“An artist has to train his responses more than other people do…He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom. It prepares an artist to choose his own limitations.” Wayne Thiebaud
The big holiday season is almost behind us and the New Year is front and center at mid-night tonight. When we wake up tomorrow it will be a New Year on “the time line of history”, but what will it be for you? Is it just another day, or have you made a resolution to make changes?
I end each year with a studio cleanup, which always leads me to think about: what I am doing, how far I have come from when I stared, the things that have worked well and those that have not, and how am I going to step it up a notch.
I believe resolutions fail when you make them too big and too general. So, I like to plan in my head, baby steps to my success, of what I have resolved. I also like to make them more specific. Large generalizations sometime lead to procrastination. Like: I am going to be more creative. Well how? I am going to try more new things. Like what? I am going to take a new class? Which one? I am going to exercise more. Doing what?
I am forever trying new things, if they work great, if they don’t work, so what? I know how to do something new, but I don’t have to use it because it is not a good fit for me. One new thing I revisited this past year was in the printmaking process, specifically mono- printing. I made it mine with a twist. I really enjoyed the process. Now I am trying to figure out if I want to do it as a separate process, or incorporate it into other work. I also must work out some kinks. I resolve to do this, but how?
If I make a resolution to figure that out; it is broad and leaves lots of room for procrastination. If I say I am going to experiment with mono printing under a pastel, I know up front what I am going to try. I also know I must find a new medium for inking my plate. Printers ink lifts off the surface I have been using with my, “mono printing with a twist”, so I resolve to try acrylic with a gel. Being specific will allows me to answer the bigger question of incorporating the printing process in other work, through little steps of trial and error. Little steps also offer the artist the opportunity for success, which spurs the “creator” on, to do more, try more new things, and have that aha moment. It is like that exercise thing. If you make it too hard and you fail, you quit!
Happy New Year Everyone! Be creative, try something new, but make your goal attainable and somewhat specific, and most of all enjoy the process. 🙂