Creativity in everyday life – Bad days

Creativity in everyday life — Bad days

When things don’t go as you wish

Whenever things don’t go as you wish, do you throw a tantrum? Yell and scream?

What to do when you are having a bad art day.

Curse? No, but you want to? Well, I can relate. The urge to react strongly is very strong and often I want to. But, I only do this in private or in my head. I am, after all, an example to others. I want to be a classy artist not a childish, tantrum yeller kind of artist.

Pyschologically, that is not a good thing to do, according to the psychology books. You should let your frustrations out. Hence, the private tantrum. Otherwise, not letting that frustration out leads to internal reactions like tight muscles, upset stomachs or headaches. What artist wants those? They get in the way of creative moments and making your work.

How can you let that tension go? Here are some ideas for you to try:

1. Lay out some tissue paper on large plastic sheets. Dilute some acrylic paint in your favorite colours. Splatter, paint with bold marks and drip.

2. Lay out some sketchbook paper. You can tape it down if need be. Take the dictionary and open it randomly. Take your finger and point to a word randomly. Paint that word. Repeat this over and over.

3. Lay out large pieces of white paper. Take a 6 in brush and some house paint in different colours. Paint bold movements as you walk around the paper. If you need to, add a broom handle to your brush handle with some duct tape so that you don’t have to bend so much.

In no time, you will feel better. You will also have some great papers to use as backgrounds or as collage for your future work. You now have painted away your frustrations. Life is good again.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life – Sleep

Creativity in everyday life — Sleep

Sleep -The single best creativity booster.

Sleep is the fuel for your creative process. Nothing else beats boosts creativity better. According to Sherry Baker in ‘The power of sleep’ (The secrets of creativity, New York: Centennial Media,2019), scientific studies show that keeping regular sleeping hours is the best. Skimping on sleep and pulling all-nighters will harm your brain and creativity even if you sleep extra hours later.

Problem solving is better if you get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Art is all about problem solving. Remember when you decided to finish your painting by working into the wee hours only to discover the next day that you had wrecked it? Most artists have done this. The reason is because your brain needed the sleep to solve the issues. Your brain needed time to rest and think.

According to this article, if you have a problem what you need to do is to wonder about the solutions to your problem before going to sleep. Your brain will work out ideas while you sleep. In the morning, you may have a solution. With the extra sleep you got, you will at least be able to come up with solutions rather than stand there and go ‘duh’ because you are too sleep deprived to come up with any ideas at all.

Most artists have extensive amounts of small tasks that they need to do for their art business. According to Baker, don’t keep all those details in your head. Write them down. Just the act of making a list will help you sleep better and make better decisions in the morning. Keep paper and pencil on your night table.

Too many ideas lead to artists waking up in the night. What this author also suggests is that you write down any ideas that come to you during the night. Quickly jot them down or record them with your phone then go back to sleep. In the morning, you can analyze those ideas to see if they apply to your current challenging work issue.

There is a whole section in this article on writing down your dreams. The author says that it takes time to develop this habit. First thing in the morning, jot down your dreams. At first, there may be only a few words or ideas that you will remember. Eventually your mind will retain more of the dreams you have had. Dreams can then be analyzed to see if they are trying to tell you how to solve your problem.

I have to admit that I have not been able to remember dreams. However, sleeping eight hours a night as much as possible had helped me a lot. The more rested I am, the better my ideas are, the easier I can solve problems and the more patient I am with ‘challenging’ people. Sleeping well and more has done more for me than anything else. I found that the regular my sleeping hours were, the better I performed in my art making. So, if I was to give any advice, it would be: Get some sleep now!

How sleep can help you be more creative.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life -Creative people are different

Creative people are different

Creativity is one of my main interests and I have come across this book that claims that highly creative people do ten different things differently. The book is ‘Wired to create’ by @Scott B. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire (2015). They claim that creative people have messy minds and that is what makes them different. That is to say, the process they go through to create a product is not linear. They will start with one thing, then another, discard one or both, start again, bring in new ideas, go back to the first ones and so on. The process of creatives is uniquely theirs and is different every time they create something new. Information comes from just about anything; a color here, a texture from there or even sounds or smells. Over the next few blogs, I will discuss their ideas.

