June 27, 2011

Blissfully busy!

Since I decided to change my way of thinking about spending time in my studio I have been so much more productive! I spent time on my artwork almost every day now, which feels absolutely amazing! And feeling productive and working on it on a regular basis is an inspiration in itself.

I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment. First of all I’m in the finishing stages of this piece on the Empire State Building. I can hear you thinking..... she’s never talked about doing this piece? You’re right, I did’t, for the very simple reason that I didn’t know about it myself before I created it. I had this canvas lying around after my ‘visitors brake’ and I just felt like doing this piece. I’m very excited about it and I can’t wait to finish it.

I also have four pieces in the gelling stage. I’m working on my three 5x7 pieces for the Le Nichoir Wildcard fundraiser and I have a piece about Mont Tremblant that I am working on. I seems that I am finally finding that rhythm of doing one piece a week, at least that’s what I am aiming for. I would like to start being even more productive than that though, I am certainly going to try working on a couple of experimental pieces at the same time as well. We’ll see how it goes. 

And then there’s my ‘Boroughs Project’, my first large scale project. I’ve purchased the wood panels and all but seven of them have been prepped and are ready to go. I am trying to get into a regular schedule where I go out at least twice a week to photograph some boroughs. Up until now I’ve photographed three out of the thirty four boroughs on the island so I’ve made a start. I want to try and make a start with the actual artworks this week as well. At least that’s the plan, we’ll see how it goes. For now I’m eager to get back into the studio to work on my Empire State Building piece! That’s why I will keep this blogpost short. I wish you all a creative and productive week, let’s make some art!

June 21, 2011

The way back to inspiration

As an artist you have to have inspiration. You hear a lot of artists complain about having a dry spill, losing their inspiration or their muse and I have dealt with moments like that. For me a lack of inspiration usually comes from frustrations I am dealing with in my daily life, something I have talked about in this blog last week. 

I am lucky I guess, I have a backlog of ideas waiting for me to get to them, there’s always a piece waiting to be made. But that doesn’t mean I don’t deal with a lack of inspiration at times. For me those moments feel like being stuck behind a sandblasted glass wall with my piece being on the other side. I know it’s there I just can’t get it into focus. Getting even some work done when I’m in a state like that feels like wading through a pool of jello. It is the most frustrating thing to happen to an artist, we have to create and something is keeping us from doing it. 

That’s why it’s important to recognize these moments and deal with them as they come, because they will, so we might as well deal with them as soon as possible. Now I think this is a very personal experience and I think everyone will have to find their own way of dealing with it, so my solution might not work for anyone else but me. But this is how I deal with it.

The most important thing for me is to recognize my lack of inspiration and to not fight it. There is absolutely no point to trying to fight through it, I will just get more frustrated and the work I do get done will not be of any value anyway. So I will put the piece I’m working on aside and take a little brake. Now the second most important thing is to NOT leave my studio, or at least, don’t stop being creative. Instead of trying to work through my block by struggling with the piece I’m working on, I will start a new piece, preferably something completely opposite to the piece that is causing the block. For me the way to go is usually working on some experimental collage, just leafing through magazines and putting images together is very freeing and relaxing to me and it will give my creativity a much needed boost. Going out with my camera is another way to go, it will make me feel like I’m being productive while getting some fresh air and being inspired by the world outside. And sometimes just getting my sketchbook out and drawing random stuff helps as well. 

The main thing for me seems to be to take my mind of the piece that is causing the problem but at the same time not to stop creating. Doing something that doesn’t require a lot of thought is nice as well, it helps me relax and at the same time I prove to myself that I do not have a block at all, I am after all, still creating art. 

I would love to know how you deal with your artist block.

June 13, 2011

Sabotaging your creativity...

Today, for the first time in a long while there is no pressure at all. I do not have to prepare a show or a presentation, there are no important meetings or conferences to go to. There’s just me and my artwork and it feels amazing! 

