Making it work!

Since I started having to be held accountable for homework assignments for my portrait painting class with The Art League, I’ve found that I really have no excuse for not painting more often. In my mind, I couldn’t paint more because I didn’t have enough space or the right lighting, or enough time, blah blah [Insert procrastination reason here]. So many of us make up excuses to put off a lot of things we keep “meaning to do”. Why is that? For me, I’m now starting to believe that the root of my excuses about not painting is the fear of actually starting the task. Once I get going though, it’s all over.

This string of thoughts, and the fact that I want to take my class seriously and DO the homework assigned, inspired me to do a post about making art with limited space and/or resources. Because let’s face it, so many of us out there that want to work on creating masterpieces probably don’t have the funds to rent studio space or build such a space at home. I live with my mom in a 2 bedroom condo, so I damn sure thought I wasn’t going to have the space to be creating much of anything. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, just like in life, when you want to do something, you just find a way to do it. Period. It may not happen right way, or it may not be the most pleasant experience, but you somehow get yourself down that path you want to take. Wanting it just isn’t enough after a while.

There isn’t a whole lot of room, but I have been able to to turn the dining space into a makeshift studio of sorts. Now I really have no excuse not to be more productive in some way.  Here are some pictures of me completing my first homework assignment for class, which also happened to be the first time I set up the dining room space as my “studio”:

This was truly a humbling experience. It only makes me wonder about all the other things we tell ourselves we can’t do, when we actually really WANT to do it! The only thing in your way, is you.


Links to Creativity 4/27

Photography by Giulia Grazia Guardo ~ Fluster Magazine

Dark, Digital, and Traditional Art ~ Art by Mimulux

Artist as Businessperson ~ Art Business Institute

Gorgeous illustrations by Gabriel Moreno ~ Gabriel Moreno Gallery

The Breakup Artist ~ ARTnews


Purple Paintbrush’s Links to Creativity 4/20

by Viktor Hertz. How appropriate...

Pictogram Music Posters by Viktor Hertz ~ Inspiration Feed

Hyper realistic sculptures trending in contemporary art ~ ARTnews

Photographer Stephen Akehurst captures the spirit of the girls of Roller Derby ~ Fluster Magazine

Strip Club Signs by Carol-Anne McFarlane ~ Artists Wanted

Fun & Creative Promotional Tips for Artists – Artsy Shark

Artists with highly-skilled hands ~ Brothers Handmade


Purple Paintbrush’s Links to Creativity

This has been spreading around for a while, but if you haven’t seen this uber-creative 9 year old and his cardboard arcade, you need to! ~ Caine’s Arcade

What Makes Good Art? ~ Art Business

When Bad is Good ~ ARTnews

Art Whino’s G40 Art Summit Focuses on “The Art of the Mural”. Going on now! ~ Art Whino

Lumen8 Art Festival Opens This Saturday ~ Brightest Young Things

Conceptual Photography by Scott Newett ~ Lost at E Minor: For Creative People


A Bit of Artist Motivation

From the Cartoon Motivators blog

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the things that I want to do. I’m always in my head, sticking and moving from one thought or idea to another. The last few weeks have been an intense period of introspection for me, as I’ve been trying to figure out my goals and intentions as an artist. Honestly I think I have been pondering and planning for years, I need to do more action. How long have I been saying that? How long have YOU been saying that to yourself about something you’ve been wanting to do? I think we can agree that we aren’t getting any younger, and we’re probably already at the point to do SOMEthing, even if that means focusing on developing our skills.

So what stops us? Fear, doubt? An external source? Personally, I do suffer from a lack of confidence and fear sometimes. But I’m not exactly scared of failing, I’m scared of doing well. Sounds pretty dumb, I know, but it’s true. At the same time though, there is a certain fear of NOT living up to my potential too so you can imagine the internal struggles that may go on. However, I found a little nugget of encouragement that I thought was worth sharing. Thanks to a wonderful and informative blog called Artsy Shark, we are given a few reminders to help get over the doubt that we sometimes face as artists.

Keep these five things in mind the next time you suffer a lack of confidence in your art career:

  1. You are your own best advocate. Even if you hire people to do your promotion and marketing, you alone are the most passionate about your success. Use this drive to speak about yourself and your work proudly. If you have trouble putting your thoughts into words, work on a written summary of your business which is a sentence or two long. Practice this until you are clear that you can quickly recall it. This is called an “elevator speech” because it is short enough to be spoken during an elevator ride. Use it during conversations with people you meet – you never know who could be your next great contact!
  2. Success breeds success. Once you get a few sales or shows under your belt, things come more easily. Getting out of the starting gate can be tough and take a toll on the ego, especially when you are faced with rejection. Don’t give up on pursuing the ice-breaker which will help you get a foothold and build your confidence and your business.
  3. Attitude is everything. Think and act successfully. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t being honest; it means that you believe you are an artist with talent who is working on a career in your field. Give yourself credit for all your efforts. Be kind to yourself and cultivate friends who also believe in you.
  4. There is support for you. I speak with experts all the time who are decision-makers and have the power to advance the careers of artists. Despite seeming heartless to those who are rejected, many of these people have gone out of their way to express how they wish to support and encourage artists. Quite a few of them have been in your shoes. Even though they may not choose your work because it doesn’t fit their needs at the time, don’t take it personally.
  5. Don’t give up. I firmly believe the most important characteristic for an artist to have is Persistence.  Learn from your mistakes, raise the bar on your quality, improve your efforts. And continue to pursue opportunities. They will come.

Today this post was for me just as much as I intended it for you readers out there. Reread these tips or print them out if you have to! I plan to use them to help me turn my energy towards being more productive and encouraged.

5 Ways to Connect to Your Artistic Voice

Bursting Sun - Acrylic on Gallery Canvas, Jaison Cianelli ©2009

Ever feel like you lost a bit of that “oomph” you need to be creative? Not sure how to explain what it is that really makes you obsessed with ink splatter? As artists, it’s typical that we may hit periods where inspiration feels just out of reach. Sometimes the ideas don’t steadily flow.

In one of my most recent posts I talked a bit about reconnecting with a part of myself as an artist after a visit to my old art school. It got me thinking that I should write about other ways one can do this, as it is so easy to get stagnant as an artist – especially when you have a full-time job! So I came up with a few tips that I hope will help you get through those darn unpredictable creative slumps, and connect with your artistic voice.

1. Revisit your older work
Look to yourself for inspiration – I’m serious! Revisit any sketches, paintings, class projects, graphics, etc. that you might still have and take a deeper look at it. Like an old journal, the pieces you’ve done over time chronicle your story. Taking another look at your pieces, even unfinished sketches can reveal a part of your mind or intentions that maybe you hadn’t noticed before. Take an extra step Continue reading