Artist Statement

Balancing Art, Work and Life!
Browsing The Creative Life

Why It’s a Great Time to be an Artist or Writer

July21
Author: c. b. murphy

If my title is not cynical, what can I possibly mean when funds are being cut to non-profits, when people look twice at the cost of theater tickets and stay home to watch broadcast television, when even masterpieces fail to bring in money for Christies? All luxury or nonessential purchases like books and art will be scaled back. Strapped corporations and executives are dumping their vanity collections onto the prestige auction houses who are seeing prices and attendance fall precipitously. Many small art-related businesses will fail, including bookstores, small theater companies, galleries, even museums. Surely this is a time for a great wailing to arise in the land of the creatives, who have already pinned their last hopes on a new W.P.A program that will surely be announced soon.

So why in Picasso's name would this be a good time to be an artist or writer? Let's start with Bush or should I say Bush-hating. Artists and writers have been a disproportionate amount of effort "fighting the man." The stance, however justified, made it easy to structure plots and feel good about poorly realized efforts because the artist was focused on the urgent need to topple the evil regime. How much subtlety was required?

With a new dynamic Democratic administration firmly gripping power in Washington, there is no longer a need to waste any more effort haranguing the public about the war in Iraq, and his other unpopular positions. Soon "his" mistakes will be "our" mistakes as Democrats innovate and/or borrow from the previous administration and we will only have our own to blame. Only the farthest left of us (like the ones already unhappy with Obama's practicality) will continue to use artistic outrage as their main source for inspiration.

I am hoping the whole concept of "artist as politician" phase will come to an end. Sure, we can still support our causes of global warming, corporatism, land mines, and nuclear disarmament if we like, but adults in Washington will be doing their best to represent the constituencies that have promoted these causes. We no longer will have to shout at them, though there is no guarantee that we will like their solutions or pace. Nevertheless, artists will find the protest stance somewhat emptier, somewhat less compelling and, hopefully will be moving on to new, less knee-jerk, less repetitive, less strident content.

Back to the issue of business failures in the art community. It's not that I think the art world is too fat and will benefit from a crash diet, but it's worth thinking about who the market for art has been and who it might become. Art has been, in a sense, also feeding at the trough of the high finance world. How many people can afford a painting over say $10,000 (and I'm stretching here). Clearly the middle class doesn't buy much original art. Why not? Because the content (often incomprehensible but supported by museums and academics) is largely non-compelling to average people.

In the literary world, where the readership is shrinking, agents and publishers are running scared. They want another J. K. Rowling phenomenon but aren't sure where and how to find it. Meanwhile a tsunami of self publishers and bloggers are going around the publishing world for their reading. Both the sellers and makers of art need to accept this challenge. If they have something to say, how should they say it and where? New forms, hybrids and experiments are springing up and the world of criticism (e.g. The New York Times Book Review) are holding up their noses in hopes that the riff-raff will all go away soon and everyone will return to network television, Broadway shows and industry-picked "geniuses" in the print world. That's not going to happen. People are entertaining themselves in new ways, from YouTube, to bloggers, to game designers, to "low-brow" art that embraces illustrators, graffiti artists and tattooists as "real" artists. Some see this as a devastating collapse of "high" culture, I see it as evidence that in many ways the arts have not been doing their job.

Music might be an exception as well as an example. While mainstream media continues to site declining CD sales something we're supposed to fret about, an explosion of interest in music is happening all over the world. The internet is allowing us to create our own custom radio stations (e.g. Pandora), iTunes is making it easier to buy exactly what we want, and portable music devices have freed us from Big Radio and Big Music companies. This is partly because, unlike say painting or the literary novel (the bad ones not the good ones), the general public has never given up its love of music and never will. So music will lead the way. Will there be fewer superstar groups but more people creating the music they love? I hope so. Will it be difficult to find the new geniuses if they are not picked out of the crowd and promoted by Big Music? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely the internet will evolve forms of self criticism which will allow more diverse music to survive as the cost of getting that music to the public continues to decline. Overall will less money go to music because people are used to getting it free? Maybe. Inevitably good stuff costs money, think organic produce. People pay more everyday for both the label and the confidence in its quality and taste, even if they can't prove it or taste it.

People will pay to be entertained. Collecting original art on a small scale could conceivably be something people do again once their more confident of their taste. How many people worry about their taste in music needing outside experts to tell them whether or not it's good? I know what I like is the rule. In fact, for millions, if its popular it's already time to dig deeper and find the creatives (the new new) that have already been there and done that and are now doing something altogether new.

So we might be on the edge of a burst in creativity. I'll make my final point be referencing an economically difficult but extremely creative period another country experienced: The Weimar Republic. This from Wikipedia:

"The 1920s saw a massive cultural revival in Germany. It was, arguably, the most innovative period of cultural change in Germany. Innovative street theatre brought plays to the public, the cabaret scene became very popular. Women were americanised, wearing makeup, short hair, smoking and breaking out of tradition. Music was created with a practical purpose, such as Schoenberg's 'atonality' and there was a new type of architecture taught at 'Bauhaus' schools. Art reflected the new ideas of the time with artists such as Grosz being fined for defaming the military and for blasphemy."

There's plenty of opportunity out there, folks, stop whining and get busy!

About the Author:

writer, painter, anthropologist

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Why It's a Great Time to be an Artist or Writer

Ways to Positively Impact Other People By Artistic Creation

July21
Author: MarkVictorHansen

Artistic creation is area where our contributions can outlive us.

This arena includes all the various art forms. The world of art is vast, including music, painting, singing, dancing, sculpting, architecture, crafts, etc.

Art in all of its forms can touch the human heart and leave an indelible impression that lasts for generations.

Today the world still marvels and wonders at the music of Mozart, Bach, and Pachelbel; the paintings of Rembrant and Van Gogh; the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright; the sculpture of Michelangelo; and the literature of Homer, Dumas, and Dickens.

In order to create a legacy at the highest level, you must become a well-known expert in your chosen art form and truly influence and touch others with your work.

Bring your soul into your work and leave your mark upon humanity.

Notice that it requires more than just creating the highest-quality art. It also requires that you become well known.

As you embark on becoming an artist, have the wisdom to create alliances with those who can bring your art into the world where a wide audience of people can become acquainted with it.

Become the best artist in your field. And then pick the best marketing person to assist in your legacy journey.

Art is created in the mind of the artist and made manifest in some physical form.

This physical form is capable of outliving the artist, and the impact it creates can continue on through generations yet to come. Being an artist in this way can give you access to living a life that outlives you.

As an artist, whether you simply "sing the song" and bring that music to one person or bring it to many people is your choice. Your "song" can be heard by few or many.

As an artist, how many will you choose to influence?

About the Author:

Mark Victor Hansen, best known as the co-creator of the 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' empire (which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling non-fiction book series ever), is a walking success magnet! Between his books and speeches, Mark has helped countless millions of people become their very best. Visit Mark's 101 E-Book Library at http://www.IdeasThatCanChangeYourLife.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Ways to Positively Impact Other People – Artistic Creation

What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

In my 2004 e-book, The Creativity Interviews (details below), I asked 7 questions about the creative process to 19 creative artists from a variety of disciplines.

One of these questions was "what does creativity bring to your life?"

As I'm looking through the answers with new eyes, themes start to pop up in front of me. As you read through these broad themes, and the actual phrases spoken by the artists in the book, consider which ones you identify with most.

Creativity brings adventure, affects my whole life and what's "out there"

Artist spoke of a sense of "exploration", "spontaneity" and "adventure", and that their creativity "brings life to whatever I'm doing". They felt the effects of their creativity on other parts of their life, giving them "unique problem solving opportunities" and "energizing my relationships".

Creativity brings opportunities for self-discovery of what's "in here"

Artists appreciated the "heightened awareness" and increased ability to "understand myself".

Creativity brings connections to people, both in and out of my "tribe"

"I feel I m part of a tribe of free people" was how one artist expressed this sense of connection and of being understood when they're around other artists. Another artist recognized their creativity as a "gift I can share with others" fulfilling the desire for connection in a way that's natural and enjoyable for the artist.

These are hopeful points, considering how isolated and misunderstood many artists feel.

Creativity brings a spiritual connection

Themes of spirituality such as "gratitude", "purity" and "essence" could be heard in some of the answers from artists. One claimed creativity gives them "a glimpse of the spiritual realm", and another described creativity as "a soulful experience".

There was also the idea that creativity brings "a connection to something larger than myself", and "the feeling that I'm 'in the zone', in the flow of life". Many of us connect to our spirituality most easily through being in nature. One artist found that creativity brings a "freedom to recreate what I see in nature".

I think one artist summed up the link between creativity and spirituality by answering with one word: "wonder".

Creativity brings an awakening, a jarring, a sense of delicious discomfort

Though I only heard one answer that fit into this theme one artist felt that creativity brought a "discontinuity" to their life I included it because it really interested me.

What about those moments of torment before the dissonant chord resolves itself, before the elements and colours of a painting "come together", before the ideas for a story or article make any sense.

And what about the plain fact that there is ALWAYS something we won't know how to do, always something more to learn, always a creative idea who's execution is out of our reach because our skills haven't caught up to it yet. Is that partly what keeps us going?

Creativity brings a return to home, a "normalcy"

"Creativity IS my life" and "creativity is unavoidable". For one artist, creativity is "a reason to live", and for another "it helps me live". Creativity is what we know, and when we're expressing it our TRUE selves are shining through. As one artist commented, it's a "relief".

Another artist noted that creativity often brings "more creativity". Which make perfect sense when you apply the law of attraction the principle that states that whatever you focus on is what you'll attract into your life.

