Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ten suggestions for a more creative life

Please feel free to share it, tweet it, link from it on Facebook, socialize it, and help others be more creative. Here we go!

  1. Listen to music for inspiration: Music can put you in a creative state of mind. It helps to shut out the world to be focused on your materials and project. I find that instrumental music works best for me, because I don't have to think about the lyrics. My personal favorite is a German group founded in 1967, and still recording, Tangerine Dream. I also use ITunes to play both songs from my IPod, or the many internet radio stations available there. I also recommend signing up for Pandora radio, it's free, and you can tailor your own radio stations.
  2. Study what great artists have done: Visit art museums. It helps to study and learn from those that have gone before us.  Copy some of their works that you admire to learn techniques. Read about their lives. Depression, alcoholism, bi-polar behavior, failure, and yes, greatness, it's all there. The paths that we travel on the way to achieve greatness in art have been well traveled before.
  3. Discover what inspires you to create, and do it: Some like to paint landscapes, some prefer to paint the inner workings of the human mind. Observe the world around you and use your art to react to it. Do not fall into a trap of painting for money. You will be painting without inspiration, and it will be nothing more than a job. Painting for money is the kiss of death for the creative mind.
  4. Discover new materials, and new ways of doing things: The more you learn about art materials and their proper use, the more ideas will come to you in a natural way, instead of you looking for inspiration. Don't be afraid to experiment, let your own creativity lead you.
  5. See yourself as living up to your full potential as an artist: This is not a suggestion to be conceited, or arrogant in dealing with the public, just always imagine that you are a great artist. Never doubt yourself. See yourself as a historic figure, connected with all the great artists that have gone before, and are yet to be. If you have confidence in your abilities as an artist, others will also see you that way.
  6. Do something every day: Make a sketch, organize the studio, prime a canvas. If you travel, always take a camera and a sketchbook, and use them. There are a million steps that you must take to fully live up to your potential, so do something every day, and of course some days, you should take as many steps as possible.   I remember my old art teacher used to say: "So you want to be a watercolor artist? Then do 500 watercolors, and throw them away, then you are an artist!"
  7. Start a Art reference library: Art books about art styles, art history or about artists will inspire and encourage you the entire time that you own them. If you must watch television, keep art books close at hand to study during commercials, or during dull shows.
  8. Find a place to create: Now I know that we all dream of the ideal studio, with plenty of North facing windows, and a place for everything, but you don't need it. Believe me, I built it, and just could not paint in it. The best work that I ever did was when I had no place to live, and had just been cut loose by a girlfriend. I used a friend's dining room table, and was able to create enough good work for an entire show. You just need some unused corner, or a room that does not get used. Make it your own. place things that you like around for inspiration, a gnarled stick, a favorite print, a plant, anything that defines the space as a "studio" for you.
  9. Record your work, and learn from your progress: Take photos of everything that you do in the order that you finish them. Keep notebooks of your progress, use of materials, where the ideas came from. Learn from what you accomplish and allow your creative self to grow. Do not limit yourself to a single style, or become stuck with doing the same thing over and over because it works for you or because you can sell it to a patron.
  10. Build relationships as an artist: If you frequent social events go as an artist, be an artist, converse about art, gravitate to other creative personalities. Build your portfolio, including photos of your best work. Visit galleries, first to learn how they operate, then to inquire about having them represent you. Don't be discouraged, you will find your niche in the creative world. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Also, follow artists on social media (Facebook, Youtube, etc.) and bookmark favorite artists websites in addition to creating a library of books. Artist blogs and videos can be inspirational.