With less than 24 hours to my London debut on The Mall I’m a little nervous… It’s something new, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a long day and probably very warm… You get the picture! In these situation I find activity helps. So I’ve been calming my nerves with some abstracts. Working on expression and nothing else is remarkably liberating. Allowing yourself to make mistakes but then finding something new as a result. I’ve said it before “play” is vastly misunderstood and under appreciated. Play is when discoveries are made! Play is the purest form of experimentation. Sure you may then repeat the process to try and reproduce your results. But you would never know what to repeat without playing in the first place! Finally, and most importantly, play is calming. In order to play you must be distracted by something. And if you’re distracted, you’re not worrying. And here’s the result of my playtime. Now, I’m pretty sure I’m doing something tomorrow. What was it?… Oh yes, I remember! So, what do you do to calm your nerves?
Finishing work in time has been a struggle recently for blog posts. So I decided on something a little less ambitious for this week’s work in progress. To give me chance to catch up. For “less ambitious” read “smaller”. Here’s one of the demonstration pieces I started last week. A little more painting to do but should be ready by Saturday. (Famous last words)
Professional Artists need to sell their work. Right? But deciding go professional creates a dilemma for the artist… Commercialism vs Vision. Do you paint what sells or what you love? Some artists paint work for the market but don’t really enjoy creating the art they do. Are you in danger of the commercial side taking over and hindering progress with the work you love? Does it matter if you confuse collectors by following your passion to produce different work as well? In an ideal world, you do both. The primary goal is sell the art you love to create. Marketing efforts should be finding collectors who like the work you love to create. Painting what you think sells has additional drawbacks – what sells one week, might not the next! But it isn’t an easy road. Especially early in a career. Realism sets in with the need to generate funds. Commercial options become tempting. Which is why some artists paint for the market. Is it wrong to do that? I don’t think so. If it enables you to fund your vision or you love what you’re doing. I’ve received many portrait and caricature commissions and thoroughly enjoyed the process. But […]
Should artists be promoting themselves or just concentrate on creating? Being an artist involves creating art and nothing else, right? Such was my thinking as I dreamed about an art career. All I need do is produce the pictures and the buyers will snap them up, such was my talent. (Such modesty) Naive I know, but hey, I was young! My early efforts at marketing consisted of buying the Artist’s Yearbook which includes lists of all the UK galleries. Perusing the chapters and sending out masses of emails. I had 2 replies. Quoting from the first, “we looked at you work with great interest.” Exciting… for about 2 seconds until I realise it must be a form letter. Watching the art market and seeing who’s successful makes me think that talent is irrelevant! A significant Paradigm shift. Ability alone is not enough. I must promote myself as well. But I need guidance! Sometimes it seems like I stumble blindly through Hampton Court Palace Maze without a map or guide shouting directions. However, in stumbling I found a useful website called Art Business.com. reading “How not to succeed in the Art World.” The underlying theme? “Networking is the key!” Blind approaches […]
Is it possible to do everything? The answer of course is No… …and yet we still try. I’ve a strong desire to try my hand at new things. And there is nothing wrong with trying new things. To avoid the new is to stagnate and fail to grow as an artist and an individual. Learning a new skill can motivate and energise your work. But, it can also send you off in a tangental direction. One which curtails the full development of your current practice. So that potentially great work will never be created. Finding the balance is difficult. There comes a time in your life when you realise you can’t do everything! As a teenager I was keen to learn every technique going. I’m far more selective now. Yes, I want to learn new things, but not at the expense of my achievements so far. No matter how interesting or exciting, there is only so much one person can study effectively. Jack of all trades master of none! That’s true in any profession! In art it means that much as you might want to master oil paint. The hours of study might be better spent improving your blending skills […]
Do you have times when inspiration is NOT the problem? You have masses of great ideas but you’re still not getting things done. Why? You lack focus. The trouble is you want to do them all! NOW! It’s a specific form of Procrastination which can result in the Blank Canvas Syndrome. I.e. staring at the canvas not wanting to start. So, what do you do? First of all, write them all down immediately! Never waste precious ideas for you may never have them again. Trust me you’ll thank me for that one. Avoid the agony of hours trying to recall an idea you had last night – only to find it’s gone forever. Once you have them safely recorded you have several options. Start at the top of the list and work down. You can do that, can’t you? NO? OK… Look down the list and see if one sings out to you. Do that one! Still not working? Are there any that you can’t start now? If not why not? Put them to the side for now. Concentrate on pieces for which you have what you need to start now. If there’s only one, do it! Need to write a […]