As a painter and installation artist, I can say that this is true for me. I got my latest and best installation idea from some quilts that I saw in South Korea. They were fluttering in the wind in a window as we were going by. It was a fleeting moment but this visual mixed in with my desire to create an installation, having it portable, wanting something that is tall as well as something that I can paint was a trigger to a solution to my installation problem that I had been working on for the last six months. All this happened in a few moments and everything fell into place. You can call this creativity at its best.

Crossing by Doris Charest 8x 8in. on paper

Kaufman and Gregoire point out that ‘creatives’ (that is us) have diverse interests, influences, behaviours and ideas and they find a way to bring all these disparate elements together. Often the interests contradict each other but they continue to exist in the creative person. They add that creative people are complex and instead of being an individual, they are a ‘multitude’. The authors also add that a common trait of creatives is an openness to one’s inner life (that’s intuition and self-knowledge), a preference for complexity or ambiguity, a tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to extract order from chaos, independence, unconventionality and a willingness to take risks. Not all creatives have all these traits but a dominance of these seems essential to creatives. Creatives learn to harness their different views and draw new ideas from them.

Ideas for you on creativity:

One view: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/05/05/brassai-conversations-with-picasso-success-compromising/

A second view: https://www.thebwerd.com/compromise-become-compromising/

The good news is that creatives score high in the category of psychological health. They know themselves. Kaufman and Gregoire state that creatives adapt very well to changing circumstances. This is called plasticity; the ability to explore new ideas, objects and scenarios.

When it comes to idea generation, creatives are willing to put out ideas, select the original ideas and then select the best idea. The combination of working out ideas and making them valuable to society or useful. These two ‘seemingly’ contradictory ideas engages the creatives and stimulates them. ‘I wonder what would happen if’ is a common thought that creatives have.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

Doris Charest (dalinec) on Pinterest
Doris Charest | Contemporary artist that uses mixed media as a medium.www.pinterest.ca

Fall beauty by Doris Charest 8x 8 in. on paper

Creativity in everyday life – Portrait series

Creativity in everyday life — Portrait artist of the year series

Involving and mesmerising your clients

Generally speaking, I am not a TV watcher. In fact, we don’t own a television. When I do watch movies, it is on my computer. This is less tempting because the screen is small and too much watching gives me a headache. However, I have found one series that has completely captured my interest.

The PBS station recently showed a series called ‘Portrait artist of the year’. Over several episodes, the show invites 9 different artists to come paint the portraits of 3 celebrities. The top three portraits are then analyzed and then a winner is chosen. After several episodes, the winners of each heat are brought back to a semi-final. Again, they paint the portraits of celebrities. The top three of these semi-finals are then invited to another paint off where the winner will paint the portrait of a major celebrity for cash.

I don’t do portraits in my own art practice. I never thought that I would like a program like this but I was hooked. You get to see what the artists use for materials, you see them paint and you get to see how they develop the portrait. Not being a portrait artist, I was surprized how much I liked this show. For me it was about seeing the process.

I loved seeing how the artists mixed their paint, started their sketch and later their painting. If I was hooked, an artist who already knew how to paint, can you imagine their audience of ‘want-to-be-an-artist’ would be intrigued? This is a totally new concept that could be applied to our audiences.

Do you do any demonstrations at your events? Is there a way you can incorporate this idea of showing others how a painting is created. Can you hire someone to sell your paintings while you paint? This is something you might consider. If I can get as involved as I was, in the process and on a topic I don’t even like, your clients will too.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life – One thing I learnt by doing art

One thing I learnt by doing art

Art has enriched my life in many ways. Surprisingly, I learnt patience to do my art as it should be done.