This morning I read this very inspiring blogpost by a teacher and fellow artist who wrote about time management and the way we artists always manage to undermine our own creativity by being too busy with life. I am SO guilty of that which is crazy because I don’t have any kids, I do not have a 9-5 job I have to go to, I am so fortunate that I can spent all my time on being an artist and still life manages to get in the way. Sometimes it feels like I’m being suffocated, I have all these ideas in my head, so many projects I want to work on and I feel like I will never be able to fit it all in. 

Reading Stewarts blog post made me realize I am the one to blame for not spending enough time in my studio. I am very guilty of wanting to please all the people in my life and being afraid of being thought of as selfish just because I need time to create. 

Being an artist is hard work. Creating a piece is a very exhausting and emotionally draining process and on top of that my work is usually very time consuming by nature. But that’s just a part of it. If you want to be successful as an artist you have to do promotion, organize shows, meet gallery owners connect with other artists, all of which takes time. And in the digital age there’s also time to be spent on updating your website and your blog, keeping up with Facebook and Twitter. 

Every week I keep thinking, “if I could just spend one week solely in my studio without having to meet people or deal with anything but my art, then everything will be alright” and every week I am disappointed because there’s something that gets in the way of that and that makes me frustrated and angry. Not being able to spent enough time in my studio makes me irritable and grumpy, which I take out on the people I love most. 

So I have decided to change my way of thinking because I am sabotaging my own creativity. Instead of hoping for a whole week of being undisturbed I am going to look for either a morning or afternoon. I figure I should be able to get me one of those on a regular basis, dare I say a daily basis even. This should get rid of the disappointments and make me less irritable which would be better for me, my art and my loved ones. I always had it into my head that I need an entire day in the studio to be able to create anything worthwhile but last week I spent only a couple of hours and was able to start about five experimental collage pieces. From now on I will take every hour I can get and spend it in my studio, heck maybe I’ll surprise myself :-))

June 07, 2011

Finished my Formula One project

I have finally done it! My Formula One project is finished, the piece is called ‘Montreal Grand Prix’. Quite some time has gone by since I started this project, way more time then it usually takes me to finish a piece. This was a challenging piece fore more then one reason. First of all this piece started out with more then 4000 pictures as material so there was a lot of sorting to do. Then there was the fact that the piece needed to work for an artists presentation which meant that I needed to be able to show several staged of my work process. That’s why I decided to do the piece on three separate panels. The fact that I had to be aware of the different stages as I was creating the piece and the fact that I had to leave the panels all in different stages of done-ness made the process slow going. 

It is actually perfect timing for this piece to be finished since the next Grand Prix of Montreal will be held this weekend. I am very excited to be attending again this year, I will probably be shooting a lot of photographs again. It’ll be interesting to see if i will be beating the staggering amount of 4000 photographs I took last year. Maybe I will even create a second Formula One project in the future, who knows.

Now that all my visitors have gone life can get back to normal, time to et back into the studio. Although this week will again result into little studio time. Yesterday I spent the entire day at the Yes Artist’s Conference, networking and listening to inspiring people talk about their careers and giving great advice. Wednesday I have my monthly meeting with my coach which is in downtown so I’ll be gone most of the day as well. Maybe I’ll have tome to finally check out the Belgo Building. And on Thursday the F1 circus begins, three and a half days on the track! Fun times. That leaves today to get some stuff done. First I’ll update the site and then I have to do some shopping otherwise we won’t have any dinner tonight. But after that... studio time!!!!

June 02, 2011

Choose the next Free Wallpaper

On my website you can download a free Desktop Wallpaper if you visit the web store. Right now there’s only one image available but I would like to add some more and I thought it would be fun to let my fans decide which of my pieces need to be turned into a wallpaper next. There are a couple of choices. To give your opinion cast your vote on my Facebook Page or leave a comment on this Blog. Happy voting!