Monday, January 8, 2018

On being a self taught artist.

What it means to be a self taught artist?

Being and doing your thing sometimes feels like you could be a failure,
no one is there to tell you you are doing it well or wrong or how could it be done
better, you are just guided by your instincts and experience.

And there is that little voice inside asking, is that good enough?

After years of being one of the so called self taught artist,
 I´ve learned that fear and doubt only means you 
don´t trust your inner guidance and what you have learned already.  

Doubt is the main problem when you feel you are 
not enough or that you haven´t get to were you should or that 
others are better than you. I would add that we are expecting from 
the world the applause we think we should be getting!

The real gain that walking your own path could give, is knowledge.
The gains of true knowledge are silent.

Everybody in every study field is self taught, either you are alone in your
home or in a class at school, you are the only one grabbing what you need at 
this moment for your journey, you are the one who decides what and how to 
use it, if it goes deep or superficial, depends on you alone, but we can blame
it on talent, our parents, not having the money or time, etc...
When we do so, we are only hiding in the comfort place we´ve been for
years ´cause effort has a price we are still not willing to pay.

 Schools help but are not the teacher, you are.
"When the student is ready the teacher will appear"  
When you are ready to learn something, you will teach your self that, 
you will pay more attention to that until you learn it. Or you will find
the perfect situation to help you see the needed lesson for this 
applies to life as well.

When you´ve learned a certain thing, it doesn´t mean you are better than
the rest, the proof is that anyone can learn the same thing and even get better
than you, we see in the world many proofs of that, to know it and accept it
 makes us humble, knowledge is infinite, it only stops growing when 
you stop but keeps growing when you add more to it.

Learn from all, knowledge is universal, learn from people, form movies, from
a song, books, from your deep meditations, knowledge does not belong to a single
person, it is of who wants to tap in to it, don´t take it personal if someone "steals" 
your ideas, they are not yours alone or else no one could ever know that same
thing ever again anymore.  That is not what we can see in the history of the world.

Different people in different times of history have "discovered" the same things
claiming it´s their inventions, math is not an invention, it´s only a discovery
and part of who we are, that goes for everything we can call knowledge,
it´s only a discovery of the universal truths and you would be more honest
and happier if you accept this.

I´ve been doing an experiment at my studio, I am always trying to learn new
things by trying them, I made studies of other artist I like, I even took some 
online workshops with some, painted a lot of different styles using them as
inspiration to teach my self new paths, new ways of doing things with paint
and ideas, one painting can be a great teacher if you dig it and discover their
hidden teachings.

Don´t be afraid to make studies of other artists so you can learn but know 
that this process can take a while to be absorbed, being an artist is not making big 
hits of art that will be in the number one charts lists as the best painting of the 
moment, being an artist means that you are in a constant learning path 
love it, 
the struggles, the hard days, the challenges are only the way of life of the artist,
it´s how life is helping you improve and grow, if you overcome those 
challenges, you undoubtedly grow, that is the true gain, not the applause
of the world, that doesn´t help you at all to grow, it only feeds your sweet
 indulged ego and it helps for a while but is not what makes us grow.

And yes, anyone can grow if they put the effort it takes.

Why would you stay in the comfort of the known when 
you can discover the unknown?

As they say, no pain, no gain but I say also play!

Work hard but make sure you are enjoying it, it is exciting to have a
goal and helps us have a direction but remember to enjoy the process and
play a lot, playing also teaches if you look for the lessons, they are everywhere!

Is my goal to paint better portraits but some are a huge challenge, it is 
hard work and one that requires a deep concentration and no playing so I 
help my self rest from them by having playful time with my paints too and so
I use my art journal or whatever paper I find to paint fun stuff or just express 
my self, this helps me keep going with the more elaborated works, those give 
me much joy when they are done and hanging in a wall, they remind me about 
my progress and how I´ve been disciplined which is my reward, that´s why 
I paint them, to see my self in those paintings, how I went over laziness, how 
I made time and gave effort, how I challenged my self and how I went for more.

Never settle.  You deserve to be more. 

Your path is unique and beautiful, dare to walk it.

*All works are done with acrylics on paper.

Now I leave you with some tips that have helped me grow and might help you too,
these may be used in other areas of life as well:

Have a goal
Use discipline to get there
Combine discipline with playful time
Work and rest

Have a goal:  What do you want or would like to achieve?
Use this to develop a plan on how and when.

Use discipline to get there:  Keep adding to it, a little every day or every 
two days or three days but keep adding to it, make discipline a habit.

Combine discipline with playful time:  Not every day has to be hard work,
add playful time to your schedule, some days just play and rest, read or 
take a walk, cook or just breath while watching the sunset, those things
also inspire us and teach us in many ways.

Work and rest:  I try to work early in the mornings, I am super fresh and rested
and excited to achieve my goal, I work a few hours then rest or change into 
play mode, then I come back to the discipline or work refreshed again, this way
it doesn´t feel so heavy.

Add your own tips...

Thank you for being here, 
I hope this helps you some how in your 
own journey.

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