Creativity in everyday life- I am an artist…maybe


I am an artist….maybe

Believe that you are an artist.

I was an artist for years but I did not really own up to it. I said that I was an artist but inside I did not believe it to a big part of me. I was also a mother, wife, teacher and more. All of them were even. As time went by, I wondered why my ‘artist’ self was not growing. Much later, I realized that I treated every part of my ‘selves’ evenly. I only allotted a certain amount of time to my ‘art’ self. As I let the ‘art self’ get more space in my life, my artist in me grew and got better. My artist persona took more of my time and my art grew.

Decide to be an artist. This is what you do:

1. Make a list of all the ‘selves’. This can be mother, father, care giver, mediator, daughter, son, etc…

2. Beside each self, write the percent of your life that it is…ie. 10% daughter, 8% student, 18 % artist, etc… Everything should add up to 100%.

Which of these parts could be smaller? Can you downsize some of these parts? Can you plan meals ahead of time? Can you shop once a week instead of three? Can you get a robot vacuum that works when you are not there instead of vacuuming yourself? These are just ideas to trigger you into finding time for your art.

Another example is the time you use travelling to your job and back. Are you driving? Get a recorder to record your ideas as you drive. Use your phone. I get great ideas as I drive but if I don’t get them down, they disappear.

If you take the bus, can you sketch or doodle your ideas? This is time well used. Can you doodle as you wait for children to finish their lessons? Can you doodle as you wait for your spouse? Or wait at the doctor’s office?

3. Add your extra time to your ‘artist’ self. This is time that you can be an artist. You can use the time to draw, sculpt, work out ideas and more.

4. The carving out of time for your art is part of being an artist. You need to allow yourself the time. You need to give yourself permission to be an artist and act like an artist. Say to yourself ‘I am an artist’ and then, just act like one. Do your drawing, sculpting or whatever you do. Do it now! Make time to do it now!

Deciding if you are an artist is a major step.  Decide now. Plan time to be an artist.  Here are some ideas for you.
Crossing 8×8 in. on paper by Doris Charest

There are a lot of efficiency ideas out there. One book you can consult is ‘Eat that frog’ by Brian Tracy. What I gleaned from him is that you should do the job that you dread the most first. When that hard job is over, everything else is easy. Another person you could listen to on Youtube is @David Snyder. He discusses how you can change yourself to make things happen. You can also read this article on @Artwork Archive: https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/9-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-a-successful-artist. This article will suggest what you should give up to become an artist. You can also check out my class on Udemy.com: Basic information to get started in art -tip and techniques. 

Looking on the positive side, it boils down to adding time to your art practice. Spend time with your artwork. Believe in yourself. You are an artist.

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 – Intuition

Intuition is also the friend of creativity if you let it.  There are many ways to stimulate your creativity according to the book ‘Wired to create’ by @Scott B. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire (2015).  Known to us as a ‘gut feeling’, intuition is that unconscious nudge that pushes us into action or that nagging feeling that we should keep going without really knowing why. 

Kaufman and Gregoire say that intuition is a form of thinking and it arises from the link between conscious and subconscious. We need both. This interaction between the two helps us think, reason and create. You have the conscious mind that is more effortful and controlled and the subconscious that may be faster and more sophisticated.  Both are needed for the creative process. As we move between the two, we get flashes of insight. Studies have shown that different regions of the brain are triggered at different times in the creative process.

According to studies, Kaufman and Gregoire suggest that there are steps to creating that insight. A good mood helps as it broadens your attention.  Focus on happier thoughts.  It is important to note that like most theories, there are exceptions and some people get their best ideas in a bad mood. If you had to choose, which would you pick? I would go for the happy mood myself.   

Build up your knowledge base of a particular subject you are interested in or stimulate your brain with a new subject and you will be on your way to priming your brain for action.  However, there is one problem. In the book Outliers by@ Malcolm Gladwell 

 said that 10,000 hours are needed to master a skill. Sometimes, more than that.   Check out this article:      

https://www.aubreydaniels.com/media-center/expert-performance-apologies-dr-ericsson-it-not-10000-hours-deliberate-practice

After you have enough knowledge of your subject, there comes delaying action and playing around with ideas (which I mentioned in an earlier blog) and this is a necessary step.   You should take the time to just let the moment happen. So, in my world, that means allowing some time to just play with the ideas.  Let the ideas come and go.  Make a small painting or two using your ideas. Discard the bad ones and keep the better ones. 