Creativity brings a sense of self-worth and identity

For the artists I spoke to, creativity brings a "reward", "satisfaction", "pride" and "accomplishment" It contributes to their "self-esteem" and "sense of self and identity".

For artists, who often feel so misunderstood and different from other people, creativity provides "a way of explaining myself to the world". Creativity celebrates the fact that we're different, by showing us "a sense of purpose" and "a sense of my uniqueness".

One artist said that creativity "puts me in touch with the core and essence of my being".

Creativity heals me

As a music therapist, this theme was not surprising to me. Not only are the arts amazing therapeutic tools to use in treatment, creativity can be extremely therapeutic for the person expressing it.

Some of the therapeutic benefits of creativity that the artists shared with me were "relaxation", "centeredness", "possibility", "hope" and "connection with self". Creativity "lifts me from my sorrows" and is "a way to translate my hopes & feelings."

Creativity brings happiness, energy and power

The "endorphin rush" that one artist described was echoed by many as "joy", "energy, vitality it s a rush", "pleasure", "magic", "fullness", "happiness", "passion" and "a high". Creativity is "uplifting & motivating" and gives "the impetus to push further" and "a sense of power".

What does creativity bring to YOUR life? What do you miss the most when you're not actively expressing your creative ideas? What's the first thing you notice that changes in your life when you're in the "creative flow"?

Naming the gifts of your creativity can help to re-ignite your passion for your creative work and can excite you into courageous action. Thinking about these gifts can also put a mysterious smile on your face while you're traveling through the other parts of your life.

Whatever you're doing, whether it's taking care of life's little details and obligations or taking care of other people's needs you can remind yourself that you're one of the lucky ones with access to creativity.

You have this incredible source of adventure, self-discovery, connection, spirituality, awakening, normalcy, self-worth, identity, healing, happiness, energy and power.

This article originally appeared on the Creativity Portal http://www.creativity-portal.com in August 2005.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. For your copy of the Creativity Interviews, visit: http://www.genuinecoaching.com/creativity-interviews.html

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to lead an existence which is not just rich in creative thought, but which also produces regular and recognized creative output, you need to design your life so that it supports your creativity. As the writer Oriah Mountain Dreamer observes: "The artist's life is simply an ordinary human life that is consciously choreographed to support ongoing creativity in both you and those around you."

So if you're going to make creative output a practical reality, what are the elements you need to consider as important ingredients in the recipe for your creative success?

Famous achievers in an array of creative fields have written books revealing much about what it takes to live a creatively successful and productive life. Each one describes their individual creative practices, challenges, connections and stories. And while there is much that is unique about each account, there are also many common threads weaving their way through the genre. Here are four of the themes which appear with regularity...

** Don't wait for circumstances to be perfect before you get started.

Producing creative output is a process of starting over and over and over again. Every single time you come to your work, you're required to make another beginning. This is a constant challenge for most creative people. No matter how much you love your creative work once you're in the flow, the struggle to get started rarely goes away.

The temptation to find reasons to procrastinate is strong. That voice in your head can be particularly persuasive. The one that says: 'the time isn't right... I don't have the correct materials... there's no space to work in... I'm not in the best frame of mind... I might get interrupted...' All of these objections may have some truth behind them, but if you don't overrule them, you'll never get started.

Progressing your creative work means creating in the middle of things. Whilst being aware that there are chores to be done, calls to be made, the trivia of life to be attended to, you have to choose periods of time when your creative efforts take the top spot on your list of priorities. If you wait until everything's perfect, you'll simply never get started. And if you never get started, the obvious result is that you'll never produce anything.

** Don't rely on inspiration - build appropriate structure to support your creativity.

Being inspired is a wonderful experience. It can give you wings to produce fabulous creative output. But inspiration can't, unfortunately, be relied upon.

Creative activity needs to have continuity, regularity and a structure to support it. That doesn't mean a rigid structure that's more likely to stifle than to stimulate your imagination. It means supportive routines and practices which, when thoughtfully constructed and utilized will encourage you to get working away on your creative projects and entice your inspiration out to play as you do so.

There will be plenty of days when you don't feel even the tiniest trace of inspiration. These are the days when your support structure will see you through. Your job is simply to show up. If you don't show up and get started, your inspiration won't either. The prolific British composer, John Rutter, was once asked when and where he gets his best ideas. He replied without missing a beat: "When I'm working".

** Be prepared to produce low-grade output more often than top quality work.

The only way to learn and to improve is to experiment. If you want to master your craft you have to practise it. And when you set about practising with enthusiasm, you'll produce any amount of what you might class as inferior quality output. It's important not to allow your judgment of it to stop you in your tracks. Instead, appreciate the progress that you're making and see the improvements as you keep experimenting and learning.

Yes, it's wonderful to produce top quality output, but the kind of output that teaches you the most and develops your skills is, in fact, the substandard. Treat your less magnificent results as encouragement to try again and to improve upon them. Celebrate your turkeys!

** Allow your creativity to change you.

Creative endeavour can and will move you along the path of spiritual and personal growth. A willingness to embrace the changes that it brings about in you as a person and in your life will allow your creative output to develop simultaneously. The two are interwoven. If you attempt to contain or to control the changes that your creative work is nurturing in you, beware! For you run the risk of settling for a smaller, lesser version of the full, glorious, connected self you could be.

Creative work that stems from deep personal connection has tremendous power to reach and to touch others too. As you are changed by your art, so your art can change the world.

Naomi Wolf describes the power of the creative act particularly expressively: "the making of a beautiful thing cracks open the painful or ugly ordinary world, and then something amazing shines through, which you have forever; which can make you blind with tears."

About the Author:

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

What you Need to Know About Being a Self-supporting Artist or Designer

July21
Author: Carolyn McFann

What is it like to be a freelance artist, and what exactly do you study to become one? I will tell you what courses I took in college that were useful to me later as a professional, and what I needed to know beyond my college education. There are many facets to being a successful artist, many of which aren't taught in art school.

First of all, become well skilled in color theory, or, how to use color effectively. Using color is important especially to painters, interior designers and anyone who needs to choose colors for clients. There are many books on the subject, but make sure to learn about the Color Wheel, and buy the expensive colored paper packs called Pantone, to experiment with color usage. With color you can create moods, illusions and strongly influence advertisements. It is powerful to know color well so don't underestimate it.

Take figure drawing seriously. It teaches you the discipline and confidence of drawing live models quickly and accurately. Whether you go for minute detail like I do, or suggestion of a figure, drawing the nude is a wonderful way to know the human body and how to express it well.

Learn how to use lines and textures. One two-dimensional design teacher I had, assigned us to do pages and pages of just different lines and others of different textures. Then, we did a major drawing using those textures and lines altogether. It was a good way to learn how to add interest to your artwork, and to create different effects. I use these techniques in my illustrations to this day.

Try different mediums, just to get experience in them, such as metalsmithing, textiles, glassmaking, and others. This will give you an appreciation for other crafts and teach you different angles of the art world. It also gives you practise in design, color and other disciplines, in a different realm. When I look at a blown glass vase, I know how it's constructed. I also know how glass is made, from silica powder in batches similar to cooking a recipe. Creating a bowl from a flat piece of brass is something I found relaxing and satisfying. Try new things. When you visit galleries in the future, you will be more aware of how the items in them are created, by skilled artisans.

Learn business. I cannot stress this enough. My school didn't allow me to double major in business and in art, though I wanted to. So, after art school, I enrolled in business courses on my own, and have been building upon that knowledge ever since. Learn how to market yourself, customer service, how to do accounting and how to be skilled on the computer. These are skills that will help you to work the promotional end of your business, until you find someone else to do it for you. As it stands now, I let my agent handle the selling of my original work, but still manage my own business dealings for my online gallery. Make sure to keep up with the latest trends on computer marketing, and software. It pays to market your business well, so arm yourself with as much practical business knowledge as possible.

Be very disciplined about your work time. In college, it is easy to get sidetracked by friends, parties and other things. I used to work hard then go out with friends, until I wore myself out and ended up with mononucleosis from sleeping too little. It took awhile to recuperate, and I learned to pace myself better. Take care of yourself. Be disciplined, and don't overdo it when you go out with friends. When school is over and you are on your own, the good habits you have established will definitely come into play.

Attend gallery openings, art fairs, and other art venues. See how other professional artists sell their work. Learn from those who are most successful. Ask questions and take notes. Much of the education for a freelancer starts after college. Join professional artists' organizations and participate in discussions. The more people you know, the more support they will give you when you need it.

Being a freelance artist isn't easy, it takes persistence, resourcefulness and cunning. Give yourself a head start by accepting freelance assignments from customers as early as possible. I was taking orders steadily from customers from the age of 16. And the business grew as I grew. I was naiive in the beginning, but in time, my skills increased and it got easier. It is possible to make money as a freelancer. Don't give up, take a job or two on the side when needed for extra money, but never give up on your vision. It will grow naturally, the more you learn and apply your knowledge. Go with the flow, give it time and you will be an independent, fully functioning art professional. I highly recommend it, and wouldn't have things any other way.

About the Author:

Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: http://www.cafepress.com/twopurringcats . Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. She has lived and worked in Cancun, Mexico, among other interesting professional assignments in other countries. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - What you Need to Know About Being a Self-supporting Artist or Designer

Surviving as an Artist in a Rural Area

July21
Author: Bob L Cauley

As an artist I find it hard to survive in a rural area where I live now. When I lived in Omaha I had shows just about every month. Now that I live in the small town of Hugo, Oklahoma I find it very difficult to get shows. When I am able to get shows, they are far away and are very few & far inbetween. I now find my best outlet to be the internet. It is not as much fun as it does not get me the reviews like when an artist deals straight with the public. I have also noticed that my art is not selling as good on the net as it had in person. In fact I find most of my sales are going thru EBay & the art is not bringing as much as it had from shows.

