A recent mindset that I've adopted that I feel could help a lot of artists: Always pretend that you're working on a commission. By this, I mean even if you're sketching or doing personal work, pretend that you're doing it for someone and that there's money on the line.
I thought about this because I used to have a lot of trouble finishing paintings when I was younger. I would start a painting and then run out of steam and not finish it. That all changed for me when I started doing commissions and there's no money if you don't finish! This also pushed me to always do my absolute best because I wanted the commissions to be as good as I could possibly make them. So that also meant sweating and taking my time to make sure the work looked top notch.
So for anyone out there who might be feeling lost or having trouble in any way: take some commissions. Hell, do it for free if you have to, or give some gifts. Practice with this mindset and I'm sure you'll produce better work.
This post is all about a really important question that I need to ask myself more often: "Why can't I?", "Why can't I make this painting?", "Why can't I travel to this place?", "Why can't I talk to this person?", "Why can't I go to the gym today?". I love this question because it makes me realize that many of my "reasons" are just excuses. I'm very aware of the fact that life is very short and I don't want to waste any of it. It's tough to talk about this kind of stuff because there's a mountain of cliches that can easily overshadow the importance of it. The very phrase, "Life's short" is just one example. But it's funny how there's so much truth within that cliche.
Moving forwards in this year, my best friend Pino and I just booked a trip to Red River Gorge, Kentucky. We're gonna be staying in a cabin for part of it, doing a zip line tour and maybe camp out also. The reason I'm bringing this up is because traveling, camping and experiencing nature are things that I really wanted to do since a young age. And now that I'm older and I have a job and some money to do it, why can't I? The thing is that once something becomes plausible I think it becomes pretty scary. The dream or idea of traveling is a beautiful dream, but the logistics and making it happen can be intimidating. But we live in some an amazing time and we have access to tools like the internet where we can book flights to amazing places! It's not difficult once you actually put the gears in motion, but just taking the leap can be scary.
With all that in mind, I want to push myself further to embrace the fear of when dreams become reality. I hope that also encourages some people out there to do the same. Have a nice weekend and try and do something that scares you today!
With 2019 nearing an end, I wanted to share some of my own closing thoughts. The most significant thing that I've been experiencing lately is just the freedom to do things in my own fashion. By this, I mean being unique in my expressions as an artist and as a person. Not overthinking or mimicking or trying to be something other than me.
It feels like a lot of ballast has been removed from me because I no longer care to pursue something outside of myself. It's such a freeing feeling to search for myself. Some books that have helped me with this have been: The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I'm currently about halfway through The Four Agreements and highly recommend it to anyone who likes personal development books.
I'm wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year. I wonder what 2020 will bring?
Went out to try and do some watercolors today, but I ran into some problems when my watercolors started to freeze on me. It's too bad because I had really wanted to paint the scene before me. Regardless, the beauty of plein air painting is that each painting is more than a painting, each painting is a memory. I can't wait for spring to arrive.