4 Things We, Artists Need to Stop Doing!

When it comes to my work and creations, it is important for me to give my 100% attention to the work. This involves putting your heart and soul into what you do, because that is whats the art creations come to life. There are a few things a lot of us worry about or second guess ourselves in the work we are producing. Here is just a small list of things we, artists need to stop worrying about doing!

  1. Getting messy! We need stop worrying about getting paint spilled on the floor, or accidentally splatting paint on the wall, or even getting paint on our clothes! If you are a crazy, afraid of getting too messy, person…LIKE ME? than you should stop worrying about these small accidents! The important thing to do is however, cover up your floors, wear clothes that you don’t absolutely care about getting paint on. When you are in the zone of your work, you are not going to pay attention to getting paint on the wall your clothes at all. My favorite part of doing what I do best seeing the messy paint all over my hand. The verity of colors that leak onto my hand from the brush handle or me trying to clean up the edges of the canvases.
  2. Overthinking! I tend to overthink everything I do and second guess myself. Whenever I am in the process of working or beginning a new art Piece, I never know when or how to start it. I stare at my blank canvas for a long period of time and contemplate on my decisions. The other day, I pulled out new 12in x 12in canvases. I unwrapped them and get started with the work. I couldn’t decide if i wanted to make more small apple paintings, or do something else that just focused on textures and lines. Overthinking about the works I want to do, is one of the toughest moments I go through. I have to force myself into just going with my guts and paint what I know I wanted to do in the beginning. An important thing I learned from this process is, not to be afraid going with your instinct and your work sill progress on their own. I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF… just as much as YOU JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
  3. Settling for “Okay” finished products! I found myself frustrated with my works many times and would call it quits on pieces that I know I wasn’t 100% satisfied with, but I would let it be because I wouldn’t know what else to do with it. A lot of you may feel the same way as I do time to time. An advise I have for others, don’t settle on your projects. However, you should walk away from it for some time and come back to it when your mind is clear of distractions. You are more likely to be inspired with ideas when you give you eyes a break from the current works.
  4. Self-doubt! Confidence is one of the most important factors artists have to deal with every day and with every pieces of work produced. A lot of the times we are unsure about what we are doing or what you want to do. The whole process of coming up with ideas is a struggle. We doubt ourselves in our ideas. We wonder if they are worth it, if they represent who we are. Some of the times we focus on creating work that others will like, just to satisfy our viewers. In the process of that, we forget how we want to be represented. I don’t think that we should ever doubt ourselves in our works just to make others see “pretty” art, but to see something more than the surface. We want our viewers to understand us and see who we truly are as human beings.

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Art: A Way of Sharing Visual Ideas

Art is not a Title. It’s a way of sharing visual ideas….

Art or being an Artist cannot be a self acclaimed title, it is earned by how our viewers perceives the craft we develop. Whether it’s a painting, a craft, or writing, they are ideas we share with the world. It is a way of sharing visual ideas, so that others have the opportunity to learn and experience something new. Something that they may have never thought about. It is the purpose to expand our inner knowledge of the world around us and question everything about anything!

What ideas do you have?

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Is My Creativity Genetic or Learned? Hmm…

The other day I was having a conversation with a lady stranger at an event. We were making small talk and asked each other what we do for a living….the most typical question everyone asks initially. So, I told the person that I work part time and I am also a painter. Of course when you tell a person you are painter, they have this certain reaction to the career title. “Oh, wow, cool!” When I hear those words or phrase, it makes me cringe, because I automatically hear a judgment tone in the voice. NOT OFFENDED, don’t worry! What was most interested about this conversation though, was when she asked “Do you believe being an artist is something you inherit or is it learned through schooling? I thought long and hard about this question and I wanted to answer it with my honest opinions.

Many people have asked the same questions and also researched the topic frequently. The same question was also asked in course I took during my Undergraduate Studies. When we look at famous visual artists, singers, writers, or even athletes, most of us think that it is inherited from a family member. Are we too quick to assume and be wrong???

A part of me believes that there are certain aspects of creativity you develop naturally from childhood and the environment you were surrounded with. For example, when I was very young, I watched my mom sew fabric and make quilts with hand stitching, My older brother frequently used to draw video game characters from magazines. Since those were the types of magazines we had laying around our home, and watching him draw, I developed interests in trying to draw them as well. In elementary school, I always looked forward to art classes and holiday themes coloring pages. I also remember being obsessed with drawing fruits mostly and trying to perfect the shape of mango’s, pineapples, of course apples!