As far as getting gallery representation when you live in a rural area as I do now it is next to impossible. Most galleries only want you if you are close to them. When I was in Omaha I had 2 galleries represent me. But when I moved away from Omaha, they no longer wanted to represent me because I was going to be to faraway. Most galleries that claim to be looking for new artists usually won't take artists that are not in their area. But if you talk to their employees you will find they always claim that, but in reality they have not taken any new artist in several years. Why they do this is beyond me! I have found when checking out a new gallery they are friendly until they find out you are an artist out of their area, then they seem to put on another face.

It seems it is harder for artist to sell their art, get gallery representation, or even get articles written about them nowadays than in the past. In the past art was something that was considered newsworthy and most newspapers were glad to print the articles and give reviews about shows. These days that is not so, it is very hard to get local newspapers to print much about art or artists. They claim that there is not a public interest no matter how good the story may be. National newspapers and newspapers from New York, Chicago, Atlanta and big cities as such usually still give reviews of art and artists.

To put it mildly, as an artist living in rural areas, promoting your art is difficult. It takes innovation and intestinal fortitude in order to be able to get recognition as an artist and to sell and promote it. But with the high cost of fuel and the high cost of shipping art it may now be that the only way to survive as an artist is the use of the internet with all its many connections and downfalls.

About the Author:

ARTIST'S BIO


On May 9, 1960 in the small town of Langdale, Alabama, there was born the eldest of six children Bob L Cauley. He had two brothers and three sisters. At the tender age of eleven, he had to go to work in the cotton fields to help support the family. His family was sharecroppers and migrant workers. Due to having to help support the family financially, he had to drop out of school in the seventh grade. But when he was grown and married with children, he went back to school and received his GED. He then continued his education and received his Associates Degree in Business Management. Over the years, he has worked many of jobs from sharecropper to Business Manager and has had many successful ventures in owning his own businesses.
In 1998, Bob and his wife Judy began collecting and studying art pieces. Bob has always been fascinated with art since he was a child. With a stressful management position at this time in his life, Bob decided to create his own artworks as a way to relax. In 2000, he left his management position to devote full time efforts towards his art. Bob has been primarily inspired and influenced by Jackson Pollock and the Impressionists. Bob considers himself to be a self-taught impressionist and abstract expressionist. He has experimented and used many different media. But is personal preference is oil on canvas. He has devoted countless hours of reading, studying, experimenting, and hard work to create his artworks.
Bob has participated in twelve solo shows and twelve group shows since 2001. He has attended five juried shows. In the second juried show he was in, he won an Award of Excellence. His third juried show, he achieved Best of Show. His fifth juried show he won Judge's Choice Award. In a short time, Bob has proven to be an accomplished visual artist.
Bob currently lives in Hugo, Oklahoma with his wife and children. His plans for the future involve improving his art skill and techniques. He also plans on exhibiting his art as often as possible in the future. His art can be viewed online at http://www.bobcauley.artspan.com.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Surviving as an Artist in a Rural Area

On Becoming an Artist

July21
Author: Charles Griffith

How does one become an artist? It makes sense to start with this broad topic, rather than the fundamentals of drawing, painting, etc, because this is the basic framework for everything else. To say that a person is "born" to be an artist is a romanticized cop-out. Some people may have a greater aptitude for learning the craft, but the inclination towards art is shaped by a person's experiences and the influences they encounter in life. I could easily be a jockey today if I had grown up around the race track. Instead I grew up in an environment where artistic and intellectual pursuits were encouraged.

In it's most basic form, the desire to create art is all that's really needed in the beginning. But to pursue art as your life's work, to be a "serious" artist, requires a well-rounded foundation, one built upon a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

Art reflects the world around us, and often the world within us. The old advice to "paint what you know" is certainly valid, but just what do you know? Most take this maxim to mean that you must paint or draw your backyard, your neighbor or your dog. I "know" these things too, but I also "know" history, literature and mythology. I have traveled in a number of countries; I have been in the military. I know my life, and I know something of myself, too. This knowledge is reflected in my work.

Writers are encouraged to write as much as possible from their own experiences so that it sounds authentic. Why should a visual artist be any different?

The wider the range of your knowledge and experiences, the deeper and broader your art will become. Exposure to great works of literature and philosophy have given me new ways to look at life and the world, as well as giving me ideas for new artwork. It has allowed me to see how others have viewed these things before me. Some artists have been optimistic; others cynical; but every age has had both optimists and cynics, demonstrating a continuity in human affairs. Both art and psychology tell us that whatever you feel, others have felt the same way you have. The more you read and study, the more you'll see this too.

The more well-rounded a person you are, the finer an artist you'll be. It's "cross-training" at its most intellectual level. This also applies at the more technical level, when developing the actual skills for creating art. To create fine art requires mental focus, patience, discipline, superb hand-eye coordination, well-honed decision-making and problem-solving skills. It requires you to be a good student, one who knows how to study and practice. It also demands the ability to look at your work objectively, not an easy task. I spent a year or two playing and studying chess many years ago, and found that it improved my drawing ability, probably because chess demands so much concentration and foresight. And if you are an artist that works in a representational style, try studying and working in a more abstract style for a while, and vice versa. You'll gain a greater understanding of both.

Da Vinci and Michelangelo were remarkably well-rounded individuals who could think logically, practically and analytically, thanks to their activities in engineering, architecture and the sciences. They applied these skills to their art, and the results speak for themselves. I can think of no better proof for my contention than of these two extraordinary men.

I think it would be helpful now to address the merits of being a formally trained artist, as opposed to being a self-taught artist, such as myself. There can be no doubt that a school trained artist has a considerable advantage over one self-taught; you have someone knowledgeable to ground you in proper technique and help you to correct your mistakes. The self-taught artist must go to great effort to be as constructively critical of his work as he can, concentrating extra effort on the areas in which he is weak, something that will be difficult for some.

But I think all students are ultimately self-taught; no one can make the effort for you. And I have seen many works by academically trained artists that are so formulaic that they look like they came out of a paint-by-the-numbers kit. The self-taught student may fall into improper practices if he isn't careful, but he may be freer in his artistic expression than his school trained friend. Keep in mind that Van Gogh was largely self-taught, receiving only minimal classroom instruction.

I don't want to scare anyone away from pursuing art; as I said before, all you need to start with is the desire to start. But gradually, bit by bit, you may find that expanding your sphere of knowledge and experience will improve the quality of your work, and your life. This all reminds me of the criticism that students have perennially made -- why should I study geometry, French. Latin, etc., when I'm going to wash dishes or mow grass for a living? You're right -- you don't need these studies for everyday accomplishments. But creating fine art is not an everyday accomplishment --it is an extraordinary endeavor that requires extraordinary abilities. I hope that my thoughts here can be of help to you in developing these skills.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at
http://charlesgriffith.tripod.com/ and he can be contacted at
charles_griffith@lycos.com .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - On Becoming an Artist

Making Tomorrow a Better Today

July21
Author: Miata Edoga

How do we define success? And, more importantly, what does it take to achieve it? For actors, those answers might be "Being a series regular on a night-time drama" and "Consistently honing my craft and auditioning regularly". For a photographer, they might be "Shooting a cover for National Geographic" (or Cosmopolitan, depending on preference), and "Constantly shooting in different conditions to increase my skill". It will differ from person to person, and from art form to art form, but I want to give you one key to what it takes that applies across the board, be it art, business, finance or sport:

"The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda… by the daily decisions I make, and the daily disciplines I practice" – Dr John C. Maxwell

I heard that statement in a lesson a few years ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me, because I fundamentally believe that it is true. Another way of saying it is that, if what and where I am today is a direct result of my previous actions, what I am tomorrow depends on what I do today. The problem is, most people underestimate what they can do today, and over estimate what they can do tomorrow.

Now, if you think about this for a minute, you will see how true it is. You constantly hear "I'll do it tomorrow". I know I say that, and then, when it doesn't happen tomorrow, it becomes "the next day"… then the next… then the next, until either we hit a crisis and do it at the expense of something else, or we just never quite get around to it.

Taking your acting career as an example: how can you book any jobs if you don't audition? And how can you audition if casting directors aren't seeing your headshot? And how are they seeing your headshot unless it is being put in front of them? So how many submissions are you or your agent making today? How many workshops are you attending today? What networking are you doing today? What are you doing today to hone your skill so that, when the opportunity arises, you perform to the best of your abilities? But maybe making that phone call to an agent is uncomfortable, so you put it of to tomorrow, and traffic is really bad tonight, so that networking event can wait… you get the picture.

The same is true in your artist development, and especially your finances. If I am struggling with debt, what can I do to get out from under it? Can I call the credit card companies and beg for a break? Can I tear up my bills, move, and hope they won't find me? You certainly could, but it wouldn't be recommended. Instead, wouldn't it be better to make more money, shave some money off your expenses, pay a little less in taxes, put a solid debt plan in place, and move forward freely than constantly worrying about how you were going to handle those student loans? (None of which is taught by acting schools !) Again, what expenses can I track today that can be used as tax deductions? How can a work a bit more today to make that bit of extra money I need to cover those expenses? How can I alter my spending habits today so that I have to worry less tomorrow? (For assistance with this, please email us at info@abundancebound.com with the title "Chart of Expenses", and we will send you a very detailed excel file to help break down your income and expenses, and identify where you could trim, what you need to improve etc).

By now you get the picture. Oscar Wylde said "every action of the common day makes or unmakes character", and, beyond that, everything you do today effects where you will be tomorrow.There are two kinds of pain in this arena: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Now, especially when it comes to our finances, we can play now and pay later, or we can pay now and play later. The problem is, payment compounds, and increases with time and missed opportunities. So if you suffer the pain of paying now – of discipline, of doing the things you need to do long after the mood in which you said them in has gone, of paying attention to your actions today – you will get to play a lot longer in the end.

