Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I Learned from Seeing Artists at Work

Do you want to make more art?

What I've learned from visiting artists' studios this past weekend is that it really helps to see and hear the artist's process.

I've taken loads of classes and workshops, most of which are designed to give you a controlled art making experience. You're guided in a step by step process to success, with all the kinks ironed out.

Then you start out on your own, and WHOOOAAH! things don't run that smoothly. You may start to doubt yourself. And if you want to try something different, your self doubt can keep you in 'known' territory.

But visit some artists in their studios and you'll see just how gnarly the creative process can be. You'll see that it's messy (no, you're not the only one); it's filled with experimentation; flops; trial and error and, if you're persistant, success.

Look around a studio and you'll see beginnings of all kinds of projects. Talk with an artist in their working space and you'll hear about how many times they had to rework something to get it to turn out the way they wanted.

Yes, being an artist is about having ideas and making connections. It's about playing with materials and having fun. It's also about sticking with an idea through all of it's phases, including finding out what you tried just won't work, trying something else, learning a new technique, and voila! often many steps and missteps later, a finished show-ready piece emerges!

So go to your studio and make stuff and stick with it!

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