Friday, February 7, 2014

Wisdom from the Art Circle

Vintage Illustration from Dean's Gift Book of Fairytales
My dear artist friend, Dari, and I decided to start a monthly Art Circle with a group of fellow creative women. We are artists, light-makers, graphic designers, painters, installation artists, production designers, pattern designers, clothing-makers, and other as-of-yet-undiscovered things. 

What we all have in common is our love for creating and that we have built our careers around this. Working in the arts, there is always a pull towards more creative freedom and finding the projects that invoke our deepest passions and resonate with our sense of purpose.

We have come together to support each other on this path. We share inspiration, give feedback and critiques, share business insights and opportunities and laugh and connect.

I want to share 3 tidbits of wisdom from our first meeting.  I plan to keep sharing what we learn in these meetings so that I may bring some of the goodness to my virtual art circle here on this blog.

1. Optimism is essential. 

During my morning meditations over the last few months, I really started to notice how jaded I had become. I kept thinking I am just being REALISTIC. There is so much competition. The economy isn't great. I can't expect much. I should just be happy with what successes I have already had and not risk too much.

The problem is that this is merely a point-of-view. It is not reality. It does not predict the future. The future could be filled with opportunities, failures, successes, cross-road, or who knows. The actual reality is that the FUTURE is a QUESTION MARK. 

Optimism is simply a much more useful point-of-view. It allows us to keep growing, to step out of our comfort zones, to explore, to invent new ways of being in the world, and to stride confidently in the direction of our wildest dreams. 

When you see the future as an open door, you keep going. Perceiving a wall of limitation and lack of opportunity, stops us before we even start. Optimism keeps those doors open for us which is essential.

2. Find your Own Unique Path

We had all researched a lot of people who were very successful in our fields and knew the details of the paths they took to get there. 

Some people shared all their art on social media and blogs. Others kept everything hidden and protected. Some had agents or galleries and others went solo. Some people stuck to trends and others marched to the beat of their own drum.

In essence, there is no one path that is guaranteed to get you to where you want to go. Everyone will have opinions and beliefs. In the end, the best we can do is educate ourselves, know the options, and then, most importantly, make a choice and go for it. 

There is no right or wrong. There is only experimentation, fine-tuning, learning, and trust. 
Tweet: There is no right or wrong. There is only experimentation, fine-tuning, learning, and trust.

3. Find your own Style and Vision

It really helps to have artist friends look at your work and distill the essential qualities and help you distinguish where your unique voice is truly shining through. They know you and they know your work and can see where those 2 things overlap the most.

We are so close to our work that it is difficult to see it objectively. It is a incredibly hard to step back and look at the bigger picture. Yet, when you see a friend's work, it is so clear when they are coming from an authentic place.

It is so exciting to see art that is born from a unique vision and purpose. We are naturally drawn to that alchemy of self-expression. 

Oh and remember, we  often see art that we love and appreciate. Yet, it would be completely unfamiliar and unnatural to make art in that style. Just because we love something, does not mean we have to be directly inspired by it in our own art. Sometimes we are just appreciating the diversity. We don't need to do everything. There are other people to take care of all the styles we miss out on.


Gigi said...

I have just found you and fallen in love with ALL of your site. Oh, how I would love to have circle of art friends like that! PRICELESS! I would love to share in your free inspiration printables. Do you accept other people?

ghostkitten said...

Gigi, Thanks so much! The art circle truly is a blessing that I am so grateful to have. For this year we have our roster of artists for Lovely Ink already confirmed but you send me and email through my website and share your work with me. Perhaps there will be an opportunity next year or on a different project.


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