In the household I grew up, everything was done unmeasured techniques. Another example, I watched my mom a new meal every day…that is traditional Bangladeshi meals. When she added her spices and other ingredients, there was not measurement! NO teaspoon of this, tablespoon of that, etc. Her measurement was, “A little bit of this, a little bit of that. In-between stirring the boiling pots, she would do test tastes if it needed more spice or salt. And that was the way she cooks till this day! It really is kind of like art. A lot of test trials, until it tastes damn good!!!

What I am trying to say is, I guess the development of my creativity is through environmental influence from childhood and and throughout the continuing years. I did it through watching and doing! I also do believe there is a certain percentage of innate talent instilled within us depending on our family backgrounds and it’s a natural instinct we have. However, the largest portion of talent development is created from applying it continuously to enhance the skills and techniques.

Do you think your creativity is an inherit from your family or a learned skill?

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Self Evaluation

When we work on new paintings, we are most likely experimenting at the beginning stages. We also immediately start critiquing our own work throughout the process. Sometimes, I find myself ripping out or crumble up in-progress works that I already know will be a failure…and that will happen number of times until I finally get it. As an artist, we are quite hard on ourselves when it comes to our work. We create elaborate visions in our mind, and the hardest thing about it is, bring that vision to life. I am sure a lot you individuals can relate to this. It is a necessary process to go through in order to be able to bring that vision to life. It’s not easy!. Today I want to discuss the ways we evaluate our works, or the way I evaluate my own. When I go through my self evaluation processes, I ask myself abundance of questions. Here are just a few…

1. What am I thinking about? 

During middle of 2016, I was trying to transition out of my drip/splatter paint techniques and into something different. I was completely unfocused and didn’t know what to start with. At this time, I was trying to use up the last bits of paint from my tray because I didn’t want to waste it. I did the same technique by dripping the paint on the watercolor pressed paper. After I had done that, I completely regret the action. I hated that I settled for the same old choice rather than waiting to have the light bulb to light up. I found myself frustrated and drawing blanks for a long period of time. There wasn’t much paint left in the tray, so, out of complete boredom I stroked my paint brush in squiggly motions, across the paper. The colors mixed and I kept making more squiggly brush strokes. The lines layered over the dripped colors in the backgrounds.

2. Do I like what I am doing?

I still wasn’t sure what I was doing, but kept on going, anyways. I started to believe something interesting was starting to happen and wanted to see how it will end up looking once I just stop. After I had completed this painting, I stepped back and observed it for some time. Many thoughts ran through my mind, contemplating what to do with it. Should I keep going with the lines, or leave it as it is. I can guarantee all artists understands this feeling. The feeling of being uncertain all the time. However, that’s what make the experiments and mistakes worth it.

3. Let’s try this again…but change something!

When I came to a realization that I wasn’t really satisfied with what was going on in the art work, I took another sheet of watercolor paper out and tried it again. I went with a circular shape this time but with a slight resemblance of Bursting Bubble, 2016. During the process of the next painting, I wanted to focus on the particular shape. The circle fascinated me. In my mind, I didn’t want to the shape to be conformed figure. So the idea of the shaped being teared almost was compelling. When I had finished the next piece, Ruptured Circle, 2016, I felt more confidant in the idea and preceded with the theme.

How do you evaluate your works and what processes do you go through during it?

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What Influences of Your Creative Process?

Before I had my studio, I was doing most of my work within my home space, well outside actually, when the weather was warm. I turned a corner of my parents driveway into a temporary studio section. It was definitely not ideal at all, and my parents were pretty patient with me using the drive away to paint. A part of them actually didn’t mind. They were always curious about what I was always working on and would ask questions. At that time, my work was very messy and it involved me literally dripping paint on large papers and canvases. The paint would spill out or sprinkle onto the concrete and leave paint marks. Two years later, the paint marks are still there.

After awhile, the idea of having that space outside my parents house was not working out at all. I knew that I needed an actual studio space to continue my work. I was limited immediately of my abilities to paint. When the weather got cooler, I remained inside my own bed room, and worked on my large working table. I cleared everything off and moved things aside. This way, at least I could work on my sketchbook and other small size paintings that wouldn’t leave a mess.

