Thursday, April 23, 2009

Honoring my greatest aspirations... finally

To anyone that has ever asked me for advice regarding pursuing art, the number one advice I offer is to be yourself and shoot for your highest goals, don't let anything stand in your way.

It's about time I took my own advice.
Scratch that. It simply IS time.

In the last few rainy days, along with sketching, thinking, dreaming, photographing and, oh yes how could I forget, all that other life stuff, I've been looking at the works of great artists I admire, reading articles and writings by them, and all in all feeling so inspired and connected to why I love painting so much and what I dream of accomplishing as a PAINTER. Not a business person, an Etsy seller, or any other limiting definition I have been affected by of late. A painter. I feel almost a little ashamed to have become so sucked into the world of Etsy and who's selling what and how and what's their trick and how can I do something like that. Honestly, forget all that. Forget it entirely. Etsy is just a medium like anything else to get my work out there. My focus should have always remained on my work and where it is organically leading me, period.

Lessons learned and all that... good ones for sure, I don't regret a step along my winding (or should I say, mostly spazztastic) journey. Right here and now I just feel like I'm in a new place and I'm thrilled, determined, and a little bit feisty too. :) Today I filled out the bare bones of my new shop In my profile I wrote,

"At this point in my life and career, I am ready for a change. I have been churning out loads of artwork, hungry for what the next and the next painting will teach me. I needed to do this and the energy of my twenties demanded it. Now I find myself slowing down, not feeling like I need to go-go-go as fast as I can, multi tasking at all moments. I don't feel that same drive to keep cranking out art, that urge has faded away and in it's place I desire to make exceptional art that takes as much time as it must. Work that is given higher status than just a lesson. I'll never stop learning but I'm ready to move forward from perceiving myself as a student."

I am so committed to this new change in focus within myself, I honestly don't have any desire to do a thing with livefunky at the moment. It is what it is for the time being. I don't know the direction I'll continue with in that shop (it will continue one way or another) and right now isn't the time to worry about it. I've got loads of inventory there, and I can figure out the future for that shop later.

Right now I just need to PAINT. To really paint, and to love what I'm painting. To believe in what I'm painting.

I started three landscapes today based on the two photos I talked about painting in my last post. Already I feel that I am challenging myself in a new way and I can't wait to get painting again tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a YouTube view of one of my favorite painters, Helen Frankenthaler.


Unknown said...

Yes, yes, yes!

I totally hear you on this and offer my encouragement and admiration.

I think it's difficult following your aspirations, especially when there's so much groundwork in establishing yourself as a person, as an artist; in fact, I see it as an unending process. Any journey always includes the fits and starts, right? Especially the long and memorable ones.

I believe there was wisdom in churning out so much work and also in figuring things out from the business end. When I studied writing, it was a common idea that one has "10,000 pages of crap to get through before writing the good stuff." To be prolific, to be productive--that gets those 10,000 pages (or 100 canvases) out of the way--no dillydallying.

So I LOVE what you said about still learning, but that you are done relegating your works to being lessons or to being a student. That's a roar that gives me goosebumps! You are stepping up to your own dreams and respecting the maturity of your art and skills. This is momentous and wonderful.

Regarding the business end of things, yeah, we do lose ourselves as we try to figure out what others are doing, how we could do it, etc. And also, we learn about what works so that we're not at the mercy of the market. They are two different hats, the artist and businessperson, and some meld the two well and others are better off doing only one--but it's the person who understands both that will be in control of their future rather than at its mercy. You have that knowledge and I think it will give you confidence (and maybe it doesn't feel like that just yet, but like geometry or algebra, they subtly influence how we think, predict, change, and adapt to the world).

All in all, I'm saying, congratulations. Stretch those wings.


Best wishes,


Unknown said...

Your reply gave ME goosebumps, Ivan! Thank you so, so very much. You really have no idea how much it means to me. Like a power boost straight to the heart. Thank you, dear Ivan!

Unknown said...


Sarah said...

Excellent advice. I agree that Etsy is a seductive distraction and should only be one spoke on the artist's wheel. I will be meditating on this post!

Kendra Zvonik said...

Our conversation over the last couple of months has brought me to this same conclusion. To hear you say it all like this makes me feel even more determined to push the boundaries with my work and so eager to see what you will do. I am very excited by this passion and focus that you are expressing and want to support you in any way I can. Do it Jessica! I will be here for you.
As Helen said " Learn it then throw it out" (Thanks for the film. I love her work!) No regrets. You did what you had to do and you are wiser for having done it.
I also looked at your post yesterday but ran out of energy to respond. Thank you for the photos of your landscape. It is truly beautiful there and perfect inspiration for this new work.

How did you get the twitter updates on your blog?