Art Newbies

Long Beach, oil, 9x12

Taking first steps in the art world is the most amazing and wonderful time for a newbie artist, especially when doing this later in life, after we have spent many years eagerly waiting for it. With fresh eyes, we see all the wonders that art life has to offer. But, after every honeymoon hard work begins, with all its doubts, questions and fears. Both working alone or in a class can be intimidating, ranging from light discomfort to soul crushing. I know, I’ve been there. Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful when self doubts threaten to overtake the joyful creative process.

  • Find a way to get consumed in your work with no talking or asking questions. If any questions still linger by the end of the day, write them down and save them for a “questions day”. If you are patient, you will answer your questions yourself.

  • Your work is beautiful as long as you are keeping yourself open to learning, fearlessly experimenting and practicing. The real meaning of this beauty is only known to you. Any comment from another person will fall short of what you feel, so it’s better not to ask.

  •  Be creative in everything that you do, and find a new way to look at the world. Force yourself to do things differently, just to find out how that feels. Experience enriches our art.

  •  Use many different materials and tools, especially those that are not obvious. Handle them, make marks, and modify them in many ways. Become a master of your own tools.

  •  Make art in various moods and observe how happiness, sadness, anger…influence making of art. Observation triggers ideas.

  •  Take ownership of your new art life and reserve a special place, time, money and energy for it. Even in art, something can't be created out of nothing.

  •  Let your ego do its thing thinking about the future and comparing yourself with other artists. Do this for 15 minutes, then pack it up in a mental drawer and start drawing your foot (yet again). Ego is awesome...keep telling him/her that while you do your own thing.

Happy painting!