Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Thoughts on the Friday Art Challenge

Here is the finished product from the Eye's challenge. This is Ernie. Ernie, meet my creative friends!!


I've had a lot of positive feedback on FAC. But what I've heard too, are some reservations.

  • I cant get it done by Thursday at 11:55 p.m. That restriction is no longer there and the link is open for you to post any time-forever.
  • I really want to do this but I am too busy! I get that--I really do! Why do we feel such pressure from things like this? Because we feel we should do them if we are a serious artist? There is a time and season for everything! It's not life or death, so that pressure is not real. Or is it because we really want to do it, we just don't need/want that kind of pressure. ( I actually rebel at constraints! I know, I know. I'm complicated!) But really, is there any pressure here now that the time restraints are gone? Who is going to clobber you over the head if your late, only do it one week a month, or don't do it at all? That's all you kiddo-give yourself a break! You are in charge here. Do what you want, when you want!
  • I'm not sure my work is good enough to post-I see such good art posted here! This is the number one issue when I teach. Allowing yourself to create without judgment. Judgement from others, yes, but rarely, and never here!! Its mostly from yourself.
First, we are our own worst critic. I've found that some of the best lessons I could teach in classroom had less to do with art or technique and more to do with acceptance. Helping people accept their work as worthy without being "good enough"- because "good enough" is relative isn't it?? Who says what's "good enough"? Ultimately it's you. So I learned to help students get outside their own head and give themselves permission to create. Just create and not judge it. To create for the joy of creating. (if its not joyful, you might want to ask yourself why you are doing it and why it has no joy) We also cant make each creation so precious that our entire value as an artist hangs on this or the next painting!! I've seen students stand paralyzed in front of a blank sheet of paper or canvas, afraid to start because they lacked confidence. Just put some paint on there or make that first mark-no you cant erase it!-and go from there!  There will be good creations, bad creations and so-so creations. And it all has value. The bad teach us, the so-so show us where we are now and the good/great show us where we need to go. Those spur us to be better. A journey starts with a single step. If you never start you wont go anywhere. You know all that inspiring stuff!

Second, we compare ourselves to others. This is just human nature, but I think for creative's it can be especially destructive. If we spend all our time comparing our work to or patterning our work after someone else's we will never develop our own voice. For me, finding my voice has been the most rewarding part of my creative journey. And your voice grows and changes over time, so you are never static. Accepting that and taking risks are at the center of what being an artist is all about.

  • And last: I cant get my image to post on your link!! I am so very sorry about that. I have worked hard to fix all those bugs. I seem to be able to do it OK. The last time I tried it wouldn't accept any text in the top line. Other times it needed it. Go figure? All I can say is keep trying and see what works for you. If you try a bunch of times and cant get it to work you can email it to me and I will post it for you. Others are posting on my Facebook group-Friday Art Challenge.  Facebook is so user friendly, especially from a phone or IPad. The only reason I wanted a way to post here is because some of you do not want to be on Facebook.
So there you go!! Let me know of any other concerns, frustrations or fears you may have. This was first and foremost supposed to be a creative jumping off point to get those creative juices flowing and help us make some art. Use this in any way you like. There are no rules, only potential. Yours! I look forward to how you interpret these little prompts! I am always amazed by your creativity! 

As always-thanks for reading! And I will see you Friday with the next challenge! 

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