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 …

Creativity in everyday life – 5 tips for abstract paintings

Creativity in everyday life — 5 Tips for Better Abstract Paintings

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Abtract painting is hard. People are often surprised how hard it is to create a great abstract painting. You can maximize your chances of creating great paintings by following your these steps;

1. Plan and plan so more. Decide what materials you will use, what size the final product will be and what style you will use. Abstract painters, I find, love to work on large canvases. I am one of those artists and because the canvas can cost several hundred dollars to actually buy the canvas and supplies to create this work, planning is essential to endure success and to make the whole experience affordable.

The next step is deciding what style you will use. Will you pour paint? Will you work using pointillism? Will you use only a big 6 inch (15 cm) brush? Will the work be detailed or have large areas of bold colours that are brushed on?

Will you use acrylics? Oils? Collage? Decide on your materials. Buy what you need to buy for the project. For the moment, put it all in the corner and get to your desk to plan the next step.

2. Choose your colours before you start. Your main goal should be to limit the amount of colours you use. Simplicity is best. Ten colours in a painting, all competing with each other, can be overwhelming to the viewer. Three main colours with small amounts of other colours is easier on the viewer.

3. Value sketches. This is essential. If you are not sure what a value sketch is, check out my youtube video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6WMWmPBYWQ&t=0s&list=PLPUZqAc8UwZILqfVxiRjoyYIfqYOgoFjF&index=9

4. Do a practice run on paper. This is where you decide where the colours go. Is the red for the background? Is gold an accent?

One important detail is that your practice paper should be the same shape as the final canvas. There is no sense in practicing on a different shape. When you work on a paper of the same shape, you can work out proportions of where the lines or colours go.

5. Chances are that you will want to make some changes to your practice run. Re-evaluate your practice run. Feel free to do more than one practice run. Work out the basic shapes until you are happy. When you are happy with the basic shapes, you are ready to work bigger.

A great way to ‘sketch’ the basic shapes in on your larger canvas is to use a watercolour pencil. A blue or a yellow are nice and pale. You can block in where the shapes go, paint then take a wet cloth and wipe the pencil line away. This is a wonderfully easy way to ensure that you have a guide when you start painting.

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- 3 things only artists understand

Creativity in everyday life — 3 Things only artists understand

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

I find that ordinary (non-artists) people see the world differently. They do not perceive what is around them with their eyes or senses as much as artists. Artistic types see the world in greater detail and with eyes that notice more. Here are three differences between artists and the rest of the world.

1. The world is a visual feast. We see details others do not. For example, I was walking with my husband along this stone wall of an Inca fortress that went for at least half a kilometer with a tour group. The wall was beautifully made. Each stone was perfectly chiseled and put into place next to another stone. The wall did not seem to have any errors in it. It leaned at a 5 degree angle, we were told to prevent erosion and the weakening of the wall. Once in a while there was one stone that was a darker red color. The placement of the red stone seemed to be intentional. That was interesting. In the crevasses of the rocks, will plants grew. There were delicate ferns, tiny plants that looked like ground cover with white flowers and one plant that was blooming with a tiny red flower that looked like an orchid. As I took pictures of these, I got further behind the group. When I caught up, the guide thought that I was lagging behind because I was not fit enough. He said we would have to pick up the pace. I explained that I was taking photos and told him all that I had noticed. I asked about the orchid. He gazed at me and said no one had ever asked him and he didn’t know. He didn’t know about the red rock either. He had been a guide for 8 years.

I am a visual artist so I perceive more with my eyes. I have noticed that musicians hear more information than I do. They make connections between sounds that I have to work really hard to even notice. I have noticed the same with writers and words. We feast in the sights or sounds we notice. The non-artists are missing out….

2. Wearing bright colors makes you happy. The psychology of color says that colour influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. Colour can indeed influence a person; however, it is important to remember that these effects differ between people.Color has long been used to create feelings of coziness or spaciousness. However, how people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person.