To be able to create great art, you must be in a space that you feel most comfortable in. A space where you can strip out of the layers that keep you contained in front of the world. The environment I consider to be helpful for me is my studio space that is twenty minutes drive away from my home. It’s the space where I can shut out the world and think about what is now and how do I want to display it? For others, it may not be an environment with walls, it can be the park, beach, or even out on the streets with crowded buildings and people.

Ultimately, you have to make your own environment that will allow your creativity to flourish without limitations.

What environmental factors influence your creative process?

 

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Tender Apple, 2017

At the surface, we are strong human beings and put on a brave face no matter what struggles we go through in the inside. We are great at hiding our emotions underneath the thick skin we have that covers all of our wounds. We sometimes forget that we are tender in the inside and when we open up, the softness of our emotions are exposed to the the world around us. We can either learn to cherish the tender emotions or leave let it be as it will continue to ripe like an apple and bruise easily with every press.

 

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Designs: Within the Loop

It’s been quite some time that I took off from experimenting with designs that are not apples. Today I played around with loose string like organic designs a set of 11in x 8.5in cardstock papers, just see what I would end up with. At first I drew the colorful lines and, starting with image No.1, above. What had happened after drawing the line were me staring at and wondering what to do with it. I began to find the work boring and wanted to do something to change it. I had these little drinking cups in my studio room and thought….”hmm, what if I outlined a circle right in the middle of the lines.” So, I did! Then, I did more and the above pictures are the results. I found the designs to be quite interesting and pleasing to look at.

 

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“Every good painter paints what he is”… Or She

As an artist, I am my biggest critic. With all of the works I create and have created, I question every bit of my consciousness. I am constantly wondering if I have the chose the right colors, did I over do it, do I need to add more of this or that. Sometimes, I even wonder if it was a good idea at all. While looking over the history of my works, I would say that my work has definitely changed over the years. Although I am not sure if it has improved.

As Jackson Pollock said, “Every good painter paints what he is”

Or she…. When I read this quote to myself, I couldn’t stop thinking about who I was. I know I wasn’t a girl who just wanted to make pretty art. I wanted to make art that people can relate to. That people can truly appreciate having in their homes. When I think about the art that I make, I make sure I don’t loose who I am long the way….because that would be a tragity.

Each year, I try to take new and different approaches, solidifying what my style is. The transitions of my work from 2015, 2016, and current has take large jumps. After I finish a collection of paintings in similar styles, I find myself bored with it and want to move on to something else….something new. I immediately want to paint what runs through my head and drive the ideas throughout various paintings. Sometimes I wonder what my mind would look like in a physical form. Whatever is happening inside seems completely messy.

 

Cheerful Apple, 2017

There are three different types of shots I recently learned about taking photos of the artwork.

1. Just the image of the art

2. Hanging on the wall

3. On the table(depending on the size).

Today I took picture of this Cheerful Apple. It is also the third apple painting I finished on a 12in x 12in canvas and I am still in the experimental stage with these style of works. I realized that there is this wooden side table that a studio-mate has out in the hallway across the hallway. She just had a sign up with the group picture of all of the artist mates. I looked at it and thought, “hmm, I could use this table to put this canvas on and show how it would sit if someone else was to try it the similar way as an art decor. So, I moved the sign off the table and used it for myself.

It’s just such a perfect size and knew that it could be placed almost anywhere in the home. It could be either on a side table, on the bookshelf, or even the window! I hope you could envision this painting in your home as a beautiful decorative piece of art 🙂

 

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Cluttered Studio

Have I shown you my studio? Not sure I have! Well, here it is. The beautiful, colorful mess of it all. It’s a very small studio space, that does me good and is absolutely cozy! My studio is bright and colorful with the paintings hanging. When others walk in, they say the same!

I’ve been doing pretty well getting into the studio everyday, making progress of my new projects. Today I sat their for awhile, looking at my tiny studio space. I looked around from corner to corner observing my mess. There a few unfinished projects that I held off for quite some time. The chairs to the right are half finished products.I had stopped working on them because I started to lose the idea of what I wanted them to look like. So I completely walked away from them. Instead, I brought back the paint bottles and ordered new canvases and preceded with a different idea. Now I am back to painting and making all sorts of illustrations.

I try to be organized sometimes, but the mess recreates itself instantly. I do often think about getting rid of the clutter but I then, I like having all of the stuff there with me. Looking at the finished and unfinished works, keeps me inspired.

 

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