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Lee Heilman my Mom
Al Heilman's Blog
Morning reflections, on a snowy cold day, on things I have learned during my growth as an artist.
January 16, 2018
This stuff we call art is enticing and exciting but it requires a great deal of very hard work, learning and failure.
Sometimes you need to take a class with a master teacher, and other times, with the web searches, and your brain you can figure it out.
Your ideas are your stimulus to your work, no ones else. So you have to learn to trust your ideas and not be afraid of failure.
Going to look at art online, in museums or in a gallery, or on pinterest is crucial to training your eyes and brain to see and think as an artist.
Forget the friendly advice of naysayers...they are reflecting on their insecurities. Trust your ideas.
Buying a new tool or brush etc. will not make your art any better. Yes we all have tools of the trade, but going thru catalogs and searching online for that perfect “tool” to do a project rarely adds anything to your work and adds a lot of stuff and expense to your studio. That said, if you see my studio I am a tool addict.
Observe nature every day. Nature will teach you color theory and composition better that most classes.
My 3 day rule. When you are working on a project let it age at least 3 days before you say it’s complete. It takes time to sit with your work and to get over the excitement of the new work,so you can be honest and critical of your process. Some times you hit it out of the park but more often it’s the multiple foul balls and critical thought and review that allow you to grow in your work and hit a home run.
Do not be afraid to ask for help...but be careful who you ask. Having a critique group can be helpful early on, but you need to listen to your own critique and follow your own passion not someone else’s.
Work on multiple pieces at the same time ...Some things and projects just take time to process and develop. Some of my work sits in a corner for a year or longer before I figure out how I want to finish it.
If you see an artist you are inspired by contact him/ her and usually you will be surprised at their answers and willingness to discuss your ideas. Most artist have webpages so look and read about them and their work. But be respectful of their time and schedules.
Art supplies are toxic and can make you sick or worse. Read the MSDS sheets. Ask the manufacturer how to use a supply or a tool. If you don’t know, don’t use. Your Safety is your responsibility not others. If you work around others be respectful of their safety as well.
Join a group of like minded artist's to share success and failure either online or at a local art society. We all need support !!
Learn how to take great pictures of your work. Entering shows with bad images is a recipe for failure.
Working tired or under the influence of alcohol/drugs or without breaks is a recipe for failure. Respect your body’s need for food, rest/breaks and sleep. Many times I work very early in the day as that is when I have my most creative energy. Meditation is helpful for my focus and direction. Others are night owls. Find your rhythm.
Laugh and enjoy... when stuff happens and it will.. a laugh will oftentimes be the solution I need to move forward. Creativity is my choice and I love it!!
Thanks for your support
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