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 …

Creativity in everyday life – 20 Tips that make you a better artist

 20 tips or tricks that can make you a better artist

Go to the profile of Doris Charest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

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

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

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

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

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

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

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

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

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — Take time off

Doris Charest

Taking time off is as important as working. That is what all the literature research says. I did not believe this in my early days. I kept working when I had two minutes here and five minutes there. I ended up getting work done this way, but I could not find the main goal in my minutes. I could make work; in this case, paintings. They were good and they sold but I felt like I was missing something. I could never find time to make the one year or five year plan. I wanted to have a main purpose to this creating that I loved to do. The purpose or main goal to my work did not exist. I did not have the time for it.

One day, the kids were at the pool with friends, my husband was away and there I was, sitting with nothing to do. The laundry was done. Supper was in the crock pot. There was no precedent for this in my life and I did not know what to do with myself. I could have rushed to my painting table but for some reason, I did not. I sat there. I started thinking about my artwork and what I loved about it. What I did not love about it. What did I want to do with it? I had a gallery that liked it. I was selling. My friends loved it. My husband put up with it. I had a lot of good elements going. But and this was a big BUT, I was not happy. Creating the product gave me joy but I wanted more. I wanted a longterm purpose.

So, sitting there, I picked up a piece of paper and a pencil. I wrote down what I thought would be the best longterm goals. I came up with creating awareness about art and creating the best product that nobody could resist. Then I stopped. This sounded like something I was doing for others. What did art do for me? Why did I like it?

I loved creating something out of a blank piece of paper, a pencil and a bit of paint. It was a bit like magic. I found it hard to believe that this magic came out of me. The creating also made me feel good. I did want that. What could I keep doing that would make me happy and provide something more to society. What did I want to provide? I was stumped here. I sat there and thought.

My list grew but I kept rejecting everything almost as I wrote it down. I did learn that brainstorming meant writing down absolutely everything that came to my head so I kept writing down. I was still writing down items when my kids came home. I had to stop. I knew that I was not done so I grabbed another piece of paper and tucked it in with my ideas. I had to keep writing.

Several days later, I was still writing down ideas in my minutes that I had to myself. I even volunteered to babysit some kids I found badly behaved in my babysitting coop because I wanted more time off. Their mom agreed to trade with me eagerly because no one liked babysitting her kids. They turned out to be well behaved because when they first came into the house, I told them the house rules.

I had learned this trick to babysitting from my mom when she had come to visit once and I had some of the kid’s friends over. They started not listening when they realized that the two adults were busy having a chat.

She stopped all the playing, sat them on the sofa and sternly told them the house rules in THIS house, right now and forever. The consequences of bad behaviour were included. I adopted this technique in my repertoire and it has worked ever since.

The time came for my children to go to her house. I took out my list and scanned it. None of the ideas of why I was doing art spoke to me. I did not know what to do. Did I need to stop doing art? My gut said no. Persevere! I started adding to my list. By the time the kids came home, I had decided.

In my art career, I had done portraits, still life, animals, landscape and designed logos. I liked it all up to a point. I could do portraits if I put my mind to it but I did not love it. The same was true of still life. I liked the arrangement of shapes to create a pleasing effect but again, up to a point. What I did really like was landscape.

There were all sorts of reasons not to pick landscape. Landscape was ‘out’ in the contemporary art world. Issues like abuse, poverty or politics were in. Again, I did not love ‘issues’. They just made me sad that the world was out of sorts. I loved texture, colour and light. I could find all of that in landscape. Landscape had enough variety to keep me interested. I could do different themes; trees, water, skies or even erosion.

Those were all the good reasons to say yes to landscape. What I needed to do now is decide how I wanted to treat the theme but that would have to wait for another long thinking moment in time. I felt happy. I had decided my purpose.

The kids came home and life started again. I wonder now what would have happened if I had not had that period of time to think about my work. Would I have gone on creating without a goal? This period of time changed my art life.

To come back to the beginning, take the time to think about your work. What do you really like doing. You have a limited amount of time, if you are a working parent and you need to use it wisely. I found out later that this moment of ‘aha’ is called flow. Wikepedia says:

Flow — the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task — is a strong contributor to creativity. When in flow, the creator and the universe become one, outside distractions recede from consciousness and one’s mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the king of flow. He wrote several books on the topic and I strongly recommend them. Flow is what happens when you create and when you get those wonderful ideas. Look at these videos:

These videos will help you learn how to enhance your creative side and be even more productive.