All of this is a process. No-one expects people to flick a switch and suddenly have amazing organizational skills, perfect credit and financial savvy. Just like getting fit takes time, so does this. The important thing is that, as you take your journey into financial education , you are not alone. Abundance Bound is there to help you any way we can, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of doing so.

About the Author:

Miata Edoga is a working actor, as well as being President & Founder of Abundance Bound . Inc, the financial education company for actors & artists. Her vision is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

Step 4 – Organizing & Developing Online Content

If you have done your homework then you are ready to organize and develop what will be your online content. Your content is very important as it will be used for promoting you, your work, and your website. Content serves a variety of purposes; it displays public relations, target marketing, and general information to build a platform for your product (your purpose).

One of the main items that need attention would be your biography. If you are an artist or writer, you will get asked for this pertinent information every time you make a submission or apply for competitions. Your biography is an essential piece of information that often can get viewed prior to your work. Even if your target audiences are publishers, agents, or clients, you have only one chance to intrigue them and make a good first impression.

There are several ways that you can address your audience. If you would like to be up front and personal, you can write in first person, using "I" in your sentence structure. For example, "I was born in Silver Springs, Maryland." If you want to have a general sound or professional structure, you can write in the third person, referring to yourself as stated in this example, "Meilena Hauslendale was born in Silver Springs, Maryland."

It's really up to you on how you would like to address your audience. I personally prefer writing in third person when referring to my work mainly because I feel it conveys a sense of professional etiquette. It creates a press release persona that can maintain your audience's attention. However, if you prefer to write in first person you can do that and still have strength to your sentences. Either way you want to spark your audience's interest in you and your work.

The difference between a how a hobbyist or a professional artist or writer can be determined simply on how they are conveyed through content. You want your sentences to have strength and power to them. Each word and phrase counts because they are performing a difficult task, representing you, when you are not there to do so. For example you could say, "I'm an artist from Erie, PA. I am trying to make a living doing art. Hope you will look at my work." This sentence hardly provides any credibility to my name or my art. It conveys that I am not really serious about what I'm doing, but I still would like you to look at my work. That's a lofty expectation to have of my audience when I lack taking myself serious.

A professional sentence structure as an example, "Meilena Hauslendale was raised in Erie, PA and began her career as a professional artist in 1997." You want to state who you are, where you come from, and what it is you do. You want your opening sentence to really state a few basic facts about you and your work. This is not an easy task and perhaps one of the reasons why many artists and writers procrastinate completing a biography. Perhaps one of the reasons why, just as Alan Wilson Watts states, "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."

It's quite the challenge to write about yourself and really expand on your talents. You have to convey your work and yourself from almost another person's perspective. Imagine yourself as a Public Relations Specialist and you were just hired to write about an artist or writer. What are some things you would need to know about that person? What strong points do you want to enunciate about this person's life and accomplishments? What active role does this person assume now?

You don't have to be overly personal but you really want to give your audience a sense of who you are. Let them know how you began your career. Write about your technique or your style. It is possible to be personal but also professional. You may have to work on several drafts until you get a nice flow of words and a functional biography. The time you put into writing this valuable piece of information will pay off by getting people to take notice in something very dear to you, your purpose. So share your passion with your audience. You just may notice that your enthusiasm might be contagious.

You want to have a short version (100-150 words) of your biography and then a long version (500-1,000 words). It's advisable to work on your long version first so then you can easily copy a short version by taking excerpts. As an example you can view my biography online: http://www.meilena.com/portrait/?q=biography. I had a shorter version posted several months back, but because of numerous requests to know more about me, I had to rewrite it. You may experience similar feedback from your viewers. The long version will be for your website and the shorter version will be used for promotional websites that commonly limit your biography to 100-150 words.

You can also write a statement about your work. A statement simply is a personal claim about your work or perhaps on what inspires your work. Get creative here and really just type what you feel you need to express about your creativity. I was asked for an artist statement back in 1999. I had no clue what that was but I wrote one down. I've used the same statement ever since. You can view it online to get an example: http://www.meilena.com/portrait/?q=biography

Take time to really write down your talents and accomplishments and don't be afraid to express them in your content. The more people learn about you, the more they will be able to relate to you.

Your challenge for this month is to create a full length and short version of your biography. As a bonus create an artistic statement if you would like. Read other artists' or writers' biographies and ask yourself which ones interested you and then explain why. Which biographies had strong statements, which ones were weak? Then take that information and apply it to yourself. Evaluate what traits you want to express, organize an outline, and then write your biography.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 3- Organizing Your Resources & Collections

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

In our previous step, Step 2, you were challenged to get active and network with other professionals in your field. By now you should have an abundant source of resources to reference and help you mold your personal aspirations. You should have a collection of bookmarks of peer's and organization's websites.

You can really gather a lot of information in a short amount of time when you are dealing with the internet. So I recommend keeping organized with your information right from the start. If you are keeping track of your information in a notebook, adopt a method to keep it orderly. Maybe have your notebook sectioned into topics, for example, 'references,' 'organizations,' 'peers.' If you are bookmarking your reference information through your browser, organize your list by assigning them to folders. This option is usually listed under your favorites menu, typically called 'organize favorites.' Do whatever makes sense to you and will help you easily retrieve the information you need in the future.

Organization doesn't just stop at notebooks and bookmarks. It goes much deeper than that. Make sure you are personally organized before you start our next challenge. Clean up your workspace. Take care of your priorities or any tasks you may have been procrastinating. The key here is to not just clean out your physical space, but mental space as well.

Now we can start working on creating your collection. Your 'collection' is going to be the foundation of your purpose. If you are creating art for example, it would be your artwork. If you are a writer, it would be a collection of your writings. If you are intending on being a merchant of other sorts, it would be your product.

So the first question to ask yourself would be: do you have a collection? If you do, now is the time to organize your work. Again, maybe break your collection into groups, organize your work by likeness or by time frame. This can be done by simply creating categories and assigning your work to the appropriate heading. This will help you set the stage for your web presence. Now is the time to keep in mind some of the sites you went on in our previous step. Think about what sites were easy to navigate and what sites were not. Did you like how a particular site was organized? What did you like about it? Apply your answers to your own concept of organization.

If you don't have a collection, then now is the time to work on acquiring one. Establishing a collection does not happen over night. So be patient with yourself and set realistic goals. My very first website was created by a friend of mine when I lived in California, before I started designing my own site. The first collection was composed of only 13 works of art, but it was a start. Now seven years later, I have a collection of around 160 paintings. You don't have to have an extremely large collection of works or products to get started. One of the best things about opening a store on the web unlike a brick and mortar store, you don't have to have a large product line. Granted it helps, but it is not always necessary. The key here is quality not quantity.

Once you have your collection created or organized you can now work on the information side of your collection. Assign your collection or product names, titles, or SKU numbers. Write up descriptions for each piece or group. Be as informative and descriptive as you can. Put yourself in the consumer or viewer's place and think about what information you would need to know in order to make a proper buying decision. You do not want to be vague here at all. Your description not only aids your buyer, but it also protects you as a seller. Describing your product or service honestly, prevents any likelihood of surprise to your buyer. As a result you should have less returns and refunds and more customer satisfaction.

Once you have developed your collection or product sheet, make a column for pricing. Pricing can often be the most challenging task of designing a web front mainly because you are being asked to place a price on yourself and your own value. This is especially true if the services you provide are rendered creative. A normal or typical marketing tactic is to research your competitors and get an idea of the market value of your product. If you are working in a creative field or freelance field you can search for guilds that offer pricing guidelines.

After you get an overview or others' pricing then you need to realistically figure out what it will cost you to perform your services. You want to consider the amount of time you spend on a project, the cost of materials, the tax you will have to pay, and the cost of shipping and or transportation. Your cost may be very different than your competitors. Pricing is a personal choice and decision, so base it on what you believe the item to be worth. You want competitive prices, but worthy prices. The biggest mistake I see creative people make is under pricing themselves. Buyers believe they get what they pay for, so make your pricing valuable to them.

Develop a confidence in your work, but back that confidence with experience and knowledge. Believe that what you are creating has a value to more people than just yourself. Most importantly, be excited! Your enthusiasm will be conveyed in every area of your work. If you are not excited, then you need to go back to step 1 and reevaluate what your purpose is.

Your challenge for this month is to get organized in your personal and mental space, organize or create your collection, and then write effective descriptions for your works or products. During this process, continue to network and continue to learn and you will develop your path… your purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 2- Getting From Point A to Point B

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was to research where your passion lies. Based on your research you might have discovered that self investigation can lead us to two places; either we find out our answer or we realize we need to ask more questions to get that answer.

Finding your purpose takes great effort, but can be effortless all at the same time. It seems that once we begin pursuing that in which we were intended, everything falls into place. But the matter we have to realize is that time plays a great role.

Sometimes people are over night successes and others have to nurture their purpose for years to come. Keep in mind though, as long as you enjoy what it is you are pursuing and the motivation you have is strong, than that alone will sustain your ambition and provide your passion longevity.

Remember you are making a commitment to yourself. You should treat that commitment the same way you would treat a marriage or devoted friendship. The key is to value yourself the way you value others. Having a good attitude from the very beginning can make the difference and not only affect your career, but the people around you. Self dedication does show and the commitment will be reflected in your professional life and relationships.

Assuming you now have a general idea of what you would like to do, now you need to visualize how to get from Point A, where you are now, to Point B, where you would like to be. Sometimes it is easier to set up a structure for your business if you look at the large picture of your purpose and where you intend to be in the future. Granted your ideas and goals change as you change, but your general purpose will usually remain the same, it just branches out.

