I get it. It is overwhelming to follow the dream of being an artist. Let me start by dispelling that overwhelm.
You already are an artist.
As I have written so many times (like here and here), just by setting the intention to be an artist, you are already an artist. It is not so much about how much work you amass (more about that in a minute) But about your drive to bring your visual language to the conversation. It is about owning that you have a something in your heart that needs to be seen and making the commitment to get it out there.
Woo! That was easy…now back to that overwhelm where the rubber meets the road for any artist…doing the work.
It might be that you crank out the first piece or even the second and third pieces with ease. You are in the zone. But what next? How do you keep that momentum up. You may even be kind of freaking out about this before you start. Here is what I know.
Artist spend a lot of time making the same thing.
Yep. Think about it. Kahlo made a lot of self portraits. Monet’s haystack series. Most of the artists who’s work is readily recognized is because those repetitions became their signature style. But I am not really talking about just copying your own work.
Doing the work, means doing a lot of the same thing with little tweaks.
Just the nature of handmade, signals that each piece will be unique. What I find is the magic of new ideas often happens either by mistake or in a crazy a-ha moment while mid process. When you are in your body, doing the physical part of art, your subconscious is awake and will often toss out all the good creative inspirations you have been collecting there whether you know it or not. Don’t fret if it does not, Just see that as a sign that you are doing great work with out any feedback from your right brain.
Speaking of right brain…this is your barometer for being a better artist.
Listen to it. It is in touch with your heart and soul. What I mean is if you are making the art that you are meant to make based on the visual language you right brain is feeding you, you will know it in your heart….it will feel right in your soul. It is like falling in love. So, actually your right brain is not necessarily in touch with current trends you feed it as inspiration. But you right brain will direct you to fall in love with your work so much that you will stand by that visual language you are creating. It will truly feel like a part of you.
Go for a deeper emotional connection, with each repetition of the project.
Repeating your ideas with little tweaks allows you to make mistakes try new versions getting a little closer to better work. With each repetition you become more emotionally attached to you work. What makes art good to others, is when someone sees your heart in your work and feels the same love and emotion (even with dark, melancholy pieces) of your right brain.
So if you are feeling stuck creatively, try going back to a favorite piece and recreating it. It might just be the path to some awesome new work.
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