Blue is the top choice for 35% of Americans, followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%).A preference for blue and green may be due to a preference for certain places to live.There is evidence that color preference may depend on ambient temperature. People who are cold prefer warm colors like red and yellow while people who are hot prefer cool colors like blue and green.Some research has concluded that women and men respectively prefer “warm” and “cool” colors.Some studies find that color can affect mood. for more information, check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_psychology

3. Ideas come out really looking at what is in front of you. Once, I looked at some skidoo tracks in the snow and got an idea for a painting with embossed-like textures in it. The way the snow covered up the back door of a big truck gave me an idea for an abstract. Seasons were created so that there is new information for you to look at all year round. Each seasons brings out new information that needs noticing. I visited Prince Edward Island in the spring. The red soil with that beautiful spring green led me trying out that particular color combination.

I hope this helps 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 in everyday life – Mom artists

Creativity in everyday life — Artist Moms Are the Scariest Moms

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Artist moms are generally more permissive than most moms. Making a mess is not such a big deal. Children have access to art supplies. They paint. They make things with food items. They make noodle necklaces or marshmallow people then are allowed to eat them even their fingers are dirty. They are allowed to pour red and yellow Cool Aid together so that they not only find out that red and yellow make orange but they can drink the result too.

Being an artist, I had access to all kinds of supplies that they could play with. These supplies were not allowed in their homes usually. I allowed them to glue and paint. When my children were little, my children’s friends loved coming over to our house. Their moms often viewed what I did with the children with horror. We had field trips to the creek to find plants or sticks that we glued onto paper. We hunted in the garden for gluing material too. I set up a table outside where they could paint papers to their hearts content. The whole deck was full of colors after. In the evening I just washed off the deck with the hose and all the evidence of mess was gone.

My 6 year old niece came to visit and while she was drawing, she tore her paper. I looked for scotch tape but only found my special scotch tape with the pink hearts on it. She patched up her paper and admired the hearts. While I went back to cooking, she kept drawing. She picked up the tape with the hearts again and started to patch a second tear. Then she cut off one little heart, added to a different spot on her paper. Tore off a second heart and found another spot for it. She kept doing this until most of her paper was covered some 45 minutes later. When the last heart was on her paper, she stood up and said; ‘Look what I made’! Her mom looked with horror at the empty tape container. Not a big deal for me because I had noticed what was going on and decided to let it go because she was being so good but it was to her mom. Scotch tape limited in that house apparently.

I would buy big rolls of paper and attach long strips of paper to the fence. The kids would fill the paper with hand prints, brush marks or designs of their choice. They could paint for well over an hour on these lengths of paper with my tempera paint. Then we would draw names as to who took it home at the end of the babysitting session. Paint would drip on the clothes and some moms were horrified by this. I always used water based paint so everything was washable. I also warned the moms ahead of time so If they came with ‘good’ outfits, they had been warned.

There are tips for moms that want to wander to the artistic side. Use water based paint. Use water based markers. Work outside as much as possible. Use nature as a source of materials because this gets them looking at nature. Buy inexpensive materials because they will use a lot of product. Use the discount stores for supplies or the re-use centre. Let them play with as little guidance as possible. Just make sure that they are safe when they are doing their artwork. No sharp blades or cutting instruments.

How to help children love art as much as you do.

Art is related to science. There is a lot of ‘let’s see what will happen when….’ activities. This is a safe way to experiment and practice fine motor skills too.

Now my children are grown up but when their friends come over, they talk of the fun they had doing these artistic activities. A memory was created and hopefully when they have their own children, they will allow them to have fun with art supplies

The best advice that I can give is that you should find your ‘niche’. Find a spot you excel at and become an expert. Become the ‘go-to person’ in your area. No matter, if you love art, you will drawn to it and keep going back to it whenever you can. You will be drawn to artistic endeavours over and over again until you get the hint and make it your career. This is a prediction….

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 – 20 Tips that make you a better artist

 20 tips or tricks that can make you a better artist

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Being a good artist is not just talent or luck. There are a lot of to do if you want to become a better artist. Here are just a few points to consider.

1. Choose a topic you love. You will produce good work only if you love what you do. So produce good work.

2.Work on your topic as often as you can. If you can only work on your art 15 minutes a day, do it. Set the timer and go!

3.Have a special spot where you can work on your art. Creating work is easier if you don’t have to set up and clean up every time. Find a spot you can leave your work so that when you are free, you can work on it right away.

4.Buy your supplies on sale and in bulk to save money. This way when you are working, you will not be as stressed at the cost of the art supplies. Most art supply stores have annual sales where they have supplies at a greatly reduced rate. Find out when that is at your local shop.

