What do your working hours/ schedule consist of? I feel a constant anxiety that I am not working enough.
I have been self-employed for over two years and while that is obviously an immense blessing it can also be difficult for a workaholic…For me, it’s important to get to the studio at least 5 days a week and for however many hours a day I need to work. I try to maintain an average work week of 25-40 hours- sometimes more with datelines approaching. I constantly need to remind myself that other aspects of my life are important as well, such as a social life, working out, down time etc.
The anxiety is coming from the drive to grow and improve in your work. I completely relate- but know that the time you spend away from the studio is actually part of your work as an artist as well. The life experience and time you spend not thinking about the work will serve you just as much. Work when you feel like it and live without guilt the rest of the time:)
What were you thinking when you were painting "Merging the Phantom"?
I was thinking about the “shadow self” or aspects of ourselves that we suppress. These shadows may be dark, negative and murky, but often they are also the positive, brilliant parts of our being that we choose to ignore and push down. Sometime we are so successful at suppressing and pushing these away that they leave our internal landscape and start to appear in our everyday reality- looking right back at us to be seen. The Phantom for me is symbolic of that other self- a self filled with the things I strive to incorporate back into my present awareness.
how where you able to achieve such neat thin brush strokes for hair? i'm finding it impossible with oil paint :(
I use a long, thin synthetic bristle brush- I even take a razor blade and cut it’s thickness in half. The most important aspect is using super thin paint- I thin mine down simply using terpeniod. The paint needs to be thin and light and the brush full in order to pull a long line across the canvas.
Hope that helps- it all just takes some practice:)
I'm stuck in a rut in college where my mental ambition exceeds what I can actually create. How do you deal with that compromise?
I am still dealing with it. If you’re lucky, your imagination and mental imagery will always be one or two steps ahead of you- we strive towards perfect execution and that is the key to a long and rewarding relationship with your work. My best advice is to just keep exploring and making work- just make make make. Making the work is really the only way. In the process you will find your natural strengths/style and your mental imagery will start to transform and reflect your personal voice. AND a rut just means you’re about to transition to a new level. In the mean time, do some meditating, working out and talking art with fellow students. The ideas will start to flow again and your hand will catch up.
as an artist, what do you do when you get artist's block? i mean if that has ever happened to you...
It happens all the time and it can take days or months to work through. After I complete a full show, I feel so empty that I can’t even get to the studio-so I take a break and focus on everything else in my life . Often I feel blocked at the beginning of a painting- I will feel stuck or feel a lack of imagination. At that point I look at other artist’s work online, I’ll just spend hours taking in random images hoping for a spark of an idea. The only options are to either push through it when possible by making more work, or to respect that you need a break and take one because the block will always fade.