Jan 6, 2022
As artists, we are often unclear about what we want from our art practice. You'd think it would be obvious. However, there are subtle nuances within us we need to pay attention to for us to find clarity. Join me live from the Savvy Painter Community, as I discuss how to understand these nuances so they can guide you to a practice that is both meaningful to you and tailored to your specific tastes and lifestyle.
What DO you want out of your art practice? If you feel like you know the answer right away, I would encourage you to take a second and really think about it. Sometimes our first answer is dead on. Gut reactions can be a powerful thing. But more often than not, our best answer to a question like that is not our first, and it requires us to dig a little deeper. The first answer that pops into our head is likely just the surface of what we really want and not our core desires that take a bit of thought and intention to uncover. It's not that our surface answer is wrong necessarily, it’s that when we are willing to dig deeper we discover nuances that point us in a direction that is more aligned with who we really are. This truth sifts through who we think we should be and who we’re trying to be and allows who we’ve always been to the surface.
A common desire for artists is to display their work in a gallery. Again, the answer may seem obvious, but you have to learn to ask yourself why?WHY do I want to show my work? Why do I want ANY of the things I’m striving for in my art practice? In my life? When we learn to get curious about our desires we bypass the superficial answer and begin the path to real self-discovery. Because it’s not just about achieving a goal or fulfilling a desire, it’s about what accomplishing those things will do for us and in us. How will your life change if you get into that art show? What will selling your work do for you? Asking deep “why questions” about the things we want helps make the answers personal and brings clarity to our art practice.
Another great question to ask yourself to gain clarity in your art practice is am I trying to change how people see me by accomplishing this goal? Artists think they will finally be taken seriously if they can show their work. Or that selling a certain number of paintings somehow validates their calling. We have a really bad habit of basing our sense of self-acceptance on whether or not certain people or places in the art world accept us. We make success mean that we deserve to be an artist and rejection becomes some grand sign that we should put down the brush or pencil. When in fact, rejection means we may not have been right for that show or we simply need to hone our skills and get better. If we can learn how to generate feelings of validation, accomplishment, and self-worth on our own we won’t need the opinions of others to do it for us.