Saturday, 23 August 2008

Encouragement from Professional Artists

I read the following words just when I needed the encouragement to continue with my efforts. Today I’ve decided to share them with you - I hope they bring you the same comfort and sustenance. Enjoy!
  • “Create a supportive group for yourself.” – Christina Acosta
  • “Maintain a daily connection with your ideas and your personal mark-making. You can achieve this with just one thirty-second drawing a day.” – Jen Bradley
  • “Trust your instincts and find your own way. Learn from artists you admire personally and professionally. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you discover who you are and how to best express it.” – Cynthia Britain
  • “. It’s never too late to be what you should have always been.” – Robert Burridge
  • “If you’re painting your emotions, it’s your visual self.” – Bonnie Casey
  • Collect samples of everything you like, things that move you. Take them home and analyse what it is that moves you…look for the ‘Aha!’ Then do it your own way.” – Cheri Christensen
  • “You need a dedicated space where you paint, even it it’s a corner of the living room. When you put things away, you put your art life away. Make a space for your art.” – Connie Connally
  • “Take classes from people who are technically gifted. Get a profound grasp of the technical side.” – Brian Davis
  • “Talent is helpful, but it is the constant working that moves and artist to a new level. Also, don’t fight your true self.” – Rhonda Egan
  • “The most important thing is not to worry about selling your art. Just play. Play with all the materials. So much of what makes a painting beautiful are the accidents.” – Anne Embree
  • “I am interested in painting the sublime, that aesthetic experience of being overwhelmed and filled with awe at something so majestic that it evokes a sense of the eternal.” – Nicora Gangi
  • “Just stick with whatever looks and feels right to you. Try lots of things and see what might fit you best.” – Vince Gasparich
  • “I stress the value of simplicity. That one clear response, the message behind the painting, should sing out loud and strong. Select the essence of what you are painting and leave out all extraneous detail.” – Jean Grastorf
  • “I believe that every artist has his or her own vision of the world; our job as artists is to find and express that vision. The most important thing is to keep exploring, yourself and your materials.” – Carole Katchen
  • “Time to paint isn’t something you find, it is something you need to make.” – Linda Kemp
  • “Accepting yourself is where you find your fufillment.” – Liz Kenyon
  • “The best tool for good composition is one’s instinct. Painters must be loose and nurture confidence in themselves.” – Madeline Lemire
  • “Remember that you are not painting a picture, you are creating a painting.” – Peggy McGivern
  • “You paint your heartbeat. You have to follow what you respond to, not what you think someone else expects from you.” – Joan McKasson
  • “Paint often and joyfully.” – Helaine Mclain
  • “Don’t worry about being influenced by others, because it is natural. But you need to make it your own so you can go on.” – Carla O’Connor
  • “Keep a book of clippings of paintings you really like, such as unusual compositions and good designs.” – Camille Przewodek
  • “Try to stay out of your own way. The biggest Challenge is this.” – Barbara Rainforth
  • “Your nature should dictate how you paint. You may love a painting and a painter, but it might not be you. Everyone has a certain greatness; your greatness is your uniqueness developed. So you have to discover you uniqueness.” – Susan Sarbeck
  • “Work hard and get the basics.” – Marilyn Simandle
  • “At times, put yourself in uncomfortable situations with your artwork. Enrich your life with experiences.” – Shawn Snow
  • “You have to make yourself uneasy at times to make a painting successful.” – Leslie Toms
  • “Learn to love nature and love life. If you appreciate life and nature, your paintings with show this.” – Lian Zhen
Words of encouragement indeed!
Keep Creative and Happy,

Above painting, "Wheatfield View" © 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Lateral Thinking to Earn Cash

How many times have you sighed with despair at your bank statement because not enough money is coming in from your main creative job? How many times have you also had little wacky ideas that you have brushed aside as, “silly” or, “too distracting”?

I’m going to suggest you recall these little ideas and put them into perspective - then a little time spent on thinking of things you haven’t thought about before.

The most effective way to do this is with a kind of mind map – this can be fun and most revealing!

Start with a small circle in the centre of a piece of A4 paper. In the centre of this circle write, “Ways to Earn Cash around {my Creative Job}”. Then proceed with adding arms that hold ideas, which then split again into related ideas and so on.

It’s a brain drain first, then the details can be added on further stems.

To find an online resource to further help you with this, try Tony Buzan's site.

Brighten up your page with colours and symbols too :)
To help convince you, I already know of people who do reviews, make key rings, small prints, CD covers, teach, coach, and take photos, to supplement their professional artist’s income. I can also vouch for the unexpected joy and satisfaction that is possible by spending a bit of time away from the easel / computer/ sewing machine / craft table etc. Sometimes we get too close to our work, and this is ideal to make you take a break, but still earn some money.

Let your brain run away with you and get creative with new ideas. When you have written it down, get researching on the net for what you might need. For example, you may be surprised to know that you can make 100 fridge magnets for £39 (sterling). Selling them at £2 for example would be a profit of £160. At your exhibition, local craft shop, online shop etc. selling these could quickly earn you extra income. Another much more lucrative example would be giving demonstrations or running workshops – you can earn several hundred pounds a day! We all have skills we should make the most of besides our creative job.

Good luck and I wish you all the best with your ideas.

Above photograph and contents © 2008 Deborah Eileen Burrow