5.Find art friends or other artists to share your work with. Start creating a network of artists where you can help each other.

6.Attend art galleries. You can see new work and meet people who love art just like you do.

7.Set time aside to do work where you just play. This can be experimenting with new materials that you will add to your repertoire or this can be experimenting with style techniques that you may add to your own work.

8.Buy the best materials you can afford. Good materials really help. Like any other professional, good tools help you create work more easily.

9.If you are a beginner, stick to one style until you have mastered all the skills needed to create that work. If you decide this is not your style, change. But, master your skills first.

10.Studies show that 10,000 hours is needed to master a skill. Be willing to put in the hours.

11.When you are working, focus only on what you are doing. Concentrate. This will shorten the time needed to learn a skill.

12.Limit the amount of colors that you use. A limited palette will lead to more success for you.

13.Get yourself into ‘Google my business’ There are a surprisingly large amount of people that will find you and your website this way.

14. Get a website. This is your visual business card. People will look at your work here and then come to your art shows.

15.Invite as many people to your art shows as you can. Statistics say that only 10% of invitees actually come.

16. Don’t have too many shows in a year. People are more likely to come if it is an annual event as opposed to 4–5 times a year.

17.Apply to group shows. They bring in different people (ones that have never seen your work) that will end up seeing your artwork and possibly purchasing it.

18.Learn to use social media. That is the way of the times and most people use social media now for advertising and marketing.

19.Plan your art projects before you actually start creating. Plan a whole series of works. This will lead to you creating a series of works that give your audience a lot to look at.

20. Enjoy the process. Creating has to be fun for us to continue doing it.

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 – The ugly truths about being an artist

Creativity in everyday life- 7 Ugly truths about being an artist

Artist get a lot of bad publicity. Living as an artist takes a lot perseverance and drive. You need to do a lot of work by yourself. Delegating work is difficult since you are the creator and owner of the business. Here are some basic truths about being an artist. If you think that what I list below is something you can do and are willing to do, then you will have a head start as an artist. Go through each point carefully and find ways you can overcome the obstacles in your artistic practice. 

If you are a realistic painter or an abstract artist, the struggles are the same. These points are the unavoidable points that you need to master as an artist. 

1. Success is not based on skill. You can be a wonderful painter, for example, and the best portraitist in the whole country but you will not succeed if no one knows about you. You need to get out there and show your work so people know how good you are. Really good publicists in the artworld were Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Chris Cran and Picasso. 

2. Marketing is not easy. There are many ways you can market your work. Do your homework for your particular niche and find the best way to show your work. An artist that really worked their niche is Yayoi Kusama. She is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. For more information about her go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yayoi_Kusama

3. Create! You will not succeed if you do not create work. Get to that studio and build your collection of artwork. You need to do work that you can show. No work-no shows. The more prolific artists are everywhere. Picasso and Monet were well known for the quantity of work they produced. One current artist to look at is: Kara Walker. She is an American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, and film-maker who explores racegendersexuality, violence, and identityin her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. For more information, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Walker

4. Fellow artists are both your biggest promoter and your biggest competition. This is a fine balance. My fellow artists have sent people to my art shows because those buyers were interested in my style. At the same time, I have had other artists say negative things about my work in hopes that the buyers not look at my work. What can I say? Choose your friends carefully.

5. Taking the time to practice your skill without the pressure of sales is essential. You need to take time to just work at perfecting your skills. Not all works should be put up for sale. Most artists need ‘down’ time. One podcast that I listen to is ‘Savvy Painter’. https://savvypainter.club/join-savvy-painter-waitlist/. She interviews different artists from all walks of life. Regularly, the artists say that they take time to work on pieces that are not related to their current series. They continue to explore and find new ways to hone their craft. If you like podcasts, here is an article on other podcasts on art: https://www.artistsnetwork.com/artist-life/12-art-podcasts-inspiration/

6. You will need to learn social media skills. Most artists prefer being in the studio and ignore other skills. This is one skill you cannot avoid. You need to learn Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and whatever new media that applies to art. Use them. One online class that helped me was by Alun Hill. You can find out more about him and his classes at: https://www.tetmo.com/p/how-to-use-pinterest-to-make-money. He has sales regularly so wait for one of his sales. He explains social media really well.