Patience.  Making art takes time and contrary to popular belief, it is not a one-step process.  One of my students told me: ‘I want it done right away and I want it to look good right away.’  This does not happen 99.9% of the time.  In painting, you need to layer colors, experiment with what color goes well with another, reposition shapes and even start over. Building your image slowly with many layers gives the subject more subtle variations in color and a more interesting look.  It is well worth the time to layer colors just for the beauty of the nuances.  Sculpture is much the same.  You build slowly, making small adjustments to the shapes in order to have just the right angle or look. 

    It takes time to develop as an artist and patience is a very important trait for an artist to have.  Who wants to wait for this to happen?  It goes beyond that.  We learn perseverance and fortitude with patience. Discipline in doing our work to helps move us in a positive direction.  Concentration shows strength of mind.   Patience enables us to develop, grow, and mature in our work as an artist.  Without patience, none of this could happen.  For more help, check out this blog: https://sandyaskeyadams.com/blog/57607/patience-a-most-esssential-tool-in-the-art-studio

   At times it may seem like you are not improving with your work, like nothing is happening, but there really is something happening.  You are making decisions. Taking little steps towards finishing brings greater rewards.  Working through the process takes patience and time.  Those who don’t want to bother with making that commitment to persevere through these difficult stages will not easily have productive results, if any.  Check out my class on Udemy.com ‘A creative lifestyle’ for ideas.  I include time saving ideas in the class.  

Hope that helps,

Doris

My artwork at the local restaurant

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life- Age and art

Creativity in everyday life- Art and age

Art and age

Art can be learnt at any age. Unlike music, there is no statute of limitations related to your age. If you are ten or if you are ninety, it is never too late to start. Once you have started, you need not ever retire from making art. Sound like something you like?

Art making is also a great stress release. Like meditation, you focus on doing one thing (your art) and forget about the rest of the world. There is no room for worries or life problems. Often hours go by when I am making my art and I even forget about food. My husband will have to remind me that it’s supper time. Then, I just groan and wish he had learnt to cook.

Creating art is also good for the brain. Art is all about problem solving and this is very good to keep our synapses alive and growing. Recommendations from experts say that we should learn new skills to keep your neuron pathways alive and even growing. There is always something new to learn in art so this is another reason art is good for you.

Art need not be physically demanding. If you are not as mobile as you would like to be, there are types of art making that don’t need mobility. One of these is drawing or even some types of painting. Artwork does not need to be big. You can work small. Many small works put together can create a larger piece or show. Small works are often coveted by collectors who no longer have any room on their walls.

Art doesn’t have to be expensive, if you are on a tight budget. Pencils are very inexpensive and so is plain, ordinary paper. If you like painting, you don’t have to have every color in the book. Many successful painters, like watercolourist Tony Onely or Agnes Martin, use less than a half a dozen colours in their work. This is called a limited palette and it takes great skill to be able to paint what you see and distill it into a few shapes and colours.

I teach art to young and old. My oldest student was ninety-four. I helped her discover chalk pastels. A box of chalk pastels costing $12 and some paper brought her hours of entertainment and challenge. She continued using her pastels for two years, until her passing. Her friend said that the art brought her great joy.

Finding materials is not difficult anymore. You can get supplies at any office supply store or even a dollar store. Art supply stores offer more variety but if you want to start, go to your local store. Hours of enjoyment await you.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity from Everyday Life-Tips from Grandma #2

6 More Tips That I Got From My Grandmother

Mémère, was a great influence and it is not until now that I realize how she shaped my attitude in life.  She was unfailingly optimistic and these are some of her suggestions.  Keep in mind that when my grandmother moved to Alberta, she had to live in a tent for the winter.  There were two adults and eight children in that tent.  If you can survive that, you cannot help but be positives. 

Smile a lot. Decide to think positively. Every time life places obstacles in your path, give life a big grin, accept the challenge and overcome it. Make the decision to be happy, stand by your decisions and do whatever is in your power to keep them. This is the true secret to happiness.  

***As an artist, you will have plenty of obstacles. Often people find it easy to criticize people with a creative lifestyle.  Instead of getting angry, just point out how much you love what you do. There is nothing else like it. Point out the positive parts of your choices.  Skip over the negative parts.  Turn their negative into a positive.  This also teaches ‘them’ that there are real big positives to being and artist.  They may even start envying you.

