Last weekend I attended a special photography workshop, organized by our local Photo group “Svit” (eng. dawn). Every year in October they have different themed photography workshops for everyone. My wish was to participate in street photography class, because it is really challenging to move around city and take photos of people, who are not so pleased to be the photo subject 🙂 and to catch meaningful moments, people in action … We went to the food market and center of city Celje (Slovenia), where I live and invased the crowd with “click sounds”.
As an artist, for me it was the most interesting thing to work with two mentors, that have such a different style of photography. From their street photos, I could define how they individually see the same surroundings, put attention on totally different subjects and their focus in life. I am sure that, if we would compare photos from all the people, that were in this class, we would get various stories, like looking through different kind of glasses on the same situation.
From this point of view, it is hard to decide, what is wrong or right, good or bad, because every single person has its own aspect of life. I think the most important thing, that every person or artist deals with, is defining that aspect and put it into art expression, finding our own voice. Recently I thought about this more and came to conclusion, that the only way to reach yourself in art, is having the right energy and following your intuition.
As in life, so it is in art, we can’t force it. You probably remember situation, when doing some creative work, not being in the right mood and having enough inspiration. The work took you ages and you weren’t pleased with the result at all. Of course, that doesn’t mean, you have to meditate for a week and try to find inspiration, that wouldn’t be really effective right? I think, when we remove all that expectation to make a great work and focus only on” what I love to do”, then the real creativity is born. Letting go the perfectionism, wishing to make something likeable for others and putting too much pressure on ourselves, really kills that creative spirit, playfulness and curiousity.
I have those challenges, when designing or creating something for other people, when I have to include their ideas or when I make my own artworks, being too critical. In cases, when I make work based on orders, sometimes everything goes very smooth and the project is finished in a blink. Other times, I need to find tons of patience and persistance to merge two individual aspects, two different ideas into one final result. That is so called “notsopleasant stage” of creative process.
At the beginning of my career I took that phase as a failure, critic of my work, incapacity of making good graphic design, but now I know, that is just a part of the process and usually this “storm” brings the best results I could ever imagine.
In painting, this stage hits me, when I don’t like my artwork, when I think that every brush stroke is another mistake and would rather scrap that paper and throw it away. It sure can be a solution, but I learned, it is more precious, if you persist, although everything on my painting is later changed and not similar to former layers. With this process the painting gets a deeper meaning and a story. When you feel, that crapy stage lasts waaaay too long, maybe you can use some methods listed below, works for me 🙂
What I do to get over that “notsopleasant stage” in art process?
- I take an hour “off the subject” and do totally different things;
- Going for a walk;
- Finding inspiration by looking through similar topics, articles, books, pictures;
- Get an advice from other person;
- Chat with a friend about other topics;
- Step away from my artwork and take a look from more distant spot;
- If there is time, I go to sleep and continue next day;
- I do the most challengig tasks first thing in the morning.
Sometimes you don’t even have to bother with all that, some paintings just come together in short time. Mostly when you dont plan it, you just take it as an art practice 🙂 That way you get rid of all expectations about creating a masterpiece. Recently I was making one bigger artwork and had some colors left on my palette. I didn’t want to waste it, so I used it as a background on some carton. All that later developed into autumn inspired woman portrait with a cat. 🙂
P.S. I am not sure, what is about pets and artists, we just get along right? I barely don’t know another creative soul, that wouldn’t have a furry friend 🙂 Are you one of them?
How do you deal with this “notsopleasant stage” of art process? Have you developed some other techniques that work for you?
Would you like to know, how my other paintings came together?