Thursday, July 7, 2016

Get Inspired --- Read and watch tips from the masters

Art is hard... and it's hard to not get discouraged. Even the best artists are plagued with self-doubt. What makes them so good? They find ways to keep going. (Art below by Gemma Correll)
Life as an indie artist means a lifestyle of freelance assignments PLUS entrepreneur skills. Art schools need to add these skills to their curriculum. Fortunately, workshops, convention panels, and internet sites offer educational opportunities. (Art below by Alina Chau)

Find resources to help juggle the ups and downs of indie artist life. These are vital coping tools in the skill kit. A well stocked skill kit is handy for everything from a bump in the road to a crisis. Just because you are self-employed that doesn't mean you are alone. And it doesn't mean you have to work all alone. Meeting up with colleagues is a great way to re-charge the batteries. Taking care of your health is essential.

To measure your own artistic progress.. don't look to the work of others. Their work may be inspirational.. or aspirational.. but it is not yours. (art by Emm Roy )
Your work is the result of your practice... how much.. how often.. how well. Don't pick yourself apart by finding faults. Look for your improvements.. where you've made them.. and where to work next.

Art is life. It's never easy. It's always ahead of you. Painter Frank Benson wrote extensively about learning to paint...but his lessons are life lessons too...
"It is not easy. It is never easy. There is no magic about it. It is just as much a science as the science of a doctor. It has to be studied and worked at, and even then you never really learn it. I am still working at it and learning, and that is all I care about. I don't care about the pictures I have painted. I may become fond of one and say "that's a good one", but all I really care about is working at this thing, and it is still so far ahead of me that I shall never reach it, and have only just begun to know anything about it." ~ Frank W. Benson

Read more from Benson and other Boston School Painters via the "Boston School of Painting" blog by Sandra Galda. Quote above from Sandra's 5/26/12 post

How do you stay on course??? Know your day rate. Keep track of your income and expenses. Include how you are spending your time. Always write up an invoice for yourself.. even if you do "free" work for a friend. Any time you work, it needs to be contributing to your income.. otherwise you are working at a loss. You cannot afford to work yourself to death... or to broke...
Long-time animator Will Finn dreamed of a career at Disney .. got an early  job there.. and returned there years later.. but the route he took wasn't what he anticipated starting out. Link below to his blog post "Why You Shouldn't Want a Job in Animation."  

Read his post for wise words on his journey of nearly 40 years as a working artist.... Here's an excerpt:  "I’ve learned something valuable from every single assignment, whether it was a distinguished prestige project or not. And I will never forget the things I learned in that fateful Year One, including this: 1. Never take a gig for granted. 2. Each job is not an end in and of itself: it’s a piece of something bigger: something called a career. "

Need more inspiration??? Industry icon Bobby Chiu has a You Tube channel with episodes of advice for working artists. 
Bobby is a long-time teacher, and host of the fabulous Schoolism workshops held world-wide.
His You Tube videos are upbeat and practical, often with helpful lists of actions to take to direct your progress on the episode's topic.

Here's a sample ... "Tips for the 21 year old me"

"What great artists have in common"

As an independent artist...Sometimes you're doing a job that's not art related, just to pay bills. That's fine. But if art is what you love.. and art is what you feel called to do... make choices to keep improving. So-called overnight success is the result of years of work. Do the work, and  you will get better.

Life and art are complicated. Animation explains complicated things so well.. here's a refreshing take on a familiar fable...Animated by Katy Davis.

More on art and anxiety at this frequently updated post:

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