Tips To Keep You Creating

boy drawing by accurasee art productsMaking a living from your creative work is exhilarating. Whether you’re a designer or artist, the thrill is the same. A client selects your design because it expresses their message clearly and precisely; it delivers the picture that is “worth 1000 words.” A buyer connects with your artistic expressions; he gets what you’re communicating. It’s invigorating, rewarding, and motivating.

Living off your creative endeavors can also become discouraging and disheartening at times. If your message isn’t getting through, your career isn’t progressing as quickly as you thought it would, or the paperwork and business side of promoting yourself becomes overwhelming you can get discouraged and possibly question why you should continue. It can become frustrating and even depressing, no matter where you are in your career.

colorful-sculpture_500x454Illustrator and fellow blogger, Kate Leonard has some great tips for working through those discouraging moments, and keeping your eye on the prize that is your unique creative perspective. I thought they were worth sharing. An invigorating kick in the pants, so to speak. Hope they entice you to keep creating!

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Lessons For A Lifetime: Transferable Skills

Yosemite 1 (c) David Hockney

Yosemite 1
(c) David Hockney

Last week I had the good fortune to view the David Hockney exhibit, A Bigger Exhibition, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. What a treat! Clearly, this artist knows color. His intense yellows, vibrant oranges, and bright blues and greens are explosive in their depiction of the numerous portraits and plein air landscapes that comprise the majority of this exhibit.

I’ve been a Hockney fan for a while, but what really caught my attention this time was his exploration of new mediums. In 2009, just two years after the iPhone was launched, Hockney began using it as an artistic tool, using the touchscreen to “paint” dogs, flowers and everyday objects; then emailing the images to his friends. Lucky friends! In 2010 he turned to the iPad, and since then has positively exploited still and video cameras as well, pushing technology to portray the world as he sees it.

In one room of A Bigger Exhibition, attendees view an almost “Cubist-like” movie, created from digital video cameras. The results were synchronized and presented on nine 55-inch NEC screens to depict varied viewpoints of a changing landscape. Another room showed individual stroke and color choices as they were applied on an iPad – giving us a lesson in how Hockney actually paints. Throughout all, his distinct style, vision and color palette remain the same.

A Bigger Matelot Kevin Druez 2 (c) David Hockney

A Bigger Matelot Kevin Druez 2
(c) David Hockney

For many of today’s artists, the integration of traditional techniques with new mediums may not be a new phenomenon.  But what is blatantly clear in this show is the transference of skills, and of vision, from one medium to many.

Artistic skills are transferable. Don’t feel hemmed in by one major or area of study. Just because you decide to pursue a degree in painting, or sculpture, or fashion design doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re tied to that particular medium forever. What’s learned in one can be applied to another. David Hockney has clearly shown us the way to do that.

So, here’s my question to you: Given the skills you’ll gain in college, what limitations will you leave behind? What boundaries will you push beyond? I hope you’ll let me know.

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