Resources

Redefining my studio time

I am always looking for ways to improve my output, whether I want to be creative or when I need to complete business tasks.  I recently read ‘Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule‘ an essay by Paul Graham. Paul Graham is a blogger, computer programmer and entrepreneur.  He is known for Lisp, his former startup Viaweb (later renamed, Yahoo! Store), co-founding the influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator.  Let me explain how Paul Graham’s essay helped me refine my time to help me be more productive, especially in the studio.   Paul Graham’s Maker’s schedule relates to computer programming. His maker’s schedule is generally about scheduling creative time, an uninterpreted period of about… Read More »Redefining my studio time

Obstacles I have overcome – being a perfectionist

One of the lessons and obstacles I have learnt to deal with is being a perfectionist. Over the years I have visited many galleries and museums and enjoyed looking at other artists work. I use to look at other artists work and compare my work to theirs. But l now realise that looking at other artists work and comparing mine to theirs is counterproductive. Instead of being helpful the visits made me focus on my insecurities as an artist. I would ask myself; Am l talented? Is my work good enough? And, what if no-one likes my work? I was creating an impossible mindset to overcome. These thoughts were very… Read More »Obstacles I have overcome – being a perfectionist

Understanding the qualities of colour

It is amusing to me to remember how naive I was when I finished art school. I expected to be a finished article, ready to be able to take on the world. However, I slowly realised I had a lot to learn to be a successful artist. All I really had in place at this point were a couple of foundations. I had learned to resolve problems through experimenting and by researching.   I can remember trying to make a particular grass coloured green that would work well with other colours on a painting. It was very frustrating working on a painting and being pleased with the results and then completely… Read More »Understanding the qualities of colour

A strategy for getting started in the studio

If you talk to people who procrastinate when in the studio they will often say… ‘First l have to travel to the studio. Then l change my clothes, so l don’t get paint on them. Next l usually choose some music to listen to and make a cup of tea. Somehow, l need to unwind and turn my mind off from all the stuff that’s been happening in the week and focus on being creative. It’s hard getting started.’ However, if you talk to an artist who doesn’t have this problem, they might say, ‘you just pop into the studio and start drawing.’ If you then ask them about the… Read More »A strategy for getting started in the studio

5 challenges to making good art

There are many challenges to making good art.   I would like to share some of the problems l have overcome along the way.     When l was starting out as an artist l hoped that a fantastic idea would hit me like a lightning bolt!  I thought to be a successful artist all l needed was one great idea.  I now realise that for me, ideas work better when they come while l’m working rather than having an idea before l start.  Pablo Picasso said, “inspiration does exist, but it has to find you working.”   You need to trust that inspiration and creativity will be there when you get deep and into the flow… Read More »5 challenges to making good art

Live, paint, repeat

When starting as an artist rather than waiting for a big idea, I took my camera to the city. I took pictures of everything and anything that interested me. I just pressed and released the shutter. When l reviewed my photos, l realised that l was naturally discovering interesting material. My ideas came from living, painting and repeating. When returning to the city with my camera, l followed my natural curiosity and my ideas deepened and expanded. At times it was hard to choose which way to take my work. It was essential to review and understand what l had. I took many directions but kept returning to taking photos… Read More »Live, paint, repeat

Making better work than I did yesterday

  My idea of success is linked to what l have rather than what l haven’t.  It is common to hear of success being tied to financial wealth.  That isn’t success for me; profit does not drive my artwork.  I have the opportunity to discover who l am, to find my own voice, to find my true self through my art.  My goal is to make better work today than l did yesterday, it is as simple as that.   I finished university in 2006 and when l look at my early paintings l can see l have taken small progressive steps each year.  Now over ten years later l know l have made significant… Read More »Making better work than I did yesterday

Finding time for your priorities

I recently watched a video on TED titled, ‘How to gain control of your free time’ by Laura Vanderkam.   Laura spoke about how we are always so busy, but if we come home and needed to resolve a situation like a broken boiler, we know we must prioritise it, and we always manage to find the time.   In Laura’s story, it took 7 hours to deal with the emergency, to clean up the mess and get a plumber to come and fix it. It is surprising to think that is possible to find 7 hours to deal something like this in a very busy daily schedule.   As… Read More »Finding time for your priorities

Drawing, The creative act

Allowing freedom in the studio for creative exploration is essential. When I work on a plain sheet of paper or in my sketchbook, I seek to have an openness in my drawings that allows and embraces a large number of directions and options that can be pursued. A chain of evolution takes place in my pictures over an extended period of time and patience is essential. Working on and towards a finished piece too early can make the outcome contrived and often can leave me frustrated. This explorative phase is more like a problem-creation stage than a problem-solving stage. I am looking to generate new ideas to stimulate my visual… Read More »Drawing, The creative act

The secrets of art and creativity

Art is about using your creativity to make new connections to things around you.  The intention is to reconsider what you previously thought to give you a better understanding of what life is really about.     Creativity in art is really about playing and experimenting. Taking two random things and letting things happen.  Being overly self-critical or self-conscious can prohibit a breakthrough.  You’re not trying to re-invent the wheel; you need to encounter discomfort and ignore any fears and tell yourself, this is for me and try not to worry what other people think.     You could connect something banal like house bricks, reflecting coldness and the mundane, as a wake-up call to… Read More »The secrets of art and creativity