The authors also say that you should also allow yourself new or unusual experiences. Explore you interests that you don’t usually have time for.  If you like diving out of airplanes, go now.  Explore interests that you haven’t spent time on yet like collecting fossils, for example. If you have always wondered how Persian carpets are made, look it up.  These activities should follow your interests.  The important part is giving yourself time to do them.The desire to learn and discover are more important than any other factors.  This drive for exploration is what provides the raw materials for the ‘insight’.

The insight happens during what is called Flow. A flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone. At this stage, a person performs an activity, is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.

Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975, the concept of flow has been adopted by many creativity experts. Kaufman and Gregoire say that what disrupts the familiar is what leads to new ideas.  A balance between the intellectual, imaginative, aesthetic and emotional realm is important for creative work.  Habit and convention are creativity killers. But, to create change that will trigger ideas, you don’t have to move to another country, just try something new.  Try new skill, a trip to art galleries, a new food, a new kind of movie, a documentary on something that you have never heard of before and so on. 

Mindfulness and flow go hand in hand.  Remember that mindfulness is focussing on what you are doing in the moment.  The roots of Mindfulness come from Buddhism. Like flow, mindfulness became popular in the 1970’s.  Artists like Leonard Cohen adopted Buddhist beliefs and started practicing the basic principles.  Steve Jobs, co-founder, chief executive and chairman of Apple Computers, is another person who adopted Buddhist beliefs and mindfulness in particular. 

In more recent times, mindfulness has been used to increase functioning abilities in executives in order to increase concentration and flexibility in every day life. Mindfulness is also linked to greater memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The goal is to be present when those good thoughts arrive and remember them.

So what can you do?  Kaufman and Gregoire present some interesting ideas that some of their research revealed.  One person in their study wrote down one item every day that caught her attention or was ‘interesting’. This was material that made her more present in her life and made her notice what was around her. She was a seeker of interesting and a collector of interesting things.

What can we do as artists to imitate this idea?

-Draw one item a day.

-First thing in the morning, look outside.  Draw the feeling.

-Take 5 minutes in your day and stop. Close your eyes. Smell.

-When you eat a new food, eat it slowly. Draw it. 

-Sit for one minute and look around you.  What do you see? What catches your eye?

Going back to the beginning, intuition, flow and mindfulness are all interlinked. Observation is the one skill that is closely linked to creativity.  According to Kaufman and Gregoire, the one skill that creatives need to disobey is acting with awareness, because it restricts mind wandering, one of the key components of creativity.  So as artists if we work on our projects, we work them one at a time.  I have a hard time doing this.  Mixed media work needs time to dry so I tend to work on 3-5 projects at a time but there is one point in the painting where I focus on just the single work.  This is near the end of the project.  I let my ideas flow just for that one work.  Your challenge is to try this and see if it works for you.  Find the right routine that will lead to better and better work.

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 – Passion, solitude and sensitivity

Passion is not enough, sensitivity is not enough and intuition is not enough

For creativity to happen, more has to happen.  You need passion, intuition, and solitude, according to the book ‘Wired to create’ by @Scott B. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire (2015).  Kaufman and Gregoire say that most creative people can recall a time in their life where they saw, heard, sensed or tasted something that made them decide that ‘this’ is what they wanted to do in their life.  They discovered their ‘passion’.  In that person’s self, the individual and the activity intertwined to become one.  The authors believe that this is what propels people towards their destinies. 

However, the next step must happen.  The individual must take steps towards that ‘passion’ and find the element in it that best suits them.  A person needs to choose, develop the skills and be willing to put in the time needed to develop the skills. At the same time, the person needs to find a way to integrate that passion in their lifestyle.

