Feb 2, 2017
Incremental change isn’t sexy. Big changes and bold moves get all the attention and headlines. But most of the world revolves around this slow but steady persistent and forward progress of incremental change. This has been the case for artist Deborah Zlotsky. She would be the first to tell you that she’s not someone who has many “Aha moments” but that’s ok, she loves the small changes she has piled up in her life. To hear Deborah talk about her creative process and the journey she has taken to become the artist she is today is awe inspiring.
It can be so difficult to drown out all the noise of life and focus on the work at hand and the things you enjoy doing. How do you avoid becoming overwhelmed? What brings the most focus and clarity? Artist Deborah Zlotsky struggled with distraction and an unsatisfying amount of productivity. Through trial and error, Deborah found her way to focus and clarity was through compartmentalizing her work into short bursts of creativity. These bursts of creativity ended up being highly productive for Deborah and have allowed her to avoid the trap of becoming overwhelmed. What’s worked for you? Have you tried this practice of short bursts of creativity?
Many of us will go through life not noticing the impact we have on others. But especially for teachers, the little things, that moment of encouragement or one on one engagement can make all the difference. Artist Deborah Zlotsky remembers a moment she had in art school where one teacher made that big impact on her life. She had been enjoying and thriving in her art history classes yet not finding as much engagement in her studio art classes. Then one day an instructor took the time to engage with her artwork. It meant the world to Deborah, so much so that she thinks back to that moment even today. It goes to show you that we all have the ability, however, big or small to have an impact on others. It’s a lesson we can all take to heart.
You’ve heard the phrase “Art imitates life.” For artist Deborah Zlotsky, that saying rang true for her during a particular period of her life. In our conversation, Deborah tells me about a time in her life where her paintings were dark and somber in a way. This also happened to be the time in her life where she was going through a divorce. Once she came out on the other side of this stage in life, she noticed that she wanted to make paintings that were lighter. Deborah was bold and unflinching in our interview and it goes to show how much of a graceful and exciting artist she truly is.
Sometimes in order to truly understand what is going on inside us, we have to work it out. Many artists know this to be true as their paintings can be the very expression of what thoughts or emotions they have running around inside. Another practice that can help this process is writing. My guest Deborah Zlotsky has found that the discipline of writing enhances her drawing. On this episode, we sit down and discuss the impact writing has on her creative process. Have you found writing or journaling to be helpful in your creative process? Deborah was kind enough to let me in on her process and I hope her experience is an inspiration to you!