This past week I have been purposefully painting subjects that I do not normally paint. I call this branching out of my comfort zone and it might seem scary at first but it is a great way to stretch yourself and your skills as an artist, and as a person too!
It is also called taking risks.
Why is it important to take risks?
Because when you keep going and exploring, you keep growing!
I have to admit it was not my idea to paint a car this week, but a friend asked if I could do a painting for him of his cute little Fiat. How could I say no!?
It felt daunting at first but I started with the basics. I did a sketch in my sketchbook, then a practice painting, before I tackled the big canvas. I did those things because that is how I learn and how I practice. It builds my confidence up to take that bigger risk of painting the car on the big canvas!
Is there something you would like to paint but you are feeling a little intimidated to try and take the risk?
Start by doing a few simple thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook., just simple shapes, not a lot of detail. Then, do a black, white and grey value painting in your sketchbook of your subject. You can use the transfer trick with the graphite paper to ease your fears of drawing. Then, try a color version. Don't like it? Do another one! That's what I do! I tried painting a box of strawberries today and started over twice. No worries, I learned from each attempt.
When you are making art, making mistakes is a part of the process.
Let yourself take risks and explore.
Keep going and keep on growing!
You can see my graphite transfer trick on my YouTube channel, Creative Arts Oasis, where I share a new Art Tutorial every week!
You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see my daily paintings and other fun things I am creating!
Life is full of choices. Each day we have countless choices to make big and small.
Is one of your choices to be creative and make art?
If there is one thing I am learning from living in a pandemic is that I need to make choices based on my hopes not my fears.
I am also learning that art and creativity is important, in my life and in the lives of others.
I struggle daily with wondering if I am good enough as an artist and a teacher. Do I have something worthwhile to share? Is art necessary?
The answer is yes, yes and yes!
And yes, art and creating is a worthwhile choice to make.
Does it relax you?
Does it bring you joy?
Does it keep you motivated?
Does it bring stress relief?
I know making art can be frustrating at times but choosing art making rather than ruminating over fears or worries gives you a healthy place to be.
Are you afraid to start making art? I love Van Gogh's quote, "If you hear a voice within you say, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." Sometimes you just have to give yourself the grace to pick up that brush and make a mark and see where it takes you.
Are you afraid to share your art? Then you do not have to share it. If your art making makes you feel good then let it, no one else needs to see it.
Do you compare your art to others on Social Media? This is a big one. I slip into this often. There are so many beautiful, brilliant creations on social media. Enjoy them. They are not you. You are not them. Remind yourself you are seeing the highly edited version of someone elses creative output. Comparison is a killer of confidence. You do not need to get sucked into that. What do you like about their art? Is there a new technique you would like to try? What if you owned a piece of their art? Keep it in perspective and turn it off for awhile if you need to.
Do you get frustrated that what you make isn't good enough? Aren't you learning? Yes. Aren't you exploring? Yes. Once again give yourself grace and set your attempt aside, try it again, or make something else. The best way to move past frustration and not feeling good enough is to keep going!
I get frustrated A LOT. I make many practice paintings that stay in my sketchbook. I make many videos that get deleted. I take many photos that get erased. How do I keep going when the voices of doubt creep in?
One technique I use to keep my confidence up is reminding myself I can paint it again. I can always try again.
Another technique I use when I start to feel down about my art and myself is I write compliments to myself.
For example: Cecelia I love the colors you are playing with in this painting. You've almost got it, you are learning so much!
Cecelia your videos are getting better each time you make one. Keep at it!
Cecelia remember that art brings you joy and it helps other people too.
Does it seem silly to write yourself a compliment? It sure helps me! Get a journal and try it! I write in my journal every evening. I write 5 things I am thankful for: a person, a place, a thing, a conversation and an event. Then I write 4 compliments. After a few days you'll notice a shift in how you think. I know I sure have!
Make the choice today to lift yourself up and live your hopes and dreams.
Happy creating my friends!
One of my personal and biggest struggles as a creative is giving up too soon on my ideas and projects.
My new mantra is, "If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit."
Maybe you can relate?
You have that spark of an idea!
You get super excited and inspired.
You start gathering information, supplies, and setting up your work space. You may even start creating or working on your idea.
Then, you get tired, frustrated, or stuck.
Things aren't working out like you had thought.
It doesn't look like what you had imagined.
It feels like work and not fun or inspiring.
You've gotten no response from sharing your new idea or work with others.
This can wear on a person, bring you down and make you want to stop and give up.
What if, instead of giving up, you stopped and just rested for awhile?
From my experience creativity, ideas and inspiration tends to blossom after I take a nap, take a walk, or do something completely unrelated, like read a book or dig in the garden.
I recently started carving my own stamps and making handprinted scarves and other things. Some days I am super inspired to sketch ideas, or carve stamps or print my designs.
I have all sorts of grand ideas and plans for my hand printed creations and my slowly evolving library of online painting classes.
But, my ideas seem to grow exponentially and my energy doesn't.
At times I want to just quit and give up and I realize I need to rest.
I also have learned I need to take my ideas one at a time.
I know what my big dreams and plans are for my art and art biz so I make mini goals for myself.
Mini goals are key to controlling the overwhelm of so many awesome ideas. And rest. Rest is the key to keeping going and not giving up.
What are your BIG, exciting ideas that you are working on?
Make a list. I love lists. I have notebooks filled with ideas lists.
What are some mini goals you can set for yourself?
I have a couple mini goals for this week:
1. Stamp a scarf, yep just 1.
2. Carve a new stamp design for a notecard.
3. .Do a practice painting for my next online class idea.
These seem doable. But, at the same time I am also giving myself permission to rest if and when I need to. And, It is ok if I do not get these done this week. Really, it is Ok.
Why is rest so important?
In my case I have chronic pain. There are times when I simply have to rest. As frustrating as this can be for me, I know that if I rest I can actually accomplish more.
Rest helps us relax and opens our minds to new ideas.
Rest forces us to walk away from what is frustrating so we can relax and come back to it with fresh eyes.
When our mind is relaxed solutions tend to come easily.
So, do not give up. Whatever you are working on, or excited about, it is still worth it. Just take a rest and come back to it tomorrow or next week. It will still be there but you will have a new perspective, and sometimes that's all you really need.
If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.
Happy Resting Friends,