7. Earned income is irregular. You will have months where you make a lot and other months where not a dime comes in. You need to save for those lean months. Keep account books and a balanced budget. There are hundreds of advice columns on this topic but it all boils down to keeping your costs down and not overspending. Find a local accountant that specializes in small businesses and ask him/her for help. They are often generous with their time, in my experience. 

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 – A 30 day challenge reflection

 A 30 day challenge is just that, a challenge.

I readily agreed to a 30 day challenge thinking it was going to be easy to do. We were to create small, 8 x 8 in. drawings or paintings and post them once a day. How hard could that be? I would do this first thing in the morning as a warm-up. The goal of this exercise was to experiment.

As it turned out, this is a harder exercise to do than I thought. The first few days were easy enough. I worked through ideas I had been wanting to try. I normally work in an abstract or semi-abstract manner but something happened in the last few months. What was coming out was landscape. The work was abstract-ish but definitely landscape. I surprised myself because I had not worked in a ‘realistic’ manner for years. Why was this coming out? 

Landscape was a subject matter that I had touched on and off for years but always just as one tiny element in a larger more abstract format. Every time that I went back to my ‘old’ style, I created a mess so I decided to go with the flow and work this element out of my system. Maybe I could incorporate some of these realistic elements in my abstracts. This challenge would do the trick for me. 

The goal became a blending of two loves. I would combine abstract and landscape; abstract landscape. I hate roller coasters and this seemed like one. My landscapes turning abstract. Sounded good at the time and a possibility. 

So I started. I started with graphite powder. These happened when I sprinkled the powder on the paper then hosed it down. What was left was an abstract background where I often looked for hidden imagery in the marks. Landscape seemed to come out most of the time. Now I wanted looser, bolder results. Could I do this? I added bits of collage with mixed results. Perseverance is the key, I knew. Make a lot of work and the work would evolve. I kept going. I added watercolour in some then acrylic in others. I splashed paint and I rubbed out the graphite. 

I kept telling myself that it was only paper. These bits of paper were just that, bits of paper. One of my past instructors had told us once that ‘Nothing is precious’. You can always redo the work. At the time, I did not believe him. This work was so ‘magical’ to me. Every time that an artist reaches a new level of achievement, he or she hangs on to these new ‘greater’ works for fear of not being able to do it again. The fear goes away. Your work continues to grow. Slowly, you let those first works go. You even realize that they are not that great…anymore. You have moved to a newer level. You have gotten better. 

I kept repeating my advice in my head and slowly, I made progress. I added elements that I had not done before and the result was occasionally pleasing to my eye. I made small micro elements of progress towards my goal. Days passed and the pile of paintings grew. 

The thirtieth day arrived. I stopped. Looking at the pile, I decided that I would leave the paintings alone for a few days then look at the work more objectively. I kept worrying about my progress or lack of progress. I worked on other projects and time went by. Two weeks later, I looked. Laying out all the work on a large table, I examined the end result. I saw a bit of collage here and acrylic there. This part was good and that part certainly wasn’t. I made a list of the good parts that I liked then picked out my favorite paintings. I put away the others. 

Looking at just the work that I considered successful, I made a plan of what I could do with future work. This is what I discovered:

  • I kept only about 20% of my exercises from the 30 days. 
  • I was pleasantly surprised that I had made progress towards my goal of combining the abstract and landscape themes.
  • The work took a turn that I had not expected. This is not a negative. The result pleased me. 
  • Working consistently changed me and my work. I gained confidence in my overall plan. My work surprised me. 

Convinced that a challenge is good? Here are some links for you to look at:Why You Should Do an Art Challenge
Have you guys ever done an art challenge? Will created the Draw 50 Things Challenge , it’s a design challenge where you…www.svslearn.com
Why join an art challenge?
We are currently in the middle of a 10-day art challenge in our Facebook group community called The Soulbrush Sessions…www.artiststrong.com

A challenge is a way to grow and change your work. Why not give it a 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  -3 tips to staying sane with artist block

3 tips to staying sane with artist block

Artist block. Why it happens and ideas about what to do when it happens. 3 ways to help yourself when getting artist block.

Artist block happens to everyone. Here are 3 tips to help you stay sane with artist block. The first time and to be honest, every time, I panic. Will I never get any good ideas again?

