Monday, June 22

Facing the blank canvas

Sometimes I think it's really ridiculous how scared I can get when starting a new project. I build up an idea of what something is supposed to look like, which sets up potential for failure. What if I can't make what I envision?!?

Probably most artists deal with the fear of the blank canvas or blank page. It's all that empty space facing you, needing to be filled. It's like running down a track and having to face a hurdle- you run up to it, ready to jump, then all of a sudden chicken out and put your hands up to stop yourself! In order to coax myself past that fear, I have lots of tricks to keep myself "running and jumping":

  • Make art everyday. Even if it's just a sketch, or putting together possible materials for a project, keeping your hand in the process keeps your creativity flowing and fears at bay. Try setting aside even half an hour to work every day. If you want to make art, make time for it.
  • Be more concerned about PROCESS than PRODUCT. When I worry too much about how it looks I get blocked. Focusing on the process, turning it into a sort of meditation, erases worries about "mistakes".
  • There's no such things as "mistakes" in art- just serendipitous occurrences that offer new possibilities for the work.
  • Do practice runs- sketches help plot out the work, getting it out of your head and into some more tangible form. Making decisions on cheap paper can save you a lot of time and money/supplies.
  • Photocopy works in progress, and doodle on the photocopy to plot out your next decisions
  • Break the blankness before you with a wash of color, or build an image off a drawing or print you made before.
  • Be Brave!

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