Thursday, 6 December 2018
Friday, 13 July 2018
Finding your art style, sometimes it's best not to try so hard. How an accident turned into a blessing.
For years I have tried to find my style. Flitting from one medium to the next and generally feeling like a 'Jack of all Trades' and master to none.... know the feeling? Well last year I finally had an halelluah moment. and do you know what, it came about completely by accident!
I have been experimenting with my art for many many years now and have painted with all different mediums and in different styles to find that niche that felt right. I have loved experimenting, but I won't lie it has been incredibly frustrating as well! Hours and hours of work goes into trying to perfect your craft, and we are our own worst critics, so if it doesn't feel right we tend to beat ourselves up over it. I have always felt like a Jekyl and Hyde character with my art, one minute you can be all airy fair and little miss positivity and the next minute it's self sabotage / abuse and a heady mix of anger and frustration... or maybe that's just me ha ha
Anyway I have pretty much dabbled with all sorts of styles and techniques over the years, you would be forgiven to think that my work had been done by different artists as my portfolio is that diverse. I would always admire artists that had their style and just focused on that, it seemed so alien to me as one minute I would be drawing cartoon characters, the next a landscape, or a decorative piece and if I was feeling the need for a release, something dark. Nothing seemed to flow at all.
Last year something changed all of that. I was going through quite a lull with things, work had dried up and I had totally lost my art mojo. I had well and truly hit a wall career wise and wasn't sure where I was heading at all. I had been given some acrylic inks for my 40th birthday earlier that year but what with broken legs and hip replacements I hadn't had a chance to use them. So when I saw the official Inktober list appear in my newsfeed I thought why the hell not, what better excuse to try these babies out.
For those that don't now the Inktober challenge is held every year and invites all artists to create something every day in October in ink and share it online under the hashtag #inktober
So I did a very quick study of a swift and popped it on Facebook and Instagram. I didn't really put any effort into it, it took literally half an hour and was a half hour of pure enjoyment for me. I just fancied trying my new inks out. So I posted my little creation online and what happened next blew my little mind, loads of people went gaga over it. That one little painting had more attention and sales than anything had done over my entire art career....crazy! I started getting asked if I would sell prints, then I was getting requests to do inky creations for their own ideas. As each day went on more requests started coming in, to the point that I couldn't continue with Inktober as I had a backlog of orders to get through. Then it went on to dog portraits and what with it coming up to Christmas I landed up doing loads of them.
Fast forward nearly a year and I am still painting with inks and still taking commissions, the latest being portraits. I have done some big pieces now and experimenting with different backgrounds, but it is safe to say that these are staying! I just love working with them, and each piece is a joy to do. I have opened up an online store to start selling them wider afield, but that requires a fair bit of marketing which is going to be my next challenge. I am not claiming that I am a hugely successful artist now, but what I can say is that sometimes it is best not to try so hard and just to go back to the basics of loving what you do.
Friday, 30 March 2018
So just over a year and a half ago I decided to take the brave and what some would call a highly stupid move of leaving a well paid job and security to pursue my dream of becoming a full time creative. So as you can imagine it has been a colourful period mixed with highs and lows. I didn't go into it completely fool hardy, I saved up enough to keep me comfortable for 6 months and within that time secured some illustration jobs and concentrated on getting my business Artypeace off the ground.
So as soon as I made that momentous change in my life synchronicities started to happen and people started coming into my life which were key to where I needed to go, everything was flowing beautifully and I felt unstoppable. However about a year in things took a downward dive and work dried up, I started getting into debt, I had to go job hunting and was applying for job after job and not even getting an interview. Things were bleak and I felt a failure. I could feel my energy changing and I didn't like it so I had a moment of enough is enough, this shit needs to change now! I started to really look at my relationship with money and tried a new approach. I pretended I had no financial worries, I bought the good quality food that I wanted my body to have, I signed up to a meditation library that I felt my mind sorely needed. I started reading affirmations out aloud every day and made an effort to appreciate everything I had rather than panicking about what was lacking. Guess what, things took a very surprising turn. I stumbled across an art style while mucking about with the Inktober challenge that suddenly took off online and orders started flooding in, a book deal I had been waiting on for months suddenly got the green light. Things started flowing again and I felt like things were on the up. More job offers were coming through and I finally felt like I was getting my life back on track.
Skip to several months later and I am back in the same boat as I was before, all these job promises that were there have gone quiet, debts are mounting up and fear is beginning to creep in again. So time for some more healing and self reflecting. This time I want to get rid of these blocks I have once and for all as there is clearly more work that needs to be done. So I am going to do some deep work and am also looking into finding a life coach. So the first step I have taken is to do a life abundance course by Liz Barallon. I have just read the first steps for week one and am instantly compelled to write this blog post. I haven't written anything in nearly two years but I am hoping this kicks me back into it.
So the first thing I am going to tackle to start manifesting some changes is to change the way I communicate and stop complaining! Now I don't know about you but, I complain a lot! I seem to be constantly moaning about hardships, all the things that are going wrong or that frustrate me and I am beginning to realise that this could well be playing a big part in why I do have these times of struggle. So I am going to make an effort to quit complaining and if I cant say anything nice about my day to say nothing at all. So any friends or family reading this, if I start moaning slap me ha ha. This is going to be a huge test to overcome as I moan a lot, its funny because I am actually a very positive person and I love life yet what comes out my mouth tends to be negative and self sabotaging. I then started reflecting on all the people I hang out with and all the conversations that are had during the day and the majority is complaining about something, it made me wonder what conversations we would actually have if there were no complaints at all, would we turn into a bunch of mutes with nothing to say. Anyway I want to try this little experiment and see if it has any benefit at all on me and others around me as we do tend to mirror each other so I am curious to see what happens. I am looking forward to completing the course and I will try and share anymore little tips or insights that I pick up along the way when I can.
It would be amazing if it does help shift some blocks as when life flows effortlessly it is so much fun and I really want to get back on that road again, I know the detours help me grow and learn but I think it's time to just ride the wave for a bit now….. no more struggling. So can changing your thoughts really change your world? I am about to find out, watch this space xx
With special thanks to Jerry Sargeant at www.starmagichealing.com who's meditation library has helped me immensely the last 2 years and to Liz Barallon at http://www.sylaaustralia.com for offering her services freely through the life abundance course. I have already taken so much from it from just the 1st week.