I hear it all the time..
mixed media artists complain..
usually in a jocular manner,
with a funny meme..
that they have a million projects left undone..
that they don't know what to do next..
that if somebody tells you you have too many art supplies,
ignore them, you don't need that kind of negativity....
|Mixed Media painting, The Rain Makes my Hair Curly, Caterina Giglio|
the jokes I think mask the
they feel unfocused..
or even paralyzed about all the choices
they have in mixed media..
there is sense of imbalance and lack of productivity..
I have even noticed
a prejudice against mixed media artists,
the impression is that we are all over the place
and lack direction
so I have a few thoughts and tips to perhaps ease the
dial in the focus,
and silence the critics..
both real and imagined..
1. Clean the Clutter
Have you ever found yourself working in the studio on a clean desk and by the time you finish the project, the desk is covered with papers, paint, tools and debris, and your work space is a little tiny corner of the table?
Of course you have..
well... studios are just like that..
Artists are natural magpies. We love the odd bits, the small pieces of twine, the stones, and feathers, but when it all takes over, it becomes less of a shrine and more of a disability.
So rotate your things, put all product on shelves,
keep your art tables as open as possible for working space, and have product available on a caddy or rolling cart... in close proximity in some way.
Cleaning the studio is a weird way of engaging your muse..
but it always works
and I find she likes nothing better than a clean space to create chaos..
the universe abhors a vacuum..
trust me it will be filled soon..
|Mary shrine, Caterina Giglio|
2. Make Notes
While you clean, destash, or organize, ideas will begin to come to you. I keep a notebook in my studio for this and I jot the ideas down in my book. I often come up with great inspirations when I am working on a deadline or a new collection..
and rather than stop, I just make notes
in my book to remember later what I want to create in the future.
Capturing ideas will help free the mind, assist focus and allow the opportunity to finish the current project.
|Mixed Media painting, French Angel, Caterina Giglio|
3. Set Priorities
Figuring out what comes first and what takes priority is easy when I am in the studio, because so many things are on deadlines.
Articles, shows, even my art journal is a monthly journal.
If you do not have deadlines,
create them ..
Make a journal and get a spread done daily, weekly or monthly. Set dates and try to finish projects by a certain time.
Priority setting is a tool for balance and everyone can use it.
Using a priority on projects will build a sense of accomplishment with each creation, and accomplishment fuels direction.
Many have a misconception that art is simply fun and we just play all day, it IS that but it is also work, it is simply that we LOVE our work..
|Mini Concertina books, Caterina Giglio|
4. Limit Social Media
Let me add email and texts to this list. I check my emails three times a day. I limit texts to information, and I set work times in the studio. Taking breaks for a cuppa and to check in on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest is just like being at work on a real job, because it IS a real job,
and when we treat it that way, we maintain a sense of balance and consistency
which is always good for creativity.
It is when we show up
in the studio and work
that the inspiration flows..
While Social Media can inspire us, it can also inflame, and upset us, so limiting it is necessary for
creative health and well being..
|Assemblage, Wish You Were Here, Caterina Giglio|
5. Set Rules on Buying Product
I spent most of my life in retail. I was a store manager, corporate trainer and merchandiser. I have seen many products and styles come and go.. so it is easy for me to watch the latest and greatest pass by. Let's face it, there are no end to products in art. Crackle Paints, Gelli Plates, Stencils, Gelatos, the list goes on and on, and they will be replaced by the new and better.
I love using new products, but I set limits on buying them. Once a month, once a quarter, every 6 months. It really depends on the budget.
Having too many products can be paralyzing, and smothers the creativity.
The muse is childlike and using a new product on occasion is a regenerative treat.
|Mixed media painting, Caterina Giglio|
6. Cripple the Critics
I became a mixed media artist,
because I was frankly BORED with painting. I had been using watercolor, acrylics and colored pencil all my life..
I have been painting and drawing as long as I can remember.
I wanted to find a new way to express myself. As I create books and work with fabrics, I find my enthusiasm and creativity expands.
When the inner critic begins to nag, allow the muse full play.. the critic wants chaos, boredom and inactivity...
the critic is a liar, you can do it..
the muse just wants to throw paint on paper..
The critics that want everyone to decide on a label...
painter, sculptor, book maker, are simply
unable to cope with a remote control, AI world. We are not the ones out of touch.
We are not all over the place.. we are in the
Art is no longer simple..
it is complex, multidimensional, multidisciplinary and fuses many media
and products.. we simply have to use the keys to set direction...
imagine how excited
Leonardo Da Vinci would be
to be an artist in this age..