Thursday, August 14, 2014

MORE Traits and Habits of Successful Artists

There is one site that I read that had this as one suggestion:


I'm not sure how helpful stating the obvious is. 

Under this heading the guest writer on this particular site goes on to explain that he means "be prolific" in - have enough work to be able to respond readily to opportunities for exhibits and so on.  This was not written by an artist, by the way. 

I only want to point out here that working too hard to be prolific can smash creativity into little tiny pieces (at least in my case).  

One goal this particular artist has - is to create what most speaks to her.  Which sounds cliché.  Sorry. 

Let me try again.  What do I mean by creating something that most speaks to me? 

I mean, I love animals, sure.  Lots of people do...however - beyond that I want to communicate (something) ABOUT a particular animal I create. 

So I sculpt horses with reeaaally looong legs in sometimes very unusual colors. 
Sorta surreal, but young horses have really long legs, right? 

That's what lots of people see when they look at my work.  And that's fine.

"Itchy!" bronze sculpture by Alex Alvis
The horses are fun and frolicky and curious or calm.  But not all the animals I sculpt have reeaaally looong legs...nor really vibrant colors. 

My "style" if you will, is to create sculpture that incorporates unusual elements into them. 

My goal is to elegantly state how special they are as a species and as individuals. 

So these unusual and surprising elements will describe the spirit of the animal and/or its place in the world. 

The long legs and wonderful colors are describing that the youth and vibrancy and spirit of horses extend far beyond their physical form. 

These are intentional surreal elements...yet truly how I imagined the sculptures. 

Same with the Blue Moon Series of animals.  There may not be the element of elongated form, but for describing the animal's place in this world, the sculptures have a blue moon (surreal element communicating to the viewer) incorporated into the sculpture itself.

To emphasize that THIS is an animal you won't see very often because it is an endangered species animal. 

I could just sculpt a horse and endangered species animals realistically or in some consistent "style"...but I want to communicate something beyond style and beyond form. 

And certainly - Generating Art Output for the sake of generating art is not going to result in fresh and original art from me.

In fact, the thought "I MUST HAVE _______ AMOUNT OF ART and sculpt, sculpt, sculpt...."  can create this very bad thing I call STRESS. 

And, I don't know about you - but certain types of stress will squash my ability to create art that is fresh and vibrant and communicative and thought/emotion inducing. 

So.  Here's a tip. 

Make your environment one that FOSTERS your creativity

This is going to mean different things for different people.  Of course.

It is great fun to look back at other artists and what they did to feather their creative nest.  In fact I've got a new book I have been reading called Daily Rituals How Artists Work by Mason Currey.

So we'll peek at that a bit tomorrow...after all tomorrow is Friday and Friday should be extra fun :)

'Til then - have a stress-free art filled day.