When I hear a negative voice in my head saying, “I am in over my head, they are going to find out,” this little voice reminds me I am not good enough. It seeks to devalue my self worth causing me to underestimate myself. Then I come to the conclusion that l must be mad about choosing to be an artist. I realise that l have volunteered myself for all this self-doubt. I feel like l am pretending to be an artist. If l am not careful the voice gets out of control and my self-confidence is eroded. It is hard to break the psychological patterning in which I fear… Read More »Pretending to be a painter
productivity in the artist studio
I dream of sitting in my dusty studio. I can smell the pungent scent of turpentine. I can see the photographs and sketches stuck on the wall. Devils Haircut, by Beck, plays in the background and newspapers, magazines and books litter the paint-covered floor. I have a primed blank canvas on the easel, all ready to go. I sit, staring and reflecting on what to do next. I wonder shall I draw or paint today? I wish there was nowhere else l have to be. I often only wish it was true; that I had nowhere else to be. The idea of being unbound by time feels like the ultimate emancipation.… Read More »Is time the artist’s greatest enemy?
When I enter my studio I often have times when I need to be inspired. No matter what l do l meet resistance. I walk around the room, or I sit feeling frustrated with a closed mind. My mind doesn’t feel like being creative. Fighting this situation never works. All that happens is that l waste the day. I have to get out. I need to find a place to go to for inspiration. Over time, l have learnt to embrace these moods and seek solace and inspiration elsewhere. Near my studio, I have a lovely country walk. Whatever the weather, I put my shoes on and head off. … Read More »Places to go for inspiration
I always felt I excelled as an artist when I painted, ‘Hopes and Fears’. The idea and success of ‘Hopes and Fears’ seemed to come out of nowhere. I started painting, and the result just happened. It just seemed to work without a lot of effort. I had painted one of my greatest accomplishment to date, and now I want to understand its success so I can reproduce the results. I had been overthinking about what was working within my art. I kept trying and became confused. Then I slowly began to realise that when I am not trying to reach a solution, when I’m in the shower or… Read More »7 lessons I have learnt on my way to develop a painting practice.
I have often encountered problems in the studio. It has taken me a long time to realise how to put it in perspective and move forward quickly. I might have an issue with a painting, and the next step would be unclear, and I would sit there contemplating ideas to solve it. I have learnt to realise that at a certain point, of staring at the painting, I am not going to find a resolution in that moment. I now reach a point when I know I need to move on to another piece of work. I usually have two to three different art projects or paintings running side by… Read More »5 ways sleep can improve your productivity in the artist’s studio
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
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