The Log Book
Tales of an Artist Afloat
Being an artist feels like a constant learning experience. Every time I chat to another artist, I pick up a tip or idea. Then there are the discoveries I make myself as I play with my materials and become more mindful of why some things work whilst others don’t.⠀
My biggest lessons learned tend to be the mental ones though. Art can require quite a bit of resilience- outer and inner critics can be vocal and sometimes I feel like I’m being a fraud- who gave me permission to be an artist anyway? It feels odd that something I love so much can leave me feeling drained and sad sometimes. The biggest thing I’ve learned to help combat art-induced negativity is to remember why I paint in the first place. To hold on to the moments when I’m in the zone, hypnotized by the way the paint flows across the paper, the gorgeous granulation of jadeite and the magical colours I can mix from phthalo blue and green. I need to remember the feeling of joy as a school of fish emerge from my blues or when I add the shadows that will make a tree pop.⠀
The more process-focused I become, the less it matters if a piece went wrong- it becomes a learning experience to help me with my next painting. If I enjoyed creating a piece of work, it doesn’t matter so much if someone else doesn’t like it- and I can concentrate on the fact that something that brings me joy can make other people happy too. I don’t think I’ve silenced my inner critic forever, but making the most of the process rather than obsessing about the product is helping to take away part of her power and makes it easier to figure out when she’s right- and when she isn’t. ⠀
I’d love to hear what your biggest creative lesson learned is, whether it’s for your head or for your medium!⠀
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An Artist Afloat- Painting the world one anchorage at a time.