|"Oh Goody." Encaustic, thread and ink transfer, 9 x 12 inches|
There is a lot of advice flying around these days. Especially if you are an artist, it seems. I know everyone is genuinely trying to help. Believe me, I can use a lot of help! It is nice to know that people care enough to offer advice. There was a time when I would rebel against any suggestion tossed my way. After struggling and struggling, I decided to start listening to advice and feedback. I even began to seek it out. That was pretty good. Lately, however, I have become more discerning. Some advice just doesn't seem to have any merit, at least not for me. Here's the tough question: How does a person know when to take the advice, and when to just leave it alone?
I am not sure I have a definitive answer. What I have decided is that if I'm uncertain about the advice, I have to listen to my own instincts. Sometimes, the suggestion just isn't going to work for me. Here's one example: believe it or not, one of the most difficult things for an artist is to create a regular studio practice. There are so many things in life that tear us away from making art: marketing, household tasks, errands, bills, business, social events, openings, family obligations, ....the list goes on. One thing I have heard from experienced artists is this little bit of advice: go into the studio first thing in the morning. Before you do anything else, go make art. It sounds good. It sounds like something that would solve the problem of distractions! But after years of painting on my own, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. I am not a morning person. Even though I wake up early, I am not *really* awake until around 10 or 11 am. I like to walk with Pono first thing in the morning. (well, I might have a cup of coffee first, and then walk, depending on how hot it's going to be that day.) Then, I like to feed the dog and eat and do dishes and sweep the floor, check email, maybe do a load of laundry, and take care of some of the daily chores. Then, and only then, do I like to work in the studio. I feel I am at my creative best in the afternoon and evening. My muse is singing. All the "tasks" for the day have been cared for - I don't have any pressing things bogging me down mentally. Now I can paint, unfettered, until I am too tired to stand. That works for me.
Because once I am in the studio, nothing else gets done.
It took me a few years to accept that my way of working wasn't wrong. My way of working is my way of working. So what if the early bird gets the worm? Who wants a worm anyway? Not me.
What about you? How do you decide when advice is worth taking and when it is worth leaving?
A photo of the snake I nearly stepped on this morning. It didn't even rattle. I was the only one shaking. Maybe I needed one more cup of coffee....Advice? Oh, never mind.
|I'm pretty sure this is a speckled rattler.|