5 Things I’ve Learned about Being an Artist

Late Bloomer, © Pam Goode. Glass, Stone, Beads, Thread, Carborundom

I still remember, and always will, the moment I decided to draw. Pretty much everyone in my family was artistically inclined, and at 7 or 8 I wanted to try my hand. I scrounged up a pencil and some paper and set to it — nothing too difficult — just a self portrait (insert laughter and/or groaning here). I was pretty chuffed at the result, but it only took one comment from one person (who was NOT an artist), to send me right back to the closet for a few decades.

Older and wiser, I now realize that art is created differently by each of us; that art has deep power no matter the subject or colors or latest craze; and that whatever originates from your hand and eye always, always contains something magical.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) Do it your way. Do it every way. If your art looks just like the photograph, what’s the point?

2) It doesn’t matter if anyone likes it. Sometimes, it doesn’t even matter if YOU like it. We’re here to create, to learn from both our successes and failures, and to keep at it. Don’t allow your psyche to get stuck on any one piece. It’s a waste of your time. Keep creating.

3) If it moves you, it will move others. Work in a vacuum. Don’t listen to anyone. Follow your heart.

4) And then get out of the vacuum. Input feeds output. If you don’t point your brain in a new direction every now and then, it gets crusty and stale.

5) People, and often strangers, will sprinkle insights here and there that never occurred to you. It’s a gift. Take it!

6) Step back. Look away. Reunite. See with fresh eyes. If something nags at you more then once or twice, rip it out, smooth it over, and make it speak your voice. That’s what we’re here for.

7) Do I still draw? Yes I do, but now I do it with thick glass instead of a skinny pencil. Find your passion.

3 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Learned about Being an Artist

  1. A few years ago, I decided to create glass mosaics of the various butterflies I find in my gardens. I started with oil pastel drawings of the butterflies… I sold the mosaics, but I framed the drawings for myself and enjoy them every day 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

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