Now that you have researched what you want to do, take the time to research what others in your area of interest have already done. Conducting market research will allow you to get a feel for the industry you are entering. It's important to see what is out there. Look up trade journals and magazines. Really put some effort into getting involved with your career and learning about it. Every career has an abundant amount of resources available and a lot of that information is free. If you see a trade journal or magazine that you like, sign up for their newsletter. This will help keep you updated on industry events and trends.

Reading and researching can be one sided tasks. Sometimes it is easier to learn about your career by actually interacting with others in the field. This can be done on your own time instead of regular business hours thanks to the internet. Now you can find chat groups, users groups, and forums and you are not limited by time zones or borders.

One of my favorite resources is Yahoo Groups at http://groups.yahoo.com/. You can look up any particular subject and find a group where you can discuss some of your career objections. This is an excellent way to network with your peers and experts in the field. It is not uncommon to find a lot of other "newbies" in these groups as well as professionals. The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask questions. If you don't know what questions to ask then reading over the archives of a group is a great place to start. Groups vary in size and subject so what I suggest is to join a couple to see which ones fit your personal needs.

Another resource you can use is ListServ lists http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html. Typically you subscribe through your email client to a discussion group within your field of interest. You can also do a search for "listserves" or "user groups" on the internet to pull up a vast amount of sites that list an array of groups. Not all lists are treated equal so again use your own judgment when joining.

I also personally like forum communities. You can often search for "forums" online to find one in your career field. It's a great opportunity to share your discoveries as well as learn from others. Not to mention you can do several searches within a forum and read old posts. This is a great way to see other member profiles which often reference their personal or business websites. Some forums even have a 'members' section that lists all their members profiles. Any profile with a "www" by their name usually has a live link to their site. Be sure to take the time and visit these sites for reference.

When you are visiting other people's websites in your field, I advise you to check and see if they have a links page. I have found so many great resources through other people's links pages. Also it helps you get an idea of what sites you can possibly request link exchanges from in the future.

By networking with others and conducting your own market research, you will gain a better sense of direction and get an idea where it is you want to be in the future with your career. If you see a website that you like, bookmark it. Then once you have collected enough information, go back and review your favorites once more. Ask yourself what do you like about it? What information was useful to you? Was the site visually appealing? Was the site easy to navigate? If not, what would you change? What information would you add? Take notes, write your thoughts down and remember… patience plus perseverance, equals purpose.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Making Your Purpose Your Business Step 1 – Discovering Your Purpose

July21

By Meilena Hauslendale

There is no such thing as a "small" job. Each function within our society aids our detailed technical lifestyles and well being. From a store clerk to a business executive, each position is an intricate part of the matrix of our world. We rely on these functions without even realizing their value or contribution to our daily activity. Each person has there place and each person has their purpose. The key is discovering and taking the time to find out what exactly you are to contribute to the world.

What is even more challenging is that often we are presented with serving multiple roles in our lives besides just our "purpose." We are parents, workers, spouses, and children. All of which demand time and effort from our daily lives. What is important though is that we balance our time and our roles to nurture our purpose and inner abilities. It takes time and effort to discover your goals and ambitions, but it is a quest that need not go unnoticed.

A common excuse for not nurturing our talents is that we are too busy with other activities. When in actuality perhaps we have over extended our time and resources. Take a moment to sit down and note what in your life takes up your time. And then after you make that list, make a column and mark what is a priority, what really "has" to be done. Be sure to note how much personal time you get outside from all your other responsibilities. Start out small and see if you can allocate at least a half hour or an hour of your time a day devoted to yourself without interruptions. Use this time to evaluate the path of your life. Are you doing what you want to be doing right now? If yes, what could you do to further your progress? If no, what do you want to do?

Use free thinking in your evaluation. Free thinking means there are no limits. You can dream to be anything you want to be. Think about what you would like to do whether you were paid or not. Think about what makes you feel good as a person. Maybe you like the arts or maybe you like to work outside. Compare your aspirations with your current life situation. Are you close to your goals or are you far away?

Once you have addressed your aspirations, make notes in a special notebook dedicated to just you. It is great to see your ideas take formation when they hit the paper and also it is a great way to look at your progress on days where you may feel there is none. Plus you will need a notebook for further steps as well. Feel free to personalize this notebook and make it attractive for yourself.

Don't feel guilty for taking this special time for yourself. Understand that your commitment to yourself will reflect off onto others. By bettering yourself, you become better in all the roles and commitments you hold. It is when we stop to listen to our true selves and the nature of our lives that we are able to create abundance in our environment and those around us. What you are doing is investing in a personal foundation.

If you only have a half hour or an hour a day, make a list of what you want to accomplish with that time. So once the clock starts ticking you are ready to be productive and work on your goals. Time management is good practice right from the beginning. So when you do figure out what your purpose is, you will be ready to use every minute you get efficiently.

Once you figure out where you want to go or what direction you want to take in your life, then take the time to research… research…research. Research is a crucial element of developing your career strategy. Go to the library or do a search online for the topic you are interested in pursuing. Find out what tools you will need to start your purpose. Will you need additional education or training? Will you need a business loan? Or will you be using your own personal resources for the start up? Don't let money issues stop your progress. Remember knowledge is the currency here. There are ways to accomplish your purpose on little to no funds.

Remember real life purposes take real life work. Sure some people get lucky, but often others have to really dedicate themselves to their success. Have an open mind during this self evaluation period and the rest will follow. Most importantly, be patient with yourself the same way you would be patient with another person. Secondly, perseverance is essential in the formula for success. You have to be willing to make a serious commitment from day one to yourself. Your ideas may change form along the way, but at least you are continuing to reach towards self fulfillment.

As a summary for this step's exercise, write it down, take a pen and paper and make a personal inventory of your ambitions or the things that you are good at and enjoy. What do you feel passion about? What would you want to do even if you didn't get paid for it? Second of all, be honest with yourself. Don't feel ashamed or guilty to recognize your talents… after all that's what they are there for, to be recognized. It's up to you to release them and share them with others. Make your purpose, your business.

Inspirational Artist & Author Meilena Hauslendale's work and articles are displayed internationally. She is the founder of Silence Speaks International Artist Association and the Editor of Intrigue Magazine. Published books include, Making Your Purpose Your Business and Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships. Email: articles@meilena.com http://www.meilena.com

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Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

July21
Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

What do you enjoy most about going on an Artist Retreat Day? For most of us it's getting away from our "normal routine", having our creativity sparked by new surroundings and having the luxury of "open time" to work on our creative projects.

A retreat gives us the opportunity to step outside the day-to-day and look at the big picture of our creative dreams. It gives us freedom from obligation and responsibilities and guidance from a facilitator and/or our artist peers.

Here are five ways to bring some of these elements into your life EVERY SINGLE DAY:

  1. Call yourself an artist. Find a way to work it into conversations with new people or join and get active in an association, discussion group or other community of artists. Get used to fully claiming your identity as the creative artist that you are.

  2. Enjoy - and celebrate something you've already completed. Savour it, relish in it and accept it as a perfect expression of the "you" that you were when you created it.

  3. Let go of one of the obligations and responsibilities on your list today. Delegate it, cancel it (respectfully and in a considerate way), reschedule it or let it go.

  4. Make use of the free space you've just created. Take a small step towards making your creative dream come true.

  5. Change something in your routine. Take a new route, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, get outside, eat your meals in a different chair or change the location of something in your creative workspace.

(c) Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To find out more about her "Artist Retreat Day Guidebook", visit http://www.artistretreatday.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

Integrity: Essential to Effortless Creative Flow

July21
Author: Valery Satterwhite

Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

"This above all; to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare

What is integrity?

What does it mean to be in integrity?

If you look up the word "integrity" in the dictionary you will learn that it comes from the Latin word, "integer" which means "whole". Integrity is an unreduced or unbroken completeness, wholeness, totality, incorruptibility. It is an unimpaired condition and the quality or state of being complete and undivided. Integrity is found in a state of being who you are and, allowing others the same right.

When you are "in integrity" you are in alignment with who you are at your deepest core; your truth. In any area of your life where you struggle your thoughts and actions are out of integrity, you are not behaving in alignment with who you are.

"The voice within is what I'm married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage. My lover is the place inside me where an honest yes and no come from. That's my true partner. It's always there. And to tell you yes when my integrity says no is to divorce that partner." - Byron Katie

To live in alignment, in integrity with who you are you:

Speak what you know to be true even if it may cause conflict. Ask for what you need and want from others. Behave according to your personal values. Make decisions based on what is true for you, not the beliefs of others. When you are in integrity with who you are, life flows seemingly effortlessly. When you are acting in ways that are not in alignment with your truth you don't feel good. You may be frustrated or upset. You may think less of yourself and beat yourself up over the choices you have made.

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?" - Albert Camus

You continue to create your experiences through the thoughts, emotions, choices and actions that you take. Be mindful of your daily thoughts. Are they in alignment with who you are? Be mindful of what words come after your sentences beginning with "I am". As an artist, for example, if you notice that you often say to yourself, "I'm not creative enough", then you are out of alignment. You are not in integrity with who you are. And it is in this state of being out of alignment that you feel that you are not enough.

I'll state it again because it is that important: You continue to create your experiences through the thoughts, emotions, choices and actions that you take. If your thought is "I'm not creative enough." then you will create more experiences of not being creative enough. When you notice a thought that is out of alignment turn it around. Change "I'm not creative enough." to "I'm a creative person in the process of creating.". Truth is, you are a creative person - albeit a creative person holding herself back at the moment with a misguided, out of integrity, thought. Be mindful of what you say to yourself and others. Be mindful whether or not those statements are in or out of alignment with who you are. Think and act in integrity with who you are and observe how your life transforms from one of struggle to creative flow.