  • Look into people’s eyes when you talk to them. Ask them about their day, and how they feel. Care enough about people to look at them and listen to them.  They will remember you and they will care back.

As an artist, you create a bond with people when you look them in the eye.  They feel you are really listening to them. They will listen back and gradually become a friend or even a client.

  • Friends come and go. They help us become better people. Keep the good friends that help you and let go the friends that bring you down. Learn to tell which are the good friends and which are not. 

As an artist, friends are important to share ideas with and help you out.  You help each other to find opportunities.  However, some people are not as good at sharing.  Some will take your ideas and use them as their own. Those people are not your friends.  Dump them now.  If you cannot, create space between you and them.  Don’t share with them. 

  • Success comes with work. There is no secret to success. Wake up earlier than everyone else. Go to bed later. Work, work, work. That’s what it takes, and there is no shortcut.

As an artist, it is best to learn this early. Artists often have to work harder than most. Being an artist means being your own boss and running a business -your business.  There is no way to get around a lot of work.

  • Looking back is not good for you.  You need to look forward to the good things.Memories are beautiful and they define who we become, but forward is always the right direction. Keep your eyes towards the new good events coming your way.

As an artist, there will be lots of ups and downs in your ‘art business’.  Focus on the positives.  Focusing on the negatives will only lead you to abandon your artistic endeavors for a job you may not like.  Trade a ‘happy’ job like art for a negative one? No way! Your positive attitude will be reflected in your work. Your attitude will show.  Stay positive. 

  • Bad days happen. Take a shower and go to bed. Whatever happened that day will pass and it will get better. Learn from the ‘issue’ and move on.

As an artist, you will have days where you wreck you painting because you go too far, make a bad cut in your sculpture or spill a bottle of ink on your 20 hour drawing. This is normal.  Everyone has bad days. What is important is how you handle the problem. Like Mémère says, go to bed.  Your brain will find a solution while you sleep.  You were probably tired anyways.  That is why the accident happened.

Creativity in everyday life -Tips from Grandma #2

Six more tips from my grandmother

6 More Tips That I Got From My Grandmother

Mémère, was a great influence and it is not until now that I realize how she shaped my attitude in life. She was unfailingly optimistic and these are some of her suggestions. Keep in mind that when my grandmother moved to Alberta, she had to live in a tent for the winter. There were two adults and eight children in that tent. If you can survive that, you cannot help but be positives.

1. Smile a lot. Decide to think positively. Every time life places obstacles in your path, give life a big grin, accept the challenge and overcome it. Make the decision to be happy, stand by your decisions and do whatever is in your power to keep them. This is the true secret to happiness.

As an artist, you will have plenty of obstacles. Often people find it easy to criticize people with a creative lifestyle. Instead of getting angry, just point out how much you love what you do. There is nothing else like it. Point out the positive parts of your choices. Skip over the negative parts. Turn their negative into a positive. This also teaches ‘them’ that there are real big positives to being and artist. They may even start envying you.

2. Look into people’s eyes when you talk to them. Ask them about their day, and how they feel. Care enough about people to look at them and listen to them. They will remember you and they will care back.

As an artist, you create a bond with people when you look them in the eye. They feel you are really listening to them. They will listen back and gradually become a friend or even a client.

3. Friends come and go. They help us become better people. Keep the good friends that help you and let go the friends that bring you down. Learn to tell which are the good friends and which are not.

As an artist, friends are important to share ideas with and help you out. You help each other to find opportunities. However, some people are not as good at sharing. Some will take your ideas and use them as their own. Those people are not your friends. Dump them now. If you cannot, create space between you and them. Don’t share with them.

4. Success comes with work. There is no secret to success. Wake up earlier than everyone else. Go to bed later. Work, work, work. That’s what it takes, and there is no shortcut.

As an artist, it is best to learn this early. Artists often have to work harder than most. Being an artist means being your own boss and running a business -your business. There is no way to get around a lot of work.

5. Looking back is not good for you. You need to look forward to the good things.Memories are beautiful and they define who we become, but forward is always the right direction. Keep your eyes towards the new good events coming your way.

As an artist, there will be lots of ups and downs in your ‘art business’. Focus on the positives. Focusing on the negatives will only lead you to abandon your artistic endeavors for a job you may not like. Trade a ‘happy’ job like art for a negative one? No way! Your positive attitude will be reflected in your work. Your attitude will show. Stay positive.

6. Bad days happen. Take a shower and go to bed. Whatever happened that day will pass and it will get better. Learn from the ‘issue’ and move on.

As an artist, you will have days where you wreck you painting because you go too far, make a bad cut in your sculpture or spill a bottle of ink on your 20 hour drawing. This is normal. Everyone has bad days. What is important is how you handle the problem. Like Mémère says, go to bed. Your brain will find a solution while you sleep. You were probably tired anyways. That is why the accident happened.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Tips my grandmother gave me applied to my art practice.

Creativity in everyday life - The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly effect is a theory that originated with a scientist named Johann Gottlieb Fichtein The Vocation of Man (1800). He says “you could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole”(Wikepedia). The theory was examined by other scientists primarily in relation to the weather over the following years and into recent times.

Ray Bradbury explored the concept in his fiction book “A Sound of Thunder”, a 1952 short story about time travel.The whole concept was further investigated by E. N. Lorenz, who proposed a mathematical model for how tiny motions in the atmosphere scale up to effect larger systems.

People have loved this idea and have let their imaginations run wild. For example, can the flapping of the wings of a bird in Canada affect the weather in Texas? The theory became known as the Butterfly Effect. The butterfly has become more of a metaphor for small gestures affecting change. Will recycling at your own house affect the environment? Will walking more and using the car less affect the air quality over time?

The artistic interpretation of the Butterfly Effect and how to create your own effect.

Recent applications of this theory have been in relation to people and their behaviour. If you do a kindness to someone today, will it affect tomorrow? There is much debate about this whole theory and it has been relabelled as a ‘Pay it forward’ concept. Be nice now because it will affect your future.

Do you believe this theory? Opinions vary but I tend to agree with the Butterfly Effect. For example, imagine that you are stuck in traffic. You are in the right lane and this lane has to merge to the left because there is construction on the side of the road. You wait patiently for the car on the left to let you in. Not a single car lets you in for about ten minutes. How do you feel? Will you go home and tell this story with a twist on how people are so unkind? Your kids will hear this and pick it up. The world is unkind. Another scenario shows you waiting in line to merge but you only wait one minute or so. The driver that lets you in smiles and waves. How do you feel? You go home and tell this story. Your kids pick up the message that people are nice and helpful. Your world is looking better and so is theirs. These examples point out that small every day events lead affect not only you but everyone around you.

Imagine the effects happening to hundreds of people and changing attitudes. Am I exaggerating? Change does start with you. How can you apply this to your art practice?

According to Fichte, dynamics, even small ones can affect long term change. What long term change to you want? Do you want to earn more money? Do you want more painting time? Do you want your reputation as an art instructor to grow? Step 1 is for you to decide what you really want. Write down three items that you really want for your art practice.

Make four columns for each item. Column one is what you want to do. For example, do you want to have more shows for your work? Under column 2 is where you want to show. Column 3 is the date when they take proposals. Column 4 is when you get the application form and fill it out. Making columns like this leads you to take actions that will lead to you achieving your goal.

This is your Butterfly Effect. The small action of making a series of columns listing your goals is like the small butterfly wings making enough wind to eventually create a tornado down the line. Your small actions towards your goal will lead to you showing in the galleries that you want down the line. Belief in yourself is essential but more important than that is the willingness to take action. No matter how good you are as an artist, if you never pick up a brush or show your work to anyone, nothing will happen. You will never be known as an artist if you do not start with actions that lead to others knowing about you.

Action speaks louder than words. Are you willing to bat your wings like the butterfly? That is the question. If the answer is yes, you will achieve great results. But, it will take time. Persistence is also the key to success. Consistently flapping your wings will lead you to achieve your goals. Are you willing to try? I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life – 7 Habits of Highly Effective Artists

Creativity in everyday life — 7 Habits of highly effective artists

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

There are a lot of opinions on how some artists are better than others. The question is always; Why? I came upon this talk on how artists can become better by following seven specific habits. Andrew Price, the speaker, is a digital artist that discusses how these seven points helped his career.

The talk caught my attention because, as artists, we are always looking for information about other artists and how they create their work. Most artists work in isolation and this is a way of connecting to other artists. This article is a review of the talk:7 habits of highly effective artists : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM39qhXle4g1.5 million views -Andrew Price, artist, digital

I agree. You cannot be an artist unless you create art. Showing up to your studio is a must. Wether your studio space is in the corner of the den or outside your house, you need to go there every day you can. Do the bare minimum and you will soon find that you stay a little longer to finish what you started and soon it is an hour or two later. The time has flown by and you didn’t even notice.

2. Volume not perfection- a lot of work leads to closing the gap ie Picasso 1800 paintings 1200 sculptures, 12,00 drawings an even more prints, rugs, tapestries, ceramics -learn most from first 90%. I have had instructors that said the same thing. Get out there and learn how to be fast. In the quantity, you will develop skills and refinement that will make you good. There is a note of caution there, however. You still need to work with some care and focus on what you are creating. You will only get better if you choose to get better with every work. Don’t just copy the last painting. Try to add something new and better with every painting but do it quickly.

3. Steal. He said that if you steal ideas from one artist then that is plagarism but if you steal from many artists, you are blending ideas and that is acceptable. Steal from many so people can’t tell. Price says: find your idols; and steal from them. He quotes Steve Jobs and Banksky as being master ‘stealers’. He said to read the book: Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steal_Like_an_Artist. This is a great book. He highlights many of the issues artists face, uses a lot of humour and has good ideas too.

4. Conscious learning; this is learning with a purpose. When you sit down to work, don’t just idly work. Work with a goal of doing certain skills better. He says that Malcolm Gladwell’s theory in his book Outliers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers) that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill is not true- what you need to do is work with a purpose/consciously — learning as you practice, then you get better faster.

This is a lesson that I have learned too. When I work on a project, I eliminate as many distractions as I can. I shut off my cell phone; I work in a studio that has no internet; I even put up a sign on my door to say that I don’t want to be interrupted and I put on music that suits the project — usually music that I won’t sing along with or start following the beat. The trick is to find what works for you. I have a friend that puts on classical music while another puts on country music. This is music that relaxes them and allows the creative juices to flow.

5. Rest. Price insists that you need to stop work after a certain point on a project and do something different. You need to put it aside and go back to it later. Leave it alone for a while and you will feel detached so you can work on it objectively again.

This advice is particularly pertinent when you are stuck on a project. Some paintings paint themselves but many do not. When you cannot solve the problem of ‘what is wrong’, it is a good idea to put your work in spot where you won’t see it for a while. You will see it with fresh eyes when you look at it again and usually, the problem is easy to solve.

6. Get feedback. All good artists seek feedback, Price tells us. He quotes Pixar as saying that making sure artists get feedback is their secret success. Listening to criticism and acting on it is the key to success.

Most artists seek critiques. The key to giving criticism is to keep it short. Be careful of the words you use. Select only a few points that stand out. Verbalize these points in positive manner. Never start with a negative. When you are recieving criticism select two key points that stand out for you and note those down. You can put the ten other points on ‘stand-by’. Chances are that those two points will change your painting so much, it will be a totally different painting, leaving those extra suggestions null and void.

7. Create what you love because motivation is a big factor. Price quotes Brian Eno, a musician, as working only on music he wanted to hear and this was the secret to his success. Andrew Price, himself, found that he did girl figures because that is what he loved doing. Tried drawing men and did not like it so he did not do well. He says that when he worked on men, they were terrible.

