I have been doing a little bit of artistic soul searching and along with it, I have been exploring the world of podcasts! I came across Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Podcast and as of right now the episode of note for me was about knowing what ideas are worth pursuing. If you haven’t already had a chance to check out Alyson’s blog or podcast, I highly recommend it!
In the episode I am talking about Alyson talks with Cynthia Morris about why having too many ideas is detrimental to your success as an artist. This rang a lot of truth for me, and I think it motivated me to come closer to nailing down exactly what it is that I am trying to accomplish THIS YEAR in my art.
The points from the episode that stuck with me:
Having too many ideas that go no where and not enough output makes you lose focus, direction, time, and ultimately, self respect.
When you are addicted to the feeling you get when ‘Anything is Possible` you stray from the nitty gritty that goes into turning ideas and possibilities into finished products. In order to avoid this, you need to cultivate only those ideas that keep that sense of possibility alive in you.
All ideas need a place to live; even the slush that you won’t be validating right away. Create an idea bucket.
The way to avoid constantly going back to zero, constantly asking yourself ‘what am I doing’, constantly having to make decisions – is goal setting (normally I hate goal setting rhethoric, but the way these two ladies put it made it seem more attainable.. more like setting a direction and less like the one track minded vapid self cheerleading GO ME GO mindframe that comes from most self-help drivel!
After figuring out what it is you are trying to accomplish overall in your work, narrow it down to what you are trying to accomplish this year, or this month: use these statements to validate your ideas (if it doesn’t help you get toward your yearly or overall goal, put it in the bucket and come back to it later).
With all this in mind I did a little brainstorming to figure out what it is that I want to be working on this year:
-Developing my style
-Finding which mediums best work for me and my style
-Building a body of work
-Creating series of work
-Building up my own references (this is a big one, I must stop sketching and painting from pictures I find on the internet… I always ask permission from the photographer, but it isn’t doing me any good to keep pulling from outside my own environment if I truly want to connect to my subject matter)
-Working up to large scale works of art (I find it much easier to do a smaller piece, and I would like to eventually branch out and stay committed to a subject enough to fill a canvas that is bigger than 8 x 10.)
-Cultivate a list of heroes: I would like to learn more about art history so that I can start to find those artists who I admire, and to know them is to know myself because I have an actual reason for liking their work besides the fact that they are famously known.
As such, I have divided my ideas into two categories:
Studies and Compositions.
What started out as a study in oil pastels, actually helped me determine that I would like to explore the oil pastel medium in greater detail! So I am glad to already be making a wee bit o progress. See below for a study, that I think carries over nicely into my compositional category.
As a concluding note: I am acknowledging formally that I am in fact addicted to Possibility. I have a problem, and I intend to seek help. 🙂