Tag Archives: commitment

Resistance–we all feel it

Resistance is more than the brave people who worked during WWII to defeat the Nazis.  I’m talking about resistance, the Nazi within.  We all have it, and I think creative people have many close encounters with the beast, probably once a day or so.

As an artist, I walk into the studio every day with the hope of being productive and inspired.  Many times I walk in there with the need of coffee or some other stimulant to keep myself alert.

Truth is, energy is available in vast abundance.

Resistance shows up in many ways:

Don’t try these new paints, they won’t work well.

Don’t repaint that old picture.

Cleaning your fridge would be a more effective use of time…

The studio is too dirty to work in, clean it!

Painting is an iffy proposition–at all times.

Don’t waste the paint on that old painting.

You;re too tired to paint…

It goes on and on. Why is it that so many excuses pop up when we’re about to do something that we actually enjoy.  It’s like starting over every day.

Maybe creativity is that way.  What will show up on the canvas is uncertain, so why even try?  Every new day is a challenge.

Should I use my time better, do something that needs to be done (chore) or do I stick with the plan?

Since I made the agreement to stick with my art years ago, it has become simple to stay in the studio, but Resistance will show up in sneaky ways, holding hand with its cousin Excuses.

It’s never easy.

But what worthy endeavor is?

It’s also hard to be self motivated. We learn early on to follow orders, never questioning their importance.

Taking charge of your life and actually DOING something you love on a greater scale can be scary.

Flying without a safety net.

For many, that is a nightmare.

It is the trickster within that builds things out of proportion and say you can’t have a life that is outside the norm.

Let’s say the trickster is the ultimate expert, the father of resistance and excuses.

When you recognize these guys, just laugh.

You have enough confidence in yourself to know you’re being tricked.

A solid commitment to the art, or craft, is a must. If we haven’t made the DECISION to make art no matter what, we don’t have a strong foundation.

A strong commitment and habits to produce will strong-arm those negative voices aside.  It’s really important to nurture the commitment. With time it becomes very strong.

Every painting is a risk of failure, but what isn’t?

It’s worth a try.  When inspiration seems to be absent, spread some paint on a canvas anyway. It could become a good foundation for a masterpiece.

Practice allows the door to open up and magic step in.

It’s a special joy to see the process through, and the rewards can be great. You never know on any given day.

Another post that might inspire you when the negative voices are loud: My inner critic on rampage.

Another post: Who is in charge?

I’m working on this goddess painting. It will need some tweaking, but it was a great process of seeing her emerge from the chaotic background.

resistance

I don’t know what will appear today on the next canvas. Time to find out!

Have a great creative weekend!

xo

Maria

P.S.  I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Check it out. 🙂

 

Trusting yourself?

Trusting yourself can be an iffy business. I can say that I do for the most part, but then something happens to make me doubt my choices as in “am I insane?” 🙂

It happens to all of us since we live in a society that does not promote trust. It actually promotes the opposite.

However, we have a choice.  If you have the insight that you’re your ultimate judge of what is best for you, you can cultivate trust and see it grow from within.

We seek validation from others. That’s something ingrained in every cell from childhood. It’s a revolutionary concept to know you can trust your own inner wisdom and act on it.

How do you do that? You decide to begin trusting yourself. The trust can show up as a gut feeling, a sense of right or wrong, a strong desire to NOT do something that others want you to do. Ask your body before you make a choice. It will tell you the truth.  You can tell the difference between avoidance and truth. It might take some practice.

It take guts to go against the grain.  It’s likely you will encounter resistance from others and yourself. The more you trust and see that you chose the right thing, the stronger the trust grows.

Then there is the spiritual insight: life is everlasting so there is nothing to fear. Trust is the very essence of life. A small child has nothing but trust until it’s taken away.

What does this have to do with art you ask.

In art making, do you look for validation from others? Is what you painted okay or do you trust your own process however difficult or stumbling it appears? 
mixed media

I made this mixed media art in 2015 and put it in my etsy shop for sale. It never sold, and upon critical review I decided that the big bird was not right. At the time I liked the art.

We change and so does the art. I decided to reuse the canvas so I covered the art work with lots of papers that I proceeded to paint.  I have come this far now but I’m filled with uncertainty.

mixed media art

Should I paint something popular like a mermaid or some cute primitive animals or….? An abstract maybe?

The mind jumps in with suggestions all the time. Play it safe. Paint what sells, be smart. MONETIZE!

That takes away a lot of individual choice, doesn’t it? I wrote about the wisdom of the body to create a while back. It all comes back to trust. Do you trust yourself to make the right paint choices or mixed media combinations?

Who cares? Is it a matter of life or death?

Screw it all up and start again. There are no right answers. The art will tell you via your “good feeling” if it hit the mark of something awesome.

I’d say 90% of my art never hits the “awesome” status. Awesome is when something unexpected appears that could only come from the deepest inner inspiration.  It is inexplicable yet unmistakable.

Every time I paint I wish for that genius to step forward. It takes a lot of patience and ruined canvases. It takes commitment. Hard traits to cultivate. It takes a lifetime (or more.)

However, I have traveled the path of creating art on canvas for a long while now so the trust is there. I cultivated it by showing up at the project.

Maybe this one will be AWESOME!

What are you creating today?

Have a great weekend.

Lots of love,

Maria

UPDATE: here is the video I created as I finished the art project above. VIDEO.

P.S. Check out my awesome  🙂 self-paced paper creating e-course. Lots of varied papers and ephemera and some art journaling spreads how-tos as well, about 9 videos. ONLY $24. LIFE’S SONG.

 

 

Artist struggles

Artist struggles can be hard to overcome, especially if the road seems pitted with pot holes and many disappointments, not to mention loads of failed art work. I will get to that.

There is the issue of artistic expression, and the issue of selling your art. In a way, they go hand in hand even if they are two different arms of the biz of being an artist.

brushes

Artist expression, how to negotiate the pitfalls:

The biggest thing for expression is COMMITMENT.  As with any other work you have to be committed to get results. How do you build commitment if you don’t have it?

You have to build a new habit by showing up every day at your art, come hell or high water! There is no way around this. Even when you feel no inspiration at all, you show up and put brush to paint or whatever medium you’re using. Prepare you tools and inspiration might start to flow. If it doesn’t, paint anyway. It might look like crap, which is often does, but so what? You can always paint over it later. The sooner we realize how important commitment is, the sooner we will see progress in our art endeavors. Make loads of ugly paintings and be proud of them!

COMPARISON: Don’t compare your work to that of other artists. You are unique.  Why would you want your work to look like someone else’s?  To find your own style, you have to produce a lot of art, trial and error style, until you feel the unmistakable vibe of YOU in your art. It can take some time, but you are committed.

Guitarists did not become great overnight… Practice can be tedious, but the progress is noticeable.

It’s hard to explain what the vibe of YOU is, but you will know. It feels right, it feels magical, it feels like “yes.”

Then again, you might lose that feeling as you continue to grow and advance in your art. Then you lean on your commitment until the next breakthrough.

JUDGMENT: It can be the death of creativity. If you judge your own art as you move through your process, you are likely to quit making art. Judgment of others can be hard to take, but why take their word for it? They come from their single point of view, and maybe they are envious of your courage to be an artist. It takes courage to let the world see your art. Who cares what others think, right? Thick skin, remember?

Those are the three biggies.

business

Two pitfalls in art biz:

VISIBILITY: Unless you’re a performer it can be hard to make yourself visible online and offline. Many artists are introverts and find it difficult to allow the vulnerability of self AND personal art into the world.

The only way to overcome this is to SHOW UP and grow some thick skin. People will always be quick to criticize, but if you did your best and you love your art, you don’t have to buy into the criticism. There can be helpful criticism, but you can feel the difference. Don’t buy into the b*llshit. Remember your passion for your art and your commitment.

It’s easier to be visible online since there is a barrier between you and the public, but you will encounter trolls there too. Trust in yourself. You are enough, and your art is enough. It’s a journey, and you keep on going.

Blogging and having an online shop are two ways to be visible online. What is most important to you? To have gallery representation or online sales? You can have both. I find ways to show my art, usually in shops, and coffee shops. So far, I have not been in more than a couple of gallery shows, but I’d rather sell online. That has been my choice.

Make several streams of income available.

CREATIVE THINKING: Art-ing is not the only way to be creative. To make opportunity for yourself, you have to get your art out there. Think of ways you enjoy to make your art available. You don’t have to be represented by a gallery to have good sales, or travel to art shows.

I mix it up with some crafts and I also make e-courses. Find several ways to bring in income from your art. Build a mailing list.

Some of these things are pretty boring, but have you ever done work that was all fun and play? Commitment involves doing the boring stuff that is needed for your art to be visible.

There are so many ways to sell your art online: Prints, art on totes and mugs, commissions, online shops, a website with all the links to your goodies. Get inspired by what other artists have done to sell their art. If they can, you can!

When I started out I used to sell art on eBay, and I look at my art from my early days and wonder how it ever sold!  Some did though, so there are people who will always see the beauty in your art even if it’s amateurish (compared to where you are now.)

Today is the day. Make that commitment and go for it!!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of new things in ONE of my etsy shops: https://etsy.com/shop/EarthandFaery