We are all like this. We do what we love well because it comes easily. We notice more details, we are willing to spend more time on what we like and we treat our favourite topics with more love and care. I love landscape but treat it in a more abstract manner. When I have to work on more realistic topics, I have to really ‘make’ myself pay attention to the work. I feel like running away or doing my regular work.

Here is an article that supports this theory and adds more: 12 Habits of Highly Effective Artists, From Creative Exercise to Living in Airplane Mode by Rachel Corbett. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/artist-work-habits-1052036. She adds even more ideas that can help you. Basically, she says the same things as Price but adds that you have be able to work in all kinds of conditions and you should get used to it. Artists have to be resilient and work despite the conditions. You will never get the perfect environment or feel ‘perfect’ every morning so just get out there and do your art!

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life- Tips from my grandmother #1

6 Tips I Got from My Grandmother 

My Grandmother, whom we called ‘Mémère’, was a big influence on me but I did not realize it until later. Going to my grandmother’s was my ‘zen’ moment. She liked or loved me as I was and in the moment.. In hindsight, I was probably better behaved at her house than elsewhere because she allowed me to be the person I was. These are the things my grandmother taught me before she passed away…From her, I learned:

1. I am a person worthy of being listened to. She listened to everything I said. She never interrupted. She would smile and give me positive feedback on my questions. She always slanted life towards the positive. I learnt that the glass is always half-full.No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, always believe that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Do the best you can to control your circumstances. Learn to accept that you can’t always control everything. Once you’ve done all that is in your power, if it’s meant to happen — it will.

As an artist, I take the time to be like my grandmother and listen. Clients like it because they feel special. They listen back, most of the time. Just listening and adding positive comments changes people’s attitudes towards your creative practice. They see you as a nice person and therefore your creative practice is a positive.

2. Focus on one thing at a time. Invest energy into that activity. Don’t get distracted. You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it right now. Be present, be active, do the best that you can.

As an artist, this took me a long time to learn. I tended to work on painting and sculpture at the same time. A little bit here and a little bit there until it was done. As time went on, this became more and more difficult. I learned to do less and focus on what I was doing. This did not mean that I stopped doing sculpture. I did sculpture in blocks of time and painting in other blocks. I focussed on one media at a time.

3. Don’t change yourself to suit others. Be true to your own personality. Always say what you really think, even if it’s not the popular opinion. Be gentle when you say it. Don’t hurt people if you can help it.

As an artist, you will be asked to create artwork that is not in ‘your style’. Be careful with this temptation. You do not want to loose your reputation for your own style. I am not saying that you should not do these commissions but be careful that you do not get known as the artist who will paint in any style and then your clients will forget that you have a style.

4. Everybody changes. You travel, get a new job, learn new information and therefore change. Every day we learn something new which changes us in some way or another. Sometimes we realize we’re not who we used to be, but that’s perfectly normal.

As an artist, your style will change. Your style will evolve at the same time that you experience new things. This is also normal. Rarely do artists keep with the same style. Some gallery owners will ask that you stick to a style. You can stick to a style and still change. You can incorporate new elements into your existing style. For example, add a new color or a bit of collage to your paintings.

5. Being happy is important. Don’t accept a job just because it will pay you big bucks. Make sure you like this job. In this way, when you’ve reached old age, you’ll understand that the best things in life are things that money can’t buy — love and friendship. Take the time to be nice.

As an artist, you need to balance your creative side with your personal life. Relationships are important so try not to work marathon type hours too often. Don’t forget your family. Learning to balance home and career is one of the hardest parts of having your own business as an artist.

6. There are happy moments in life but not ‘happy forever after’ endings. You will always have challenges to surmount. Never be afraid to leave everything and start anew, no matter how old you are.

As an artist, you will get great commissions or sales that make great happy moments. These will come and go. If ever, your work is not making you happy, don’t be afraid to change. If making sculpture in plaster is no longer selling or you are no longer inspired by it, change to something else. If you are not inspired, it will show in your work. The work will begin to stop selling. Change now while you can.

I hope this helps you.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …