Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Ship Has Set Sail...

...meaning I'm fresh out of art school (fresh meaning...I've been out for a year trying to gather my bearings). It's difficult, that first year out of art school. You are tossed into an unrelenting sea with other lost and confused artists wanting to make a mark in the world. They always say the first year is the most difficult, yet I've been incredibly lucky. I landed a job with the Church Health Center in Memphis, TN as their digital design assistant. Not exactly what I imagined myself doing after spending four years running away from graphic design, but it provided me with plenty of opportunities. My illustrations have been published in two of their magazines, the Church Health Reader, and I've tentatively tried my hand at graphic design. Turns out I really love it.

One of the most common traps artists fall into is the full-time job/no-time artist net. You work nine to five, five days a week. When you get home, you just want to collapse into bed and watch Netflix while snuggling your kitty. Unfinished projects stay unfinished. The unpublished book stays unpublished. How can this vicious cycle be ended? That is a rhetorical question, because I do not know. I do know that it's all about mind-over-matter. Besides that, I'm still trying to figure it out.

I read this book a while ago, called Art and Fear. It talked about our own personal fears being our most challenging obstacles when pursuing art. Fear of rejection, of ridicule, of our vulnerability is what prevents us from putting our work "out there."  So we've discovered the source. Great. But how do we move forward? That's the tough part. I can only tell you what people have told me.

1.) Keep making work, no matter if it's commissioned or not. The drive to create should be stronger than the need to be recognized. It takes time and it will happen. 2.) Keep posting your work online. You may get 12 likes. You may get 100. Just keep posting your work (that means in-process work as well). People will start to notice 3.) Don't worry about perfection. If you are creating a piece for fun, you are creating it FOR FUN. Even if it's just a doodle in your sketchbook. Give yourself room to experiment and grow. 4.) Surround yourself with supportive, creative people. Work on art with friends. Become a member of some art society. Just don't get bogged down by someone who is a negative-pants all the time. 5.) Get inspired! Go to museums, art openings, galleries, craft shows, follow your favorite artists on Instagram, go to art conferences...sometimes you just need a creative pick-me-up.  

Most of this is common sense, but you get it.

Anyway, this is my first post in a long, long time. Check out my website at!

No comments:

Post a Comment