Every day you make a bajillion choices. Stay in bed for another few minutes or get up and greet the day? Start or continue to work on your project or act upon a distraction? Fries or Salad? Go to the audition or stay home? Promote your work or give up because of 'the economy'? Plastic or Paper? Yes or No?

Choices require decisions. A state of indecision is a decision. Is there a decision you are about to make that might be in conflict with your integrity? How can you tell if a decision is out of integrity with who you are?

It's simple, really. Just ask yourself a few questions and you'll know whether or not the decision you made is in integrity with who you are.

How do I feel about the decision I just made? Do I think more or less of myself having made this decision? Is this decision based upon 'should' or 'supposed to' beliefs of others? Is this decision in alignment with my greater good? Who will I be having made this decision? "Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune." - Carl Jung

If you genuinely care about what you create for your future and want to live in authenticity with who you are you must take responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, decisions, actions and outcomes, which result in your experiences. Honor your soul with choices that are in integrity, in alignment with who you are.

Make sure your words and your actions are congruent. Know what you know. Know that you know what you know. Know that you know what you know what you know. And be true to that knowingness. Your internal wisdom. Your intuition. The Wizard Within.

"Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do." - Don Galer

Pay attention to what you say to yourself and others. Be mindful whether or not those statements are in or out of alignment with who you are. Think and act in integrity with who you are and observe how your life transforms from one of struggle to creative flow.

About the Author:

Valery Satterwhite is an Artist Mentor who specializes in empowering creative people in the visual and performing arts how to to create more profoundly, more prolifically, and more profitably. Valery spent years developing and implementing a proven unique "Inner Wizard" methodology to empower other creative people to express their full potential. To learn more go to http://www.InnerWizard.com . Get Free "Artist Resource/Marketing Directory" too!

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Integrity: Essential to Effortless Creative Flow

How to Become a Famous Artist

July21
Author: I.ivabov

How to become a famous artist.

1. It does not matter what kind of painting or graphic techniques you use.

2. By painting oil is the easiest to use.

3. Talent is undoubtedly the biggest, but not the main factor.

4. Hard work is one of the main factors.

5. Ambition is almost the main factor.

6. A good and up to date concept is decisive factor in creating your artwork.

7. Bad critic is in most cases a positive critic.

8. Try to be as much eccentric as you can.

9. Don't mind critic and unpleasant statements from eccentric "art" activists.

10. Attend an Art College, Art School, or take some private lessons. Even if you don't like realistic stiles, it is very important to study the human anatomy. Picasso creates "childish human forms", but he possesses perfect knowledge of the human anatomy and that makes

him Picasso.

11. Who you know, is a very important factor of success. Of course most of the really good painters and artists are not the most social people in the world, but please try to make contacts, be social, in most cases the help and the best solutions came from friends of friends.

12. Something which should motivate you is the phrase: "The best artists are made, not born."

13. Invest as much time as you can in your art initiative. Take your time, concentrate on your work. Very few famous artists were hobby painters. If you practise it as a hobby, you can forget it! If you feel it strong enough, you will probably sacrifice everything in the name of art. Once again ambition is almost the main factor but hard work is one of the main factors.

14. Travel as much as you can and can afford.

15. Visit as many museums as you can.

16. Take notes when you visit a museum. If you like an artwork, just write down the name of the author and study his biography and works. Try to get as much as you can from brochures and books.

17. Read as much books as you can, most of the famous artists are well educated and well-read people. Nevertheless classic literature will influence your ideology.

18. Take your time to explore the internet, find suitable galleries for your artworks and apply to the best art galleries online, or by the traditional way.

19. Visit public events and try to make contacts.

20. Create accounts in online sources. Very important! Nowadays internet plays a very important role.

21. Please don't cut your ear!

22. If you don't live in a big City, try to move to one. Most of the galleries and considerable

art dealers and galleries are situated in big cities.

When you create, never forget, that less is more. Try to be as minimalist (especially nowadays) as possible.

23. Be unique.

24. Be your self. When you create, try to be yourself, try to be unique, create something special.

25. Expose your art, don't be ashamed, if you feel it, show it, if you are sure, you are going to make it. Believe in your self.

26. And once again Ambition is almost the main factor.

27. And the last thing; I am an art collector and you can contact me and present me your artworks. Please write to me at artimpresia@abv.bg or check on http://artimpresia.com

About the Author:

Artimpresia Gallery,
http://artimpresia.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - How to Become a Famous Artist

How The Artist Uses Color

July21
Author: Charles Griffith

Color is the emotional counterpoint to the intellectual qualities of drawing, and is one of the most important elements of design. While paintings and drawings can be quite effective without color, the use of color adds an entirely new dimension to the piece. Without color, the artist is not a painter, but a draughtsman.

Although color theory can be complex, practical application is what matters, and in this article I will present a simple philosophy for achieving an effective use of color and color harmony in a composition. But first an acquaintance with the fundamentals of color theory is necessary, as I believe that no worthwhile accomplishments can arise from ignorance of the basic principles:

1. Buy an artist's color wheel, or make your own. This is an essential item for any artist. Be acquainted with the primary colors: red, blue and yellow; how they mix to make the secondary colors, and how the secondary colors mix to make the tertiary colors.

2. "Hue" is simply the name of a color; for example, red, blue, orange are "hues." "Intensity" is the purity of a color. "Value" is the darkness or lightness of a color. "Temperature" is the relative warmness or coolness of a color; this can also be affected by surrounding colors. A "key" color is the dominant color in a color scheme. "Palette" has two meanings for the artist: first, it refers to the surface on which the paints are mixed before being applied to the canvas; second, it refers to the range of colors which the artist has chosen for his painting. In this article I will use the latter meaning.

3. Be sure to understand the relationship between complimentary colors (colors directly opposite each other on a color wheel) such as red and green, blue and orange, red and violet. Mixed together, they create valuable greys that can help unify a color scheme. But be careful about including complimentary colors in your work: they can compete with each other unless one is more abundant than the other, or one is greyed a bit to lower its intensity. And if you want to increase the intensity of a color, surround it with its complement, or with a grey. In my painting, "The Triumph Of Mars," found on my website, you can see how grey is used to enhance the impact of red and yellow.

4. Black, white and grey are not colors--in fact, they represent the absence of color. Any color mixed with white is a "tint;" any color mixed with black is a "shade;" any color mixed with grey is a "tone."

5. The standard color schemes are analogous, triadic, tetradic, complementary, split complementary and monochromatic:

a. Analogous--three or more colors side by side on the color wheel.
b. Triadic--three colors equidistant on the color wheel, forming a triangle.
c. Tetradic--four colors equidistant on the color wheel, forming a square.
d. Complementary--two colors directly across from each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, and any neutral greys made from mixing the two.
e. Split Complementary--three colors, two of which are the adjacent colors to the complementary color of the third.
f. Monochromatic--a color scheme composed of only one color, plus black and white.

Don't worry about adhering to these formal color schemes too closely; the inclusion of neutrals and your own color preferences will ultimately play a more dominant role in shaping your use of color. Their main purpose is to introduce the artist to color relationships and how those relationships create harmony in a color scheme.

Finally, remember that warm colors advance and cool colors recede. For example, in a landscape you could use warm earth tones in the foreground to make it appear closer to the viewer, while in the background you would use cooler colors such as blues and greens to create the sense of recession and distance.

That completes a brief review of basic color theory. Now I will discuss the effective use of color in a composition, and how to harmonize the colors in that composition. To create harmony in a color scheme a painting should consist of warm, cool and neutral colors, with one group predominating. The use of neutral colors, such as greys made from complimentary colors or earth tones, are the key to the great painters' successful use of color in their compositions. Greys help to unify a color scheme by tying together the warm and cool colors. The works of two of my favorite artists, Edward Hopper and El Greco, are superb examples of the use of neutral greys to balance and enrich a color scheme. Black and white can also serve as neutrals in this context.

In determining your color scheme for a painting, first examine the subject before you. If you look carefully you will see that there is a predominate color in the scene. This is known as the "key" color, and this will be a good choice for the "key" color in your composition as well. Once you have determined this color, it will easier to establish the other colors of your color scheme in relation to it.

One of the most important principles of color harmony is keeping your palette of colors to a minimum--it's not how many colors you use; it's how well you use a limited number of colors. The greater the number of colors used, the more difficult it is to maintain control over them.

Once you have chosen your palette for a painting, try to mix all your colors with this limited number--avoid the temptation to add more colors. This is another way to achieve harmony in your color scheme. For example, try mixing your blacks, browns and greys with the some of the colors with which you mixed your greens, blues and oranges.

When mixing colors, use a minimum of colors in your mixtures--three or four at the most, or the result may be muddy. To maintain the freshness of the colors, avoid over-mixing your paints, and apply them to the canvas with minimal brushwork. The use of white should also be approached with caution; it can easily turn a color mixture muddy. Remember that it isn't always a good idea to lighten a color with white, or to darken a color with black. Other colors can be used for these purposes; a lighter color such as yellow ochre can lighten a green, and ultramarine blue can darken it.

If your subject is painted from life, remember that the colors of nature are only a guide; the painting is a separate entity from the subject--it has a life of its own. All that matters is that the use of color in your painting is effective. Of course, you should choose colors that help to express the mood and atmosphere of the subject; you would not choose bright Impressionist colors for a moody landscape.

The basics of color theory are applicable to any medium; however, some media such as pastel and colored pencil do not lend themselves well to the mixing of complimentary colors to create neutral greys. In these dry media, colors cannot be mixed directly as with paint; it will be necessary to blend colors visually, using hatching, stippling or scumbling techniques. You may also have to use a greater number of colors to compensate for this limitation.

