. Learning new things or dealing with creative challenges are inspiring and give me energy. It gives me the motivation to create consistently every day; whether it is to bake something or work on my blog or graphics for my Instagram. There is always something I look forward to doing every day. Trying new things will help you to understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your motivations, inspirations and most of all it will help you to become a better creative. Remember it is important to grow as a creative. Check out my previous blog on Growing as a Creative.
4. Wake up early
It is the secret to my success. I wake up between 4-5am every morning and I paint before my day job. I started this routine because the act of painting is therapeutic, fulfilling, calming and it actually gives me more energy during the day. It is a form of meditation that I practice at the beginning of my day. I love quiet of early mornings, the peace and I like to see the sunrise.
I understand that many may not be morning people or you like to sleep during that time. It is a routine I propose to you because it is most effective. Try going to bed earlier to ensure you get your sleep. I encourage you to find time in your day when you are most productive or energized. It may not be early mornings. It may be after work, late at night or during your lunch break. There are 24 hours in a day. Find at least one hour to create and find a routine that works for you.
5. Get exercise
Creating involves a lot of mental energy. You have to be in a certain state of mind to be able to create, work on your inspirations and have the physical energy as well. The act of creating involves takes your energy and channeling it to create a new form of energy. Creating art is also a discipline. If you want to be taken seriously as a creative, you need to take yourself seriously and take your creations seriously. If you are creating as a hobby because it makes you happy, keep creating!
Go outside, move your body, work out, take a walk or run to get the energy flowing. Your physical state will determine your mental state which are important in being able to create good art. It will motivate you and you will feel more energized during the day. I do daily yoga and weekly walks which contribute to my physical and mental energy. I spend a lot of time indoors working for my day job and other personal projects so I think it is important for me to get out and go to a park for fresh air. Don’t currently have an exercise routine? Give it a go!
“Every child in an artist. The only problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.” – Picasso
By Picasso’s standards I guess I never grew up!
I was blessed as a child to always have coloring books and crayons. It kept me quiet and occupied all day, every day; any parent’s dream! Maybe that’s the reason why I always had them. I naturally loved my crayons, drawing and coloring. My creative expressions were encouraged at a young age because it was one of my main interests.
As I grow older, I would go to the kid’s library and I would borrow those, ‘How to draw’ books. I’d spend hours drawing fluffy monsters, aliens, potato characters, fruits and flowers. I was always fascinated by art. I have spent many hours making origami flowers, animals, baskets, boxes and other random things. I finger painted, stamped, decorated, sculptured, painted, designed, drew, sew, crocheted and knitted throughout my entire childhood. It would be safe to say I stayed out of trouble because I was too occupied to be bothered with anyone or anything. I was just a happy kid creating lovely colorful things. The only reason I went to school was because there was an Art class. So I always knew that I wanted Art to be an important part of my life and as a career. I was great at it, I loved it, it made me happy and it was as simple as that.
I studied Art throughout my entire schooling as a kid into an adult. It is that one thing I never stopped doing. I grew in incredible ways as an artist and I am sharing some things to help young creatives or creatives young at heart:
1. Keep creating
A lot of people say that they just don’t have the time to create.
I believe that if you truly love something you should dedicate time to do it.
Get a planner, wake up earlier, take an art class, put reminders on your phone; whatever it takes for you to get up and create. You may feel overwhelmed when it comes to creating because you have so many ideas and you don’t know which one to do. You need to decide on ONE and go with it, develop it and work on it. Starting ONE is better than starting none at all. Taking that first step is hard but it is necessary to get out of your head and theorizing and start creating. Start with ONE hour, ONE sketch, ONE art activity, ONE art class, ONE small painting and build on that. The important thing is that you start and keep going by taking small steps every day or every week.
Always start small.
Inside my sketch book. Having a sketch book is also a really great place to start creating. Here you will see I was creating some ideas for my miniature canvas series.
I am a part time artist and I work full time during the day so I understand the struggle of finding the time, energy and motivation to create art. I would suggest working small first. A small sketch/ painting to get that energy and inspiration flowing. You can even create a miniature series. I have created a series of over 300 small Chinese ink paintings over a period of a few months because they were therapeutic and fun. It engaged me creatively and the best part was the size. It was no stressful at all, it was based on simplicity and did not take a lot of time. Seeing the collection grow every few days was encouraging and fulfilling. There is beauty in simplicity. You can continue working on a small scale and gradually increase the size of the pieces until you feel confident in your motivations and inspirations to work on a big masterpiece.