They helped me a lot. I hope it helps you too.

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

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

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

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

Till next time …

Blogging blues – Blogging is hard but I have one idea -a school mural.

I have the blogging blues.  I am stuck!  Everywhere, absolutely everywhere I read, the literature says that I should blog regularly.  I am not a regular blogger simply because I have trouble finding topics to write about.  I would love suggestions if you read this. 

I went to a lecture/talk by Michelle Blanc who gave us some wonderful tips on social media updates that we should initiate.  http://www.michelleblanc.com   Mainly, she emphasized finding your niche and writing about that.  I am not sure I have a niche.  I love mixed media and know a lot of information about this but is that my niche?  

She also said that we should talk about our environment; what we see or do.  My latest is finishing a mural with a friend of mine, Karen Blanchet, https://karenblanchet.ca, at the Ecole Pere Lacombe School.  Thanks to Josee Lemire, the principal,  for the opportunity: https://pl.centrenord.ab.ca/ecole  We loved working with the children and helping them paint the mural.  Putting it together was a challenge.  Each of the little squares were painted by the students then we had to put them all together.  The steps actually went like this:

Pre work: We meet with the Principal and discuss the theme and the location of the mural.  Several meetings later, we set a budget that goes in for approval.  Once approved, we decide dates that will work for the school and for us.  There will be a time to prep the mural, a time to work with the students and teachers and a time to put together the mural.

1.We get the two pieces of plywood and put them on a frame.

2. We add some mural fabric on top of the mural without adhering it.

3. We draw out the mural – the school logo in this case.

4. We paint an undercoat of colour for the mural.

5. We cut the mural into 5 x 5 inch squares. This was long because we had to label each square. 

6. The students paint the pieces based on a theme decided on by the school. This takes a week.

7. We put all the pieces back together again!  This was a very interesting puzzle.  There are always glitches.  Keep that in mind. 

8. We gel the pieces on then gel the surface several times.

9. We varnish the mural 3 x. 

10. We seal the edges with silicone. 

11. We call the school for pick-up.

12.  The school sets up the mural and we attend the opening. 

My biggest blog blues issue is that I am not sure what people want to know.  I know a lot of technical information related to art, but is that what people want to know?  Do you want to know about the ins and outs of being an artist or ??????

Here is a new work of mine.  This is what I like to talk the most about- the work. Is that enough?

 

Travel can influence in many ways

I am repeatedly surprised at what I retain after a trip.  I tend to sample the new foods and talk about them repeatedly to my friends.  After a trip to Mexico, I came back with pure chocolate from Oaxaca and made hot chocolate for my friends and family when I got back.  We were in the middle of winter and it was perfect then.  

My long term memories have left with impressions of what I saw and then I go to the easel and paint away.  For the last few years, I have painted scenes of the weather.  I am far from being a traditional painter but my trips lead the way to landscapes.  These are not your run-of-the-mill landscapes but impressions of my experience there.  

The skies have been a big influence as has the weather.  My journey to the Himalayas in August is doing the same thing to me.  I am painting skies again.  This is as much a surprise to me as the next person.  I have a tendency to abstract and rarely paint landscapes (usually).  I will have to figure this one out……Maybe, you can help?

Below: Storm….


Rain I 9 x 12 sm IMG_2665

Trying something new

I found this painting in my basement and decided to try something new in marketing with it.  I put it up for auction at : http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/397108

This painting is called ‘Mother Hen’ and it is part of my old style.  This is one of my first oil paintings from my ‘Rural memories’ series.  Let me know if I have changed…..Yes..I have!!

I refuse to tell how many years ago this was…..

Mother hen

Making videos about your art

Message 12 x 16 sm IMG_2299 My solo show is now over so I was wondering what I could write about that would interest people and was somewhat new so that it would be interesting.  I decided that I would write about making my videos for the courses I offer on my site.

Making a video about your artwork is a bit like this image. You get an idea first.  The idea seems great so you think ‘why not?’.  This is what I did.  I recorded the information that I wanted with a video recorder I had at home.  Then, I could not get the video to download to my computer. Hours and hours later, I consulted an expert. They told me that my video recorder was too old!  I had to start again.

Once started, I found that I had to also learn editing.  More hours of learning later, some of it figuring out which program was best and then how to use it… Groan!  There is so much to learn!….Next was uploading the video in a format that others could see it.  Finally, it was done and I had a video.  What next?  Whom do I want to show it to?  You will find this in the next post……. a little mystery to keep you coming.