In some media, such as oil or acrylic, different colors have different attributes: some colors may be transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. These qualities will affect how the colors can be used; for example, transparent colors are better used for glazes than opaque colors, but transparent colors will not provide adequate coverage to conceal an underlying color.

All paint, as it dries, changes color or intensity to some degree, or "sinks." Acrylic seems to be one of the biggest offenders in this regard; oil seems the most resistant to this. This is not to say that one medium is superior to another; every medium has its strengths and weakness, and should be used accordingly. However, I have found it more difficult to maintain color harmony in acrylic than in oil; the colors often change quite noticeably as they dry.

A final word about color; as with any aspect of art, there is no better way to study the use of color than to learn from the great masters. Study the works of artists whose paintings you admire; see how they used color. The works of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edward Hopper, El Greco and Henri Matisse have always impressed me with their rich and sophisticated use of color.

If drawing is the skeleton of a painting, then color is its flesh. Color is the essence of the painter's art, and its application brings life to the artist's concept. As you gain experience you will instinctively gain a greater "color sense" and develop your own preferences. Equipped with a solid grounding in color theory and a study of the great artists' works, in time you will blend understanding with knowledge to create your own personal philosophy of color.

About the Author:

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - How The Artist Uses Color

How to be creative and find motivation for designing websites

July21
Author: Dinah John

Website Motivation - Whatever your skills, whatever your interests, everyone has the ability to be creative in their work. However, we can often lose our motivation and drive to create, making it difficult to stay focused on a particular work plan or project, especially in web design. So what is the best method for staying motivated?

The key to maintaining your own motivation to be creative is actually a long term effort. Starting out can be tough, and in most cases the most difficult part. But with the right methods and consistency you will be able to reach a point where staying motivated is easy. It is a simple case of knowing when to make the right choices at the right times.

Obviously everyone is unique and each of you will have your own methods and actions into being creative. But here is the chance to read something that offers some possible methods and solutions when getting motivated and staying motivated.

The main things to take into consideration are:

Set goals
You will find it is a lot easier to stay motivated when you feel like you've reached a target. Give yourself something to achieve and break the work load down. If it is a large website project you are working on, set yourself mini goals so you are reaching targets every few hours or days rather than spending weeks trying to get the lot done.

Small bite-sized objectives
As mentioned briefly above, set yourself up for more success than failure by being realistic in goal setting and come up with small, bite-sized tasks to start with. As you complete more tasks, start making your goals more ambitious.

Build a creative workstation
Whether you design websites at your desk, in a dark room or a home office, you need to assign a place to yourself where you can be creative. Once you've decided on that place, use it! Each creative task and success you achieve in your 'creative workstation', will slowly train your mind to be creative within it. When I first set up my creative workstation it took me about 3 months for it to click in my mind that it was actually my workstation but as soon as I enter now, I can focus my mind that I'm ready to work.

Walk away, but don't quit!
Whatever you do, you must always remember to never give up on a website or problem. Put them to one side for a while but always come back it later on, even if it means coming up with a theory for solving the problem. These problems build confidence and develop a nice portfolio.

Find your creative time zone
Just like your body's sleeping and eating times, there is also a best time when your body can be most creative. For me, the best time to be creative used to be late at night, now-a-days it's usually between midday and late evening. Although I do have a creative burst where I get most work done after 9pm. Your main objective is find out when you are at your most creative side and start using that time to your advantage.

Using the right tools
When being creative designing websites you need to ensure that you are using the right tools for the job. The 'right tools' doesn't necessarily mean the best tools but being creative can be difficult enough, therefore, the idea is to make the job / project as easy as possible. For example, my best choice design software has got to be 'Photoshop', you may make this more difficult by trying to use 'mspaint' to come up with some amazing graphics. It's something you just don't do!

Following progress
One of the key points in being creative is to follow your own progress. As mentioned in step 1; the main objective is to break the task down into smaller parts. Therefore, after a few weeks working on a project look back and see how far you've come. If you don't stop every so often to see where you were a couple of months ago, and where you are now – do it! You might just surprise yourself on how much progress you've made and how your creativity has grown.

Get out of the house
This may seem a bit like the step where you walk away from your work and come back to it later, but there is a fine line between setting aside some work and actually taking a break from your workstation. Whilst a creative workstation can often be the best practice, it sometimes helps to go somewhere different to work. It can provide a different level of ideas and influence your creativity and work.

Work through it
You may think that it's pointless trying to force yourself to be creative when you're 'not in the mood' but often it can work in your favour. It may feel difficult to start with but as you gain momentum you'll find your motivation returns almost every time! After all, you have nothing to lose; you get the job done and you're still producing quality work / websites. It may not seem like they are of good quality but you may still be working the same as you usually do, you're just in the wrong state of mind to realise.

About the Author:

Read more about web design and Ecommerce web design glassbottomdesign.co.uk.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - How to be creative and find motivation for designing websites

Chance for unknown artists

July21
Author: rukhsana

When Clear Channel controls the radio and the monopoly newspaper does not love you as you win new audiences?

The good news: There are many, many ways. Here are ten of my favorites.

1. The approach at the local college or alternative radio station or community access cable TV station programming idea how to live songwriter showcase. Other musicians will want to participate in your show, and you'll build an audience for his music - and for them.

2. Recording a CD or concert reviews for the local alternative (or primary) document.

3. Give copies of CD out of the public radio and television stations for their fund drive premiums.

4. Organize, promote and perform at charity events for your favorite causes.

5. Lead songwriting and performing workshops in schools (as a rule, these payments concerts,

http://www.ticketfront.com tickets and all parents to hear your name). Invite some children to perform with you, they always bring a bunch of relatives, and who will pay for the ticket, and perhaps buy a CD.

6. Declare your concerts in each community calendar. Newspapers, magazines, radio, public Web sites, cable TV stations - they all run the event lists. View of one paragraph, which includes the tag line that you do, for example, "Sandy, executing, River City's' homegrown Bono, 'will perform labor songs and love ballads in the trombone stores, 444 4 Street in the city center river, Wednesday, January 15, 7 pm "When you receive a free or a charitable connection, say so. Include contact phone number and e-mail.

7. Find Internet discussion groups related to your case. Whether in the field of immigration, voting reform the world, safe energy, the right to choose ... will not be discussion groups on the Internet. Post the answers and include a "signature" - short for the business card. Using different sigs for different purposes. Here's one of mine (in real e-mail, it will be single-spaced):

8. Create a simple low-cost website. Include a few sound clips, pictures of you performing, a place for people to register your fan news, and links to your favorite musicians, and, of course, the route and schedule of concert availability.

9. Get exposure on other people's sites. Write CD reviews, to support their music http://www.ticketfront.com tickets with an ad, submit articles about local music ... and be sure to include your contact information and a statement that encourages people to visit your site.

10. Use the letters columns. Call talk shows. Post a message on a web forum ... in a word, use any tool of feedback you have for the distribution of words.

About the Author:

TicketFront deals in all mega events around the globe. Our online ticket inventory offers best ticket deals for Concerts, Theaters, Sporting events and Las Vegas. We not only provide tickets for all sold-out events but we are your premium source of ticketing and venue information for all upcoming entertainment events. Whether it is a sporting event or a theatrical act, a live musical performance or shows at Las Vegas; we provide you best ticket tickets deals for each and every event around the globe.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Chance for unknown artists

Creativity and the Artist

July21
Author: Charles Griffith

The artist's inspiration has been the object of wonder and misconception ever since early Man created the first painted images on the walls of his caves thousands of years ago. In truth, there is nothing mystical about creative thought; the average person uses it in his daily life to solve everyday problems, just as the engineer, scientist and architect employ it in their professions. And to expand the mind's ability to conjure new ideas can be accomplished by simply learning to break free of restrictive ways of thinking, and by exposure to new and stimulating experiences.

Everyone falls into a mental rut sometimes, where habit takes over. But habit is the enemy of creative thinking! You have to open your mind to new ways of experiencing and perceiving in order to gain fresh ideas. There are many established ways to improve your ability to think creativity. To begin with, you should always strive to avoid time-worn cliches; for the visual artist, this could mean taking a common subject, such as a still-life, and injecting some new element into it that normally wouldn't be associated with that subject. Consider my painting "Voodoo", found on my website. Instead of the usual flowers and vase, I have used an African ceremonial mask and a human skull, adding a darker twist to the traditional still-life genre.

Many innovative ideas originate in the subconscious mind. Therefore dreams have often been the source of new ideas for the artist, and for Surrealists such as Salvador Dali they were usually the main source of inspiration. Sometimes the mind can be stimulated simply by drawing or painting in a different location than usual. I often find walking or pacing helps me to think and sort out any confusion in my mind. Trying your hand at other fields of artistic expression, such as writing or music, can give you new perspectives. Literature and film can also be rich sources of ideas. I found that studying poetry helped me to draw more upon the subconscious, and to gain a greater appreciation of the principles that are common to all art forms.

One of the greatest obstacles to creativity is conformity. Don't allow yourself to be restricted by what is socially or culturally acceptable; society encourages uniformity of thought and attitude--this is the death of creative thought! Follow your own instincts, believe in your own view and perceptions; don't be afraid to be provocative if that is what your concept demands. Look at my works "The Lady Of Ill Repute" and "The Years"--certainly not everyone's idea of beauty. But beauty can be found in the truth expressed in these women's faces and in their lives, like the beauty found in the ruins of a forgotten temple. In these women one sees the scars of past experience and the price that time exacts from the human soul. In short, they tell a good story, something art should always strive to do.

