After being MIA for a few months, I’ve decided it is time to get back in the game. A flood of “call for artist” flyers are busting out of my mailbox as we speak. I have neatly stacked a few next to my computer, wishing that the application process will be easy and free. Now, if only I can jump on that first step of creating. Here’s the main issue: I’m running low on artwork.
[Re-evaluating what I have to figure out what I need]
I have a show coming up in April at Bright Red Studios in Madison, Wisconsin. April seemed like a long ways off a week ago. All of the sudden, I’m forced to look at the pieces I have left and to determine what series should be continued versus not. Do you ever have a piece of artwork that you’re just tired of? That’s what it feels like after a while. The same image no longer appeals the way it once did. Therefore, I skim over the pieces that have recently sold to determine what my audience likes best – and how to improve upon what I have created in the past.
The next step for me is the research. This is one of the most exciting steps! Before I start a new piece, I need to have it laid out in its entirety. This requires extensive image collecting, color selecting and overall placement of each. When we look at a piece, these components are what determine that “love” versus “hate” factor. I know almost immediately when I start a piece whether or not it’s going to be successful. Once I’ve decided what 3-4 paintings are going to look like, I get started. Right now, I’m in the middle of #1 and headed in the right direction.
In order to apply to various exhibitions and be ready for the April show, I need to have a set of series. As an artist, I value cohesiveness. A random spattering of works that seem somehow disconnected is confusing, both to myself and the viewer. For the upcoming show in April, I will be able to display about 10 pieces. The goal is to create more than I could possibly hang, so that I can pick and choose the 10 most visually stimulating pieces that ooze unity. I have 2 months.
As an artist, I find deadlines to be incredibly motivating. That seems counter intuitive, right? I mean, inspiration comes in cycles. How can I paint something that seems so incredibly cheerful one day, when I feel so down? How can I paint something that evokes so much sadness, when I feel so happy? When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. Art is the gift that keeps on giving. The beginning, the middle and the end results all pay off. That deadline just allows me to get a jump start on creating.
What’s your process when you create? What’s your process when you buy artwork? How do you get yourself started? What’s your motivator?