Within the passion, there are moments of inspiration.  First the person is inspired by something (a role model, an idea or an experience) then we start to see the possibilities of this change or idea. Kaufman and Gregoire say that the person is ‘awakened’ to the possibilities. The next step is important. Taking action or working towards that idea comes next. In there we must add a step; preparation or the development of skills.  This means learning the skill needed to transform the idea or develop the passion.  

If, in the development of the skills, you realize that you don’t have the muscle strength to become a wood carver, is there a way that you can take the same idea and use different materials. You need to try to develop the skills to find out.  Moving in that direction does not guarantee success with the project.  The ability to modify your idea and use different materials for example, is part of the creative process.

Kaufman and Gregoire say that inspired people are more likely to do more work hard because they are more driven.  The idea or inspiration and the work ethic need to work together.  The authors agree that not only does the person need to love the dream, they must love the process of becoming the person who can sculpt or paint. Perseverance in achieving that goal is essential.  The person needs to be able to hold onto that goal for a long time in order to achieve or realize it. 

Hope, according to Kaufman and Gregoire, is a driving factor.  A hopeful state of mind pushes the person through tough moments or stages. People approach their goals not only with hope but with strategies that lead to success. 

Solitude.  No, you do not have to be a hermit.  Kaufman and Gregoire say that a ‘room of one’s own’ is a basic need for most creative people.  Some people make their own ‘room’ by getting up early or staying up after everyone else is in bed.  Creatives need alone time but they are not necessarily lonely. The solitude gives the mind space to reflect, find meaning and connect all those different ideas floating around in their heads. 

One book that describes this very well is Quiet by @Susan Cain (https://www.quietrev.com).  Cain describes best the creative’s need for time away from the masses.  A capacity for solitude is a sign of emotional maturity and it is a skill that can be learned. 

Creatives tend to work alone and this is needed time for reflection.  The mind needs time to settle down in order to ‘reflect’ on the day or the project.  Internal reflection can also be done when the body is doing mundane tasks like washing dishes, laundry or other activities that are more or less automatic.

Sensitivity.  Kaufman and Gregoire advocate that sensitivity is a gift.  According to research, sensitive creatives have higher levels of awareness, see their world with heightened awareness and are more autonomous.  For example, they might see ‘brighter’ colors or detailed textures. 

Heightened sensitivity can be a challenge and an asset.  Kaufman and Gregoire note that it requires spending more time alone.  Creatives need to block out this sensitivity sometimes and at other times focus on it.  To the sensitive mind, there is more to observe, take in, feel and process. Sensitive people pick up on small items or changes in their environment that others miss.  Creatives also process things more deeply.  For example, they are more affected by caffeine, medication and pain than others. The result for some is also a roller coaster of emotions and they need to channel that energy into something that is meaningful for their lives. 

Do you want to know if you are a sensitive person?  Ask yourself:

You absolutely abhor violence and cruelty of any kind. … 

You‘re frequently emotionally exhausted from absorbing other people’s feelings. … 

Time pressure really rattles you. … 

You withdraw often. … 

You‘re jumpy. … 

You think deeply. … 

Sudden, loud noises startle you.  For more information you can go to:

Sensitive people detect changes in their environment faster, see detail more, are more sensitive to people’s expressions.  Kaufman and Gregoire say that experiences of extreme adversity show us our own strength.  As creatives, we are more sensitive to our environment.  We feel more deeply. Adversity affects us more. However, that also gives us more material to work with.  Being more aware, we are in a position to go beyond just what we see, touch, feel and experience.  

Buddhists believe that anything that challenges you makes you pull yourself together.  Growth after adversity. Kaufman and Gregoire quote research that says that 70% of trauma survivors report some positive psychological growth and it makes us more creative. Creative work can be a way of exploring and giving expression to that meaning according to Kaufman and Gregoire.  Creativity doesn’t require adversity.  It is just that adversity makes us more aware and being aware of our environment is part of creativity.   

We reconsider things we took for granted, for example.  We are forced to evaluate our life differently or ask questions we would not have asked before. We go beyond our limitations into another realm of thinking. In Finland this is called Sisu; the ability to face extraordinary circumstances, courage, resoluteness and an action mindset.  

Creativity can also be a coping mechanism during a traumatic time or after a traumatic time. Kaufman and Gregoire say that when we engage in creative activities we tend to become involved or absorbed into the action. And entering a flow state that gives us a sense of control, enjoyment and accomplishment. Kaufman and Gregoire also say that creativity is also a sign that growth has occurred and is an expression of healing. 

Adversity need not be a traumatic death. It can be reading a challenging book and finishing it.  If this book challenges your basic beliefs, it is considered a challenge.  Facing this challenge can lead to change. Kaufman and Gregoire tell us that the best way to get a creative boost is to take a risk and be prepared to fail. 

As an artist can you challenge yourself to do something new like:

-Go to some new galleries

-Go visit some artist studios

-Go plein air painting

-Use some new materials or colors

-Go dumster diving for new materials at the Reuse Centre

-Watch some videos by master artists

In the next blog I will talk about intuition…See you then.

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 – Daydreaming

           Another of the artist’s best practices is daydreaming. I am still learning from the book ‘Wired to create’ by @Scott B. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire (2015).  They are telling me it is OK to do things that I was told not to do as a child and an adult. Under the right circumstances, Kaufman and Gregoire say that daydreaming is a positive activity because it takes us away from our negative thoughts. Another benefit of daydreaming is that our inner thoughts are directed towards goals, aspirations and dreams.  We work out our ideas, learn to understand ourselves and work out social situations. 

For artists, daydreaming helps us sort out our ideas or process our ideas. The best ideas seem to come out of the blue, when we are doing something else or thinking of something else.  Our minds may seem idle but they are actually working out ideas.  Kaufman and Gregoire suggest taking a walk, doodling or cleaning when you are stumped or frustrated with a project.Daydreaming should be part of the artist’s toolkit, they insist. 

Kaufman and Gregoire maintain that by turning our attention to the inner world, we build a sense of meaning and hope as well as tap into our deepest levels of creativity. Research shows that dreaming about the future helps us reach our goals. 

One of the gurus of daydreaming is @Carl Jung.  He came up with a technique called creative visualization. He advocated that we should look into our subconscious to help solve problems in the conscious mind. Jung said that with practice, we could train our mind to shift between conscious and subconscious. Remembering our dreams is one way of doing this. 

Other ways to access our subconscious mind is to have a nice long, hot shower.  There, we are more or less free of distractions, we are relaxed and it insulates us from the external world.  No one can distract us. 

Another way is to take a walk, preferably in nature. Philosopher, @Immanuel Kant, advocated walks for ideas as did @Charles Darwin and @Henry David Thoreau, @William Wordsworth, @Freud, @Hemingway, @Jefferson and @Aristotle, just to name a few famous names.  

Immanuel Kant was an influential Prussian German philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time, and causation are mere sensibilities; “things-in-themselves” exist, but their nature is unknowable.

The connection between subconscious and conscious is also related to mindfulness.   Mindfulness is an awareness of our environment and where we are in the moment. Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and through other training. 

To me, mindfulness is paying attention to my painting process.  I become aware of every paint stroke that I do.  I carefully put down layers until I have what I want.  I put on low music with no words or no music at all and I focus only on my task.  

There are hundreds of articles on mindfulness. They basically say similar advice.  Learn to eliminate distractions and focus only on what you are doing.  Here are a few that could help you if you want to know more:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356

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

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

Till next time …

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Creativity in everyday life – Artist and CEO

Creativity in everyday life — Artist and Studio CEO

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

When you start in artist business, you have no one to guide you and decide what you will do every day. Some artists end up unable to get themselves going. What you need to do is to think like a boss. Be your own CEO.

First thing in the morning, put on your ‘boss’ hat and decide what your workers (you -the artist; you -the social media expert; you -the marketing agent and you -the framer) will do. Make a list and give each of your workers a job to do for the day or the week.

Often what I do is take out my journal on Monday morning and sort out what needs to be done that week. Some artists insist that this should be done on Sunday night so that you get a head start on your week but personally, Sunday is a day off for me. There are times you need to rest so that you get those good ideas when you do get working and Sunday is my day.

Being a boss means making a plan for your business. There are all kinds of advice columns that you can search out. There are even free guides on the internet but my personal favorite is to just take out my journal, open it up to two blank pages and write down absolutely everything that I think I would like to do that year (or six months, if you prefer). I write down everything that comes to my mind. I also write down what I no longer want to do. This takes a while. I write until my brain can’t any more, go make art, write some more, make art and write some more. If need be, I give myself two days. Then, I put the journal away for a week.

The next week, I open up my journal and sort out what I wrote down. Sometimes, I am surprized what I did jot down. I take all the information and make lists. There is an art production list, a social media list, a list for applying to shows, a list for marketing, a list for activities that I want to eliminate or downsize and a list for whatever topic came up.

Some years there are new topics. Last year, I decided that I wanted to create an installation. I had a separate list for that one. Then, I break down each list into what I will do first, second and last. Prioritising is important. You cannot do it all at once. For the first month, I take all the number ones and they become my list of the month. Even that is overwhelming sometimes so I break down all the #1s into smaller steps that I can take.

All the items that are first on your list are the most important to you so don’t set a time limit on them. Chances are that you will be doing these activities a little bit all year long. Just because you start them on month #1 doesn’t mean you have to finish them before month #2. I find that the important items tend to be longer commitments. For example, one of mine was to blog more regularly. This is an activity that I have to do all year long.

I also find that the last items on my list rarely get done. They are the ‘nice’ ideas or ‘should do’ ideas that you really don’t want to do or you are not ready to do. For example, two years ago, my goal to create an installation was at the bottom of my list. I didn’t work on it but I thought about it a lot. I wanted a good idea, not just a ‘get it done even if it is not good idea’, so it stayed on the back burner. By the next year, I was ready. The same thing will happen to you.

Be your own CEO and get yourself organized. Start now. You can start planning now and don’t wait for the ‘right’ moment.

Hope that helps,

Artist & CEO of Doris Charest Studio

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 – Abstract Art

Creativity in everyday life — 3 Things that you didn’t know about abstract art

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

Creating abstract work is more difficult than you think. Abstract work is emotional, intellectual and conceptual. These are elements that touch our basic, primal emotions. Here are some basic points about abstract work to think about:

1. Abstract art can be about emotions. With abstract art, you are trying to create an impact. You want people to notice your work and react to it. This means touching their feelings. In contemporary work, the goal is not always to make a pleasing painting; it is about creating a reaction. This reaction can be positive or negative. If someone reacts and says ‘That makes me feel frustrated’ or ‘That makes me feel happy’ or ‘That makes me feel like…’, you have achieved your goal. You want people to react and comment. You want them to feel the emotion that you put into that painting.

You can create that painting by expressing your inner feelings or you can totally plan that feeling. When you make certain kinds of marks on a canvas like bold black calligraphic strokes, that provokes a kind of feeling that is different from marks made with soft pastel colours. Think about what you want to express. Do you want a relaxing feeling or an edgy one?

2. Abstract art can be about color and how colours react when near each other. There are artists that have spent their lives working on this theme. If you look at the work of Jack Bush and …., you will see that their work is about color. When one sits next to another color, a certain vibration is created. Try it. Put yellow next to purple then put yellow next to orange. You get a whole different feeling with each of these.

The impressionists were the first to experiment with color. Monet, placed dabs of color next to each other on his painting and expected the eye to do the blending. If you look at his water and garden series, you will see how he did this. Rather than put down a green, he would put down a yellow and a blue next to each other. The eye would read it as a green. Since his works a large and meant to be seen from far, this works really well.

3. Abstract art can be about the materials. Some artists like texture. Some artists like the way paint drips, blends and semi-covers other paint. The whole experience is about what the materials will do. Elements of composition are important too but what happens when thick paint goes over thin or vice versa is what is really interesting to some artists.

One artist to look at is Willem de Kooning. He was a Dutch abstract expressionist artist. He was born in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. He moved to the United States in 1926, and became an American citizen in 1962. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_de_Kooning He loved the paint and the way he could layer different colours, cause it to drip and layer some more.

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 …

Creativitiy in everyday life — Resistance or psychological blocks

Sometimes, people resist commitment. Are you resisting? Even in minor ways like waiting to the last minute or making your goals smaller and smaller. Reasons vary. Did you make your goals too ambitious? If lack of time is a factor, break down the project into segments.

Sometimes, the odds of achieving the goals seem overwhelming. There is a way to trick yourself into actually doing something for yourself and your goals. Here is what you do:

1. Make a list of what you want to change or creative element that you want to add to your life.

2. Break down each goal into small parts. The parts should be small enough that you can do each step in 5–10 minutes.

3. Pick only one goal (of the list you made). Rewrite the goal and the list of steps on a separate sheet of paper. Use bullet points.

4. What is the first step in the goal? Can you do this today?

Here is an example of one of my own goals from long ago.

Goal: To make myself a space in the house where I could paint in watercolours. Just to put the moment in context, we had just moved to a new city and the house was full of boxes that needed to be unpacked. I had two small children (a needy 3 year old and a six year old that was bored because there were no friends to be had).

I worked on the house every day but I really wanted my own space in this new house. I also wanted time to paint again. I had just started again before we moved. Moving had put everything on hold. I had a doctor to find for the kids. A school to find for my eldest. A play group for my youngest. The box with their clothes got lost in the move so clothes to buy. No food in the fridge and dirty floors from the movers bringing the boxes because it had rained the day we arrived. It just doesn’t rain, it pours….

I arranged the children’s rooms first so they would have a place to sleep and play. I arranged the living room furniture and kitchen furniture. Where could I set up a space for me? For the first time, we had a family room and a living room. This was a bigger house than we had before. We only had enough furniture for the family room. This left the living room empty and free.

My eldest kept doing gymnastics in the big space that looked like a gym so I decided that we didn’t need living room furniture yet. I set up a small table in the far corner of the living room and separated it with a standing screen that hid (more or less) the table from view. At least the children did not pay attention to it since they could not see the table with interesting things on it.

My first step was to set up the table for my painting. Period. That’s all. I unpacked boxes again. The next day I found my box of supplies. I did not open it –just placed it next to the table. I unpacked boxes again and looked up doctors. After about 15 calls, I found one that would take patients. The next day, I found my references (this is in the days of printed photo references) and placed them in the spot. I unpacked again.

I am sure that you get the picture now. Now the rest is up to you….. Ready, set, go!

Remember to break it down into small steps….

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website:www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at :https://www.udemy.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 — 4 Things great artists do differently

I came across some points that are bound to help any artist. If you are just starting out or have been working at art a while, these are great points to ponder.

  1. Focus on a special subject. Choose something that you can do for a long time. This doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything else. It means that you show your specialty but once in while, you work on a second subject. That topic is your ‘relaxing’ moment. You may or may not show later when you are more adept at it or have enough for a series. Again, the choice is yours. You can have it as a fun moment or a series that you are working towards in the future.

One artist I know solved her dual interests by showing her flowers in one city and her figures in a different city far from the first city. Overall, you do need to become an expert in one area. Make your speciality stronger by saying no to anything not in your line. An artist that did this well is Robert Bateman. He worked on animals with a mostly abstract background most of his career.

2. Step away when you are stumped, the answer will come. Go for a walk. All artists get blocked once in a while. Each artist needs to develop their own rituals that will help them break out of their slump. Many artists, including Claude Monet, Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Bateman choose nature as their way to relax when they are stumped. They spent and spend long periods of time outdoors. Other artists go dancing, go swimming or go to concerts. Find the element that helps you and go for it!

3. Be consistent in one element related to your topic or style. Let’s say that you work with the same three colors all the time but after a while, you are totally done with those colors. Don’t drop all three colors. Drop one and add ONE different one. Your audience will notice the change but the colors will still be typically yours. If you still want to change it up, get your audience used to your one new color then and only then change a second color. An artist that has done this well is Kandinsky. Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognized purely abstract works. For more information about him, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky

Adapt your subject when you tire of it. If you painted trees for years but now you need a change, look at something related to trees. Maybe you will do only foliage or the trunk of the tree with what is at its base as the seasons change. Make a gradual change towards something different. An artist that did this well is Mondrian. Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, after 1906 Piet Mondrian, was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He painted his abstractions with a few colours at first then gradually changed colours and linear elements.

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 living room

Creative moments in the living room

Adding creative touches in your life need not take a lot of time or money.  Sometimes it is more about using what you have and rearranging all those pieces.  Take a look at your living room.  How can you alter it to suit your ‘artistic or creative’ needs?  Do you need to add cushions? Can you add a rug with the perfect match to your furniture?  What can you add?  The boldest item to add is your own work.  Put your work on the feature wall.

 If you only have small pieces, make an arrangement of your pieces.  If you only have pieces on paper and no money to pay for framing, get a big piece of metal (very cheap at a scrap metal warehouse) and put your pieces on it with magnets.  If you cannot figure out how to put up a sheet of metal, find a framed dry erase board and add your work with double sided tape. 

If you are still unsure, make a sketch of your living room. Draw in several options.  Look at magazines but remember that you do not necessarily want to have the latest fashion, you want it to feature ‘you’.  That is why I suggested putting your work in the living room. 

People will notice and slowly but surely, they will realize you are serious about being an artist.  My own family took longer than our friends.  Interest started and friends started coming to my art shows. My own family came for the food (especially the children) but with time, I realized that they (children and husband) began to have an opinion about what artwork they liked or not.  It did make my heart good when my daughter said, ‘Yours is better, mom’. In a later blog, I will write about bringing children to your art openings. In the meantime, have you set up your place to do artwork? Have you gotten the materials you need to start?  You don’t need to have absolutely everything, just enough so you can start the project.

 

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.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 Resistance or psychological blocks

Resistance or psychological blocks

Sometimes, people resist commitment.  Are you resisting?  Even in minor ways like waiting to the last minute or making your goals smaller and smaller. Reasons vary.  Did you make your goals too ambitious?  If lack of time is a factor, break down the project into segments. 

Sometimes, the odds of achieving the goals seem overwhelming.  There is a way to trick yourself into actually doing something for yourself and your goals.  Here is what you do:

  1. Make a list of what you want to change or creative element that you want to add to your life.
  2. Break down each goal into small parts. The parts should be small enough that you can do each step in 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pick only one goal (of the list you made). Rewrite the goal and the list of steps on a separate sheet of paper. Use bullet points.
  4. What is the first step in the goal? Can you do this today?

An example of one of my own goals from long ago. 

Goal: To make myself a space in the house where I could paint in watercolours.  Just to put the moment in context, we had just moved to a new city and the house was full of boxes that needed to be unpacked.  I had two small children (a needy 3 year old and a six year old that was bored because there were no friends to be had).  I worked on the house every day but I really wanted my own space in this new house.  I also wanted time to paint again.  I had just started again before we moved.  Moving had put everything on hold.  I had a doctor to find for the kids.  A school to find for my eldest. A play group for my youngest. The box with their clothes got lost in the move so clothes to buy.  No food in the fridge and dirty floors from the movers bringing the boxes because it had rained the day we arrived.  It just doesn’t rain, it pours….

I arranged the children’s rooms first so they would have a place to sleep and play.  I arranged the living room furniture and kitchen furniture.  Where could I set up a space for me?  For the first time, we had a family room and a living room.  This was a bigger house than we had before.  We only had enough furniture for the family room.  This left the living room empty and free.  My eldest kept doing gymnastics in the big space that looked like a gym so I decided that we didn’t need living room furniture yet.  I set up a small table in the far corner of the living room and separated it with a standing screen that hid (more or less) the table from view.  At least the children did not pay attention to it since they could not see the table with interesting things on it. 

My first step was to set up the table for my painting. Period.  That’s all.  I unpacked boxes again.  The next day I found my box of supplies.  I did not open it –just placed it next to the table.  I unpacked boxes again and looked up doctors.  After about 15 calls, I found one that would take patients.  The next day, I found my references (this is in the days of printed photo references) and placed them in the spot. I unpacked again.

I am sure that you get the picture now.  Now the rest is up to you…..  Ready, set, go!

Remember to break it down into small steps….

Start today towards your goal to be an artist.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at : https://www.udemy.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 …