It is a great mistake to think that every idea that you arrive at should be a good one. The creative process is by nature somewhat chaotic--this naturally means that some of your ideas, perhaps most of them, are simply bad. This is fine! Even a bad idea can be of value, as it may lead you to make an unconscious connection that eventually matures into something useful. In fact, sometimes deliberately coming up with a bad concept can open the mind to something better. It's all a matter of making unconscious associations.

I have come to believe that there is no truly original idea. Everyone builds upon the work of others. Consider Van Gogh's style: his use of color comes from the Impressionists; the hard outlines and flat forms from Japanese woodcuts; his everyday subject matter from earlier artists like Millet. Perhaps his fluid brushwork is his only personal contribution to his distinctive style. But by blending these different elements he came up with something totally unique and personal. This is an example of combining influences. And there are other approaches, such as modifying, maximizing, minimizing, substituting, rearranging, reversing, exaggerating and separating.

Inspiration is always an uncertain commodity; some people will always have the advantage over the rest of us when it comes to innovative thinking. But everyone can expand their capacity for creative thought by ridding themselves of old ways of thinking, and by exposure to new experiences. However, it isn't always necessary to be clever; the most important consideration for the artist is to have something to say, and to say it well. I hope that the methods discussed here will help you to do just that.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at http://charlesgriffith.tripod.com and he can be contacted at charles_griffith@lycos.com .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Creativity and the Artist

Decluttering & Creativity

July21
Author: Mary McNeil

Intuitively the link between decluttering and creativity makes sense doesn't it? Creativity thrives in the land of new ideas and open thinking, while clutter tends to be characterised by clinging on to old ideas, attitudes, habits and possessions. In order to free yourself up to be fabulously creative, you often need to be prepared to let go of the clutter first. Inspiration is unlikely to emerge unless you've created a space for it.

Clutter generally builds up quietly and imperceptibly over time. The reason for this is that not all clutter starts out its existence as clutter. If you think about the clutter in your life at the moment, you can probably recognise that much of it was originally useful and meaningful. It's the passing of time and the moving on to different phases of your life that convert many of your once-wonderful ideas, items and relationships into life clutter.

You'll probably find that, strangely enough, some of your old clutter consists of items and ideas that were once your creative playground. Many of yesterday's creative sparks evolve into today's clutter. It doesn't mean that they weren't creative at the time or that they had no worth, simply that time has passed and they are no longer current. I like to imagine them as the creative stepping stones that have brought me to where I am now - I couldn't have got here without them, but their value is now in the past and by clinging on to them, I prevent myself from moving forwards.

That's why decluttering has to be a way of life, a state of mind and an ongoing activity. Particularly during the times when you want to produce creative output.

There's an important distinction to be made between clutter and creative messiness, though. A reader of my newsletter wrote to me about her decluttering routine: "I am an artist and always clean my entire studio before beginning a new series of paintings. Sometimes this might take two days! I put everything in the correct place, vacuum, wash windows, rearrange the feng shui, etc. When I am finished, I bless the space and then proceed to totally mess it up with all my creative materials and energy!!!"

The space you declutter may be a physical or a mental one - the important thing is that it's clear, and that's what allows it to be a creative start point. It liberates you to get out all your coloured pencils, all your bright ideas, all your interesting words... to throw them in, mix them around and to make a gloriously creative mess. Then comes that amazing flow experience of being totally absorbed as, from the mess of creative potential, a sense of focus gradually emerges.

Most times, for me, I don't think the focus would come unless I allowed myself the creative messiness first.
In this context, then, clutter is the stuff that blocks you from having the clear space in which to get creatively messy.

It may be environmental clutter - physical things gathering dust and taking up your creative space. That's generally the most obvious kind of clutter to spot and to do something about.

But it may be mental or emotional clutter. For example: the internal voice that says you should be getting on with something more important, or the fear of producing creative output that isn't perfect first time. These thought patterns and emotions are clutter too.

To embrace decluttering as a way of life and turn it to your creative advantage, there are three key skills to develop:

- Recognising clutter before it even enters your life and stopping it at source

- Acknowledging which of your previously useful thoughts, attitudes and items have now turned into clutter

- Being prepared to thank the clutter for its earlier usefulness, then let it go

What life clutter would you like to thank for its usefulness, before letting it go and freeing yourself up for new creative ideas and output?

About the Author:

Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach who works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day home learning e-course: 'Declutter Your Way To Creativity' is available from www.Create-a-Space.co.uk .

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Decluttering & Creativity

Artists and Depression

July21
Author: Megan Webber

Health concerns are a major issue for all of us, whether it's fitness, weight control or specific health issues. I am an artist. Since my mid teens I have also suffered from Depression. I however didn't come to terms with this until my mid 30's. Initially on consultation with my GP I began a six-month course of antidepressant medication.

What I found with this kind of medication was that as an artist it was not the direction I needed. Yes, it blocked my emotional responses to certain situations, but this was more a dilemma then help. To me as an artist if you can't feel you can't express yourself.

So at the end of the day I decided to stop the medication and live with my condition accepting that I would have my up and down days. This can be difficult when dealing with family or your partner. At times is can be difficult to gain understanding about these issues with people you love. Yes you are fatigued much of the time and others unable to get outside and experience life. Many aspects of life become difficult.

When I met my current partner I was introduced to the products of Herbalife. As a trained Kinesiologist she also was able to fast track some core issues that had impacted on my condition.

I've been that sort of person who likes to almost stick my head in the sand when it comes to some health issues. Also hold a certain scepticism, which means that I need to consider all aspects of anything before I commit.

First of all I became aware that even in my mid 30's I was peri menopausal. In fact probably for many years. Something that can also has an impact on emotional levels as well as physical.

I have now started a course of herbal treatments, which unlike traditional medicines deal with a holistic approach. I strongly believe gentler on mind and body, but truly effective on assisting me with my conditions.

I now take Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, which balances my nutrition on a daily basis, Formula 2 that is a vitamin B complex, Formula 3 Vitamin C and Tang Kuei the key ingredient, which stabilise hormonal changes.

The key ingredient of Tang Kuei, which has been taken by men and women for centuries in China, is Angelica polymorph and Chamomile. These ingredients are used after strenuous physical exertion, relief of muscle tension and for relaxation.

This has been a fantastic break through for me with depression and pre menopausal conditions. Tang Kuei is extremely important for a range of health problems not just depression. From Chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause, arthritis, Asthma, Skin conditions, Weight Loss and more there are many products to help you. These products are much less invasive then many prescribed treatments and will balance your system physically and mentally.

As like some of you I don't necessarily like to talk about my conditions, but these nutrition products make a huge difference to my quality of life.

Please email me with comments or questions on DM or email me on the form below to see whether we can help you out or, other loved ones with any of their health concerns.

If you can think of anyone who you think can benefit from any of the listed information please feel free to forward this article to them.

http://www.thehealthsuccesssite.com/webber.html

About the Author:

Artist and Health Consultant representative.

Working as an artist for over 20 years. Have a love of the environment and politics, which don't always go hand to hand.

Lateral thinker who likes a challenge.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Artists and Depression

Am I an Artist or an Artisan?

July21
Author: John Burton

The English language is extremely rich, and provides the possibility of precise communication. Our language evolves rapidly, and while some new expressions emerge to describe modern life, many existing words have their common usage modified and corrupted. The term "Artist" provides a good example.

As a young boy, I dreamed of becoming an Artist, and that single word proficiently expressed my desire to paint and draw. Today I am a professional Artist, but have to qualify my title with an explanation.

My aging 1990 concise Oxford dictionary defines an " Artist " firstly as a painter (of pictures).

The word immediately before Artist is " Artisan ", meaning a skilled (manual) worker.

The word immediately after Artist is " Artiste ", meaning a professional performer, especially a singer or dancer.

The terms Artisan and Artiste are rarely used today. Our language has evolved, and Artist"" has become a generic word applied to any person who expresses their self through any medium.

"

The connection between artists and painting has become so diluted that the word is increasingly used to denote "skilled" people in non-"arts" activities, such as "scam artist" (a person very adept at deceiving others), "con artist" (a person very adept at committing fraud), and "p*ss artist" (a person very adept at drinking alcohol).

There is nothing inherently wrong with using the word "Artist" as an all-purpose title, but it does not effectively describe whether you paint, sing, dance, have a manual skill, or are about to empty the drinks cabinet!

So why is it that our language has evolved along these lines? Why would an Artiste or Artisan prefer to use a title that less adequately describes their skill, and invokes ambiguity?

Maybe the change has come about through ignorance, and falling standards of education? Could it be that people think Artiste is the French pronunciation of Artist? Well it is, but Artiste is also an English word with a different meaning - or it was!

Perhaps the change of language is a form of spin doctoring? My dictionary offers a further definition of an Artist as "a person who works with the dedication and attributes of an artist". It's not a very good definition, since it effectively it says that an Artist is "someone who works with the dedication and attributes of some one who works with dedication and attributes" (which is a bit like defining sticky tape as - tape that is sticky)! However, if someone is a singing artiste but prefers to be described as an Artist, they are really saying they are more than a singer because they perform with "dedication and attributes"?

Re-defining the word is possibly just a reflection of changing perceptions, and a growing acceptance that art is the act of creation/expression? If we agree to the modern view, which applauds the act of creation rather than the end product, we all become Artists, because we all create something at sometime. This shift of focus from the Artist's product, to the creative/expressive process severs the necessity for skill, and the title "Artist" is available for use without fear of derision.

I create Portraits for a living. My artwork is not about me expressing my inner self, or being imaginative, but producing a likeness, and working to a client's specifications. Maybe that makes me an Artisan: a skilled manual worker, and not an Artist after all?

Portraits by John Burton

About the Author:

Portrait artist working mainly from clients' own photographs.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Am I an Artist or an Artisan?