What are the signs or artist block? You sit at your easel or drawing board and you cannot find a single thing to paint or sketch. You draw or paint without thinking or worst, feeling the joy of putting different elements together.

You paint the same thing over and over again without changing anything or making it better. You sit there and cannot move. You feel a mini depression coming on because nothing is going well. Whatever you paint is coming out muddy or just plain bad.

When you get artist block, you mind needs a break. It needs time to think and reflect on what you are currently doing. Quite often you are on your way to moving your art to another level. Your mind has not yet figured out how to move to the next step.

So you need to take a break. You need to stop what you are doing and do something different for a short time. This does not mean that you need to stop making art. Here are three ideas for you to try:

1. Try a new product. When visiting the art supply store, there’s always something new that the shop is very willing to show you. If something catches your eye and it won’t break the bank, try it. Add it to your current work and see if it adds anything to your practice. It may or may not.

Quite a few times, I enjoyed trying out the new product, had a lot of fun making something with it but by the time I used up the sample, I was done with the product. I had no urge to incorporate it in my repertoire. The odd time, I did and the change or extra product made my work shine. It is worth a try.


2. Visit a gallery. We get lonely in our studio and often we miss the visual stimulation of seeing other people’s artwork. Seeing new work, work painted or sculpted in a different way or seeing new color combinations is exciting for artists. After one of these art walks, I often feel happier and excited about art.

Double your joy by bringing a friend (who likes art). When you bring a friend, I find that the discussion of the artwork adds an extra bonus dimension to the process of looking at art. Your friend will also see the artwork in a different way and get you looking at the artwork differently. This doubles your intellectual stimulation.

3. Host a critique with other artists. Chances are that you are not alone in your ‘artist block’. Invite your friends to come for an afternoon of critiquing each other’s work. You may have to provide coffee, tea and a few snacks but I can assure you that the other artists will come willingly. We all have one or two paintings that we get stuck on and welcome help.

There are a couple rules to follow in order to have a pleasant experience when hosting. One is that no one is allowed to make negative comments. You are looking for solutions to the problem and that is the goal. A second is that only two comments are allowed each per painting. You don’t want to overwhelm the artist who puts up their work for critique. For more in depth advice, check out my online class on critiquing :https://www.udemy.com/course/1848512/manage/basics


Overall, you need to break up your routine. Routine is an excellent way to create product but a change of routine will jazz up your day and add a lot of new ideas or stimulation.

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: www.dorischarest.ca

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 — Essentialism View #3

Ways to focus on your art

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Essentialism for artists based on the book by Greg McKeown. Third in a series

Focus on what is important now and create a routine to enable it — this is a third take-away that I have gotten from Greg McKeown’s book on Essentialism. One way to focus on the important is to decide first tand foremost what you want.

Do you want to finish your current project?

Do you want to join a board?

Do you want to volunteer some time a the local shelter?

Do you want to spend more time with your family?

Do you want to have more time to learn to play the flute?

Do you want to travel?

Do you want to spend more time with your aging parents?

Make the longest list you can of all the things you want to do. Fill multiple pages if you want to. There is no limit.

Pick the top three items ONLY. Under each category write down three things you need to do to achieve this goal.

Make a second list of five items to do after you finished the first three.

All the other items go in storage for later.

Prioritizing is a main proponent of Essentialism. You have now prioritized. You have three items to work on.

One of the things I like about McKeown’s book is that he says you need courage to follow your goals. This is true. First you need the courage to pick then the courage to follow your love of art. If you do not follow your own loves, others will fill your time and you will never get to your art. Making athe decision is the hardest. Your family will get needy and your friends will suddenly really need you.

You will need to be firm. You need to say that you will do art from x time to y time. Nothing will deter you. Then, after that time, they will have your time. Complaints will arise and whining will happen but it will stop. And, you will get your art time.

Routine is the key to achieving any amount of work according to this book. You create a routine, you will get work done every time. Even if the routine is only a half an hour a day, you are half an hour closer to your goal. Make a point of showing up to your work space and work will get done.

When you have a routine, your brain kicks in that it is time to work on YOUR work. And, it does. Creativity and great ideas come with a routine. Do not answer emails, facebook or even phone calls.

When I first started working in my studio space, there was no telephone line, no internet, no access by visitors to the doors to our studio. The studio space was uniquely ours. We went there and we were guaranteed to not be disturbed. I loved it. I did not have many hours in a day but I could work solely on what I wanted during that time.

Over several years, my studio space expanded to include many artists. We now have cell phones and internet. The space, to me, is still a haven for quiet. I shut my cell phone off, I deny my opportunities to surf the net and I close my door to visitors still. I have more hours in theory but I find that the greater socialization that is happening because the group has grown leaves me with the same small amount of hours.

I work as much as I can with singular purpose. I value my time by myself where I am uninterrupted. With the practice that I have with focussing on a task because I don’t have a large amount of time, I can get a lot done.

I agree with McKeown. Focusing is important and it is possible to achieve results by showing up. Overall, I have to recommend this book: Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

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:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …

Doris

Creativity in everyday life — Deciding if you are an artist

Decide then act like an artist.

Artist or not an artist? That is the question.

Deciding if you are an artist is a difficult choice. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like creating new items (paintings, sculpture, designs, printmaking, etc…)?
  • Do you create without any prompting? Without taking a class or someone else asking you to do this activity?
  • Do you sometimes daydream ideas while waiting for a friend, at the doctor’s office, while sitting there with your best friend or boyfriend who is watching hockey or some show you can’t quite relate to?
  • Do you move around the vegetables you are chopping for supper so that the colours look good together?
  • Do friends or family check with you when deciding how to put together some patterns or colours in their outfit or home?
  • Do you get told you dress in a unique style? or some other comment that is similar?
  • Do you love going to galleries or fabric stores just because you like the colours or patterns?

If you answer yes to a lot of these questions, you have the potential to be an artist. The focus word is potential. Not everyone wants to become an artist but if you do, there are still a few steps to take to get there. Talent helps but there are still ways to become an artist with only a bit of talent.

www.dorischarest.ca

My firm belief is that if you want to do something, it counts more than talent. The desire to put in the hours is essential. There is an author and psychologist that says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. The 10,000 hour rule — first proposed by a Swedish psychologist and later made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers — states that exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. Are you willing to put in those kind of hours?

For more information about Gladwell, go to:

Gladwell says that deliberate practice is essential to learning any skill. When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible. Like all popular theories, there are people that jump to find ways of disputing the theories. Check out this article :

New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule
The 10,000 Hour Rule – closely associated with pop psych writer Malcolm Gladwell – may not be much of a rule at all…www.businessinsider.com

Regardless of the criticism, practice makes perfect. There is a need to perfect your skills before you can actually say that you are an expert at a x skill. Are you willing to put in the hours?

People tend to think that artists are born and not made. This is a falsehood that continues to endure. Sure, you may have a tendency to pick up artistic skills easily on the surface but I have found that those surface skills are just that ‘surface’. It is almost like beginners luck. You have a natural skill just like some sportsy types have. Do you want to continue learning that skill? To deeply understand what you are doing, practice and development of skills is needed.

Do you really like the whole process and are you willing to put in the hours? Do you love creating? Do you love the ‘magic’ of creating something out of nothing? What is it you love the most? Are you willing to put in the hours needed? If you say yes to this, you have the makings of an artist.

Life as an artist is not easy. Keep that in mind before you say yes. Personally, I said yes before realizing that a career as an artist was harder than a career as a doctor. As a doctor, you have the benefits of being paid well and a certain amount of status. An artistic career does not guarantee this.

People will not realize the skill you need to be an artist. You need to be independent and say you love it regardless. Do I regret an artistic career? No but I wish someone had told me what I was facing. I might have prepared myself better. I still love art after years of working in it. There is a joy there that I have found rarely elsewhere. In fact, raising my children is the only other place I found this ‘joy’.

There are a few factors to keep in mind. Keep in mind that not everyone that plays piano will become Władziu Valentino Liberace or not everyone that plays a sport will become a million dollar player/earner. You may or may not become a famous/well known artist/internationally known artist in the process but you may become the local ‘go-to artist’. Is that good enough for you? You will be able to make a living but you will not be able to own your own plane on an artist income. Can you accept this?

The best advice that I can give is that you should find your ‘niche’. Find a spot you excel at and become an expert. Become the ‘go-to person’ in your area. No matter, if you love art, you will drawn to it and keep going back to it whenever you can. You will be drawn to artistic endeavours over and over again until you get the hint and make it your career. This is a prediction….

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:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …