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 – 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 – 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- 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

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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 …

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 …