Taking a Break

I have decided to take a break from juried art competitions for a while.  The main reason is that I've maxed out my budget for that particular activity.  But there are other reasons:

1.  My fragile artist ego has experienced enough rejection for the time being.

2.  Fees for juried shows can be expensive and don't guarantee a spot in an exhibit.

3.  I have never sold a piece of art in a juried show.  All my sales have been through the galleries that represent me.

4.  Unsold or rejected art from juried shows takes up too much room in my studio.

There are other reasons, but the most important one is that I don't need the stress of waiting for someone to pass judgement on my art.  I have had enough sales to know that people like what I do.  Juried shows are often about the juror and may have nothing to do with my ability as an artist.  So, I'm going to concentrate on painting the way I love to paint and focus on making things for the galleries that represent me.

However, not all has been bleak.  I was honored to make it into the 2016 "Healing Power of Art" exhibition at Manhattan Arts International, curated by Renee Phillips.    Please visit Manhattan Arts International's website to view this amazing exhibit before it closes on September 20.

Jumpstart your creativity!

We've all been there as artists, right?  All of a sudden, the well runs dry and our creativity hits a wall.  In the literary world, it is known as writer's block.  But we get it too. . . I know I have. Fortunately, I have discovered some tricks that help me to get out of a slump and maybe they will work for you:

1.  Take an art class in something outside of your normal way of creating.  Seven years ago I found myself unable to paint at all.  Nothing. . . nada . . .a great big ZERO. Then I looked at a community art program brochure and found a beginning ceramics class.  I found I loved it and spent a full year at it - 2 classes a week plus 4 days a week in the community studio.  Working with glazes brought back my love of color and abstract forms and eventually I found myself painting again with renewed energy.

Next time I will share another medium that has totally made the creative juices flow freely again!

Real Life

Artists. We harbor so many myths and fantasies about them. They are either starving unknowns, living in poverty and working at their art full-time (à la Van Gogh), or they are flamboyant geniuses achieving fame and fortune (think Picasso and Warhol).

If an artist needs a money to live until his or her art commands huge prices, then one often-preferred path is to become an art teacher. Although the romantic idea of doing one’s work in a classroom while sharing one’s creative thoughts with an eager audience of students is desirable, the reality is often very different. There just aren’t enough teaching jobs to go around.

So for most artists the middle road between starvation and fame looks more like this: Waking up and readying themselves for work, working a full-time day job, often eight hours a day, five days a week. Painting, performing or writing is saved for after work, weekends or vacations. Artists often get frustrated and dream of the day they will become “legit,” working at their art full-time instead of being a “slave to the system.”

An artist, musician and writer herself, Summer Pierre tackled this problem head-on in her book, The Artist in the Office – How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week. In her introduction she wrote: “This little book isn’t about not working, it’s about acknowledging the work we do. It’s about waking up in the life we inhabit now instead of putting off life for later.”

This book offers excellent advice on “how to focus and get your creative work done while keeping a job as well as your sanity”.  Lavishly illustrated with amusing drawings, The Artist in the Office will help anyone thrive at both their creative work and their day job.  Originally published in 2010, it can still be found on Amazon through any of their used book suppliers.