Sunday, November 23, 2014

Interview on The Elusive Muse

Here is an interview with me, published on The Elusive Muse recently.  Check out some of the other artists interviewed too - they represent a broad spectrum of work.

I am going to copy the last question and answer here.  It seems to have resonated with a few who commented, so you might want to skip the interview and see if this little pep talk is of any interest:

8. Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
Yes. Make a lot of art. Make really a lot, and give art making a higher priority, by a long shot, than even taking classes or reading books about art making. It is important to get instruction and to learn techniques, but it takes time, and LOTS of art making, to absorb whatever you learn and make it your own. In the same way, it is important to look at other art, get inspiration from other artists, but it is only in the making of art that you gain from the inspiration.

I think really good and authentic art comes from being on your edge, pushing yourself just a bit beyond what feels comfortable, from NOT-knowing. If you feel out on a limb, sometimes frustrated, not sure what to do next, then you are probably doing it RIGHT. Often I find that aspiring artists have the idea that they SHOULD know what they are doing, plan out each piece of art knowing exactly where they are going, and feel competent the whole way. I say, change your expectations: let yourself get uncomfortable and out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, and practice that state of uncertainty.

Do not worry about developing your own “style”. Just make art, and your voice will emerge. If you try to force it, you will only limit yourself. Just my two cents.

There.  Enough of my ranting. Tomorrow I will post the winner for the Extreme Composition online workshop giveaway.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks, Jane. Very helpful. You are generous with offering inspiration and insights.

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  2. I love and appreciate your two cents, Jane!

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  3. You must've read my mind!...Your two cents just happens to be the same as mine.

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  4. I love this painting you're working on in this photo, Jane!

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  5. I have heard this from other successful artists and I know in my heart it is true. When I am limited for "art" time, I typically go to what is safe because I want to be productive and not waste my "precious" time. I am about to retire and am longing for the day when I can just relax and give myself the luxury of more time and more mining for what is inside my heart. Thanks for reminding me!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this interview and this is the part that definitely resonated with me the most, too! Wonderful advice, I truly take it to heart.

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  7. I've read this good advice from other artists, though maybe not so clearly, and it is such strong, positive advice. But so hard to actually achieve. I guess that's what makes it valuable....if it was easy, anyone would do it. My goal for 2015 is to make LOTS of art and really work (and play) at my art more (starting with your 100 drawings class!). I love your willingness to share and encourage. Thanks so much.

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  8. That is terrific advice. I have little time during the school year to make my "own" art so I feel each piece should be "finished". As the new year approaches my resolution will be to follow Janes advice. Just indulge in art making.Thanks!

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  9. Thanks, Jane! Just what I needed to 'hear' (read) today! With a sense of relief I decided to stay home today rather than attend an art class that, through my own doing, began to feel full of pressure and self-consciousness. I saw myself spending way too much time on a piece and misinterpreting every piece of advice I was given. Yikes! I am now happily looking forward to starting another 'at home' series that will be just about playing and seeing what happens.

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  10. I just finished collaging some make-believe feathers yesterday and that may be a new series! Finally I am at a stage in my life where I have the time to get "serious" about art. Friends and bystanders think I am obsessed, always making more art. Yes, indeed, I am. It is my joy. Or perhaps it is just that art is my form of spiritual practice. I show up regularly at my art desk and turn on the flow. I challenged myself to collage 19 vintage-themed table-topper chalices for a church centennial fundraiser. That wore me out but I learned a lot about collage on curved surfaces. Yes, I play. Yes, I sometimes repeat myself. But during yoga class or out walking, the new ideas pop up. Sometimes I collage in my dreams or during the hazy state right before sleep. Another friend said that's how she gets to sleep too! So I'm not crazy... Any day I can't make art is less than perfect. Sometimes life interferes with art, but the flow always returns if I trust the process.

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