My series of miniature Chinese ink paintings based on minimalist compositions.
My miniature acrylic paintings on canvas. It was based on whatever inspired me in the moment. The collection was not based on a particular theme. This remains one of my most meditative and therapeutic series to date.
2. Allow your creations to evolve
Try new things. Add new things to your old creations. Your creativity expands as your get older because it is based on different experiences and inspirations. Flow with your creative ideas. If you re-visit an old piece and you see it differently, go for it and see where it goes. Be open to change, new ideas and new inspirations. New endeavours may be intimidating or even scary for some because of the idea of the unknown or failures. That is a very natural feeling to have but as a creative embracing change is part of the process.
I am constantly working on new projects. I have experienced that fear of doing something entirely new with new materials and techniques I have never tried before. I understand fear. You need to think of all the things that can go right instead of all the things that can go wrong. If things do go wrong, that is part of the process and you should see it as a creative challenge. You have to be brave in approaching your new creative endeavours. Read, research, seek out help of those with experience and enjoy the process of creativity. You’re going to get it!
3. Use what you have
You do not need the best materials money can buy to create a masterpiece. Use what you have available around you and turn it into something creative. Be innovative with your materials. Take a walk around your home. Maybe you have a lot of empty wine bottles, old books, newspapers or magazines. Turn your wine bottles into decorative vases or glasses. Create beautiful collage pieces with old magazines. Create origami sculptures with newspapers and spray paint them. Pinterest is an amazing resource for creative ideas if you are not sure how to repurpose something. Go forth, be brave and explore your creativity! What do you have a lot of in your home that you do not use? What old item do you have that can be re-purposed?
My best and most beautiful works of art were created from recycled things. I did not have a job or the money to be able to buy professional paints or any kind of materials.. I however, I had bits and pieces of things from past projects, things I’ve collected or things I have found such as old keys, rubber bands, thumbtacks and old Christmas decorations. There is an entire movement of art called Assemblage that is based on creating art from ‘found objects’ or recycled objects. I had combined that concept with mixed media art to create very textured, semi-abstract and somewhat three dimensional art work on canvas. It demands creativity and imagination on a completely different level from traditional painting and drawing. However, it was that experience that helped me to grow as an artist. Being resourceful and creative is a skill!
Details of one of my mixed media pieces inspired by the festivities of Carnival celebrations. It was created using recycled Christmas decorations and extra materials from old projects that I took apart.
4. Believe in yourself
Every successful creative out there have been told that they were not good enough. The reason they became successful was because they believed in themselves when no one did. Believe in your ideas. Believe in your creativity. Believe in your art. Work at what you believe in and find someone or a group of other creatives who would also support and encourage your creative endeavours. Focus on your strengths as an artist and do not compare yourself to anyone else.
“You cannot paint like them,” he said to me.
“Her art does not belong in this exhibition,” she said to someone referring to my art.
“You’re not as good of a painter as any of them here,” he said to me.
He said, she said, they said. People will always find something to talk about. Truth is that I never believed any of them and neither should you when you are told that you are not good enough. Some people will support your art and other will not. Twelve art exhibitions and over 1000 works of art later, I am nationally recognized as a professional artist. Keep working and creating especially if you feel like it is something you were born to do, something you love or just as a hobby. Believe in your talents, skills, and ideas and continue to create.
5. Put your work out there
Use social media, go to galleries, shops, markets, bazaars and connect with other creatives like yourself. Put your creations out in the world and see what happens. If you are unsure of yourself and your art, that is understandable. Every single creative feels like that. Remember that in a world of over eight billion people, no one is the same. Not everyone is into plants but there are many plant shops out there. Not every is into fashion but there are clothing stores. No everyone loves desserts but there are bakeries. Find your niche as an artist. What do you feel connected to a creative? Go explore that. People no matter how much or how little will connect to your creations one way or another. So, put yourself and your creations out there and share the joy of your creations with the world.
I must add that even if people do not connect to your creations, know that nothing is wrong with you or your art. Find people who are like you. Go online and reach a greater audience and keep building and creating.
Social media and going online with my artwork changed my life as a creative. I absolutely love social media and its potential to connect with other creatives and to share the love I have for my creations.
Have you ever looked at a work of art and felt connected to it in any way? Maybe it reminded you of something in your childhood. Maybe the colors made you feel calm. Maybe a piece made you feel immersed where you can almost feel the sunshine and smell the fresh air in a landscape. Maybe you connected to the colors, textures and movement of the brushstrokes.
Whatever that feeling or that connection may be, authentic art has two parts. I am going to talk about how to go about creating authentic art and how do you know if it is authentic!
1. ARTIST CONNECTION
You must first have an intention as an artist.
Get to know your strengths and weakness and focus on your strengths.
Maybe you are a portrait painter. Maybe you are an abstract painter. Maybe you are a landscape painter. Maybe you are all the above. Maybe you do not know. Take some time to explore that thing that you feel connected to and work on it. If you do not know what you feel connected to, try different subjects. Experiment with landscapes, portraits, abstract, mixed media work etc until you feel connected to a medium or subject. The connection means that creating art on this theme/s makes you happy or feel inspired. This process takes time but it is a necessary step in being able to connect to your art. This is something that can take months to years to discover as an artist. The most important thing it to keep at it and be patient with the creative process.
When you have found a subject you can connect to, congratulations, you are on your way to creating authentic art! This can be based on an emotion, a situation, something you’ve seen or experienced. It can be anything but it has to have some kind of personal connection; a story or symbolism. You must never wait for inspiration to come to you. You go out there and find it. When you find it, you must hold on to it and nurture it so it can grow. If you do not, you may miss a golden opportunity to be able to grow as a creative.
You must then put in the work on this subject/ theme that inspires you. Remember your state of mind is important. As an artist you are transferring energy from yourself to canvas/paper to create a new form of energy. This transfer of energy will determine the energy of your work.
How are you feeling and what is your state of mind? If you are angry or sad, the energy of the painting would be different from if you are calm and in a good mood. Connect with that feeling and transfer that into your work. This transfer of energy is transferred into the work which is transferred onto the viewer. This personal connection to creating art means that there is a story, concept and depth to the work. It gives the work soul and meaning.
Authentic art is energy.
2. AUDIENCE CONNECTION
There is nothing more fulfilling than leaving the studio, putting your art out there and strangers, friends and family appreciate and connect to your art. They feel and connect to the energy in your creations. Because that energy came from you, the painting is part of you. That deep validation is inspiring and is a great achievement as an artist. Having that audience connection and interaction with your creations are important in self- reflection as an artist.
However, it must be said that this is not always the case.
You may not get a positive reaction. You may not get a happy audience. You may not get the support or encouragement from people around you. People may not connect to your art or your energy. People may not understand your concepts or your artist style. In fact, no one may.
I must say that is okay.
The greatest masters in the modern art era had been rejected by society. Nobody connected to their art. Nobody understood their art. They were ridiculed and insulted. No gallery wanted to show their art. They were only supported and understood by their small group of contemporaries. They created their own creative space, their own art gallery, their own place in the world.
If no one connects to your art or your energy, having just one person support and connect to it, (even if that’s just yourself) is a start! In a world of over 8 billion people, know there are people out there who would absolutely think your art is awesome! Humans are diverse in their taste and opinions. Do not feel defeated because a gallery, a stranger, a friend, a family member, an art critic, a curator or an art historian told you that you are not good enough because they do not connect to your art.
“You can’t paint and really shouldn’t,” she told me.
She was a professional artist and art professor.
Twelve art exhibitions and over a thousand works of art later, I have been nationally recognized as a professional artist in my field. My artworks have been exhibited in the National Museum and Art Gallery, the Parliament, Central Bank and the best art galleries.
Oh and by the way, neither her nor her art was there.
So go out there and search for your contemporaries. Go out and find your audience because it exists and keep creating. It may not be in your town, city or country. Do not be discouraged and stay positive! Believe in yourself.
Authentic art is connection.
I truly hope this week’s blog was inspiring! Be encouraged and go out there and create authentic art; authentic art to your soul, energy and connections.