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Low Expectations, High Observation

If you have high expectations, you run the risk of disappointment. This can lead to demotivation, unenthusiastic behavior and questioning the whole thing; what's the point of this if it isn't going to be what I want it to be... We have these expectations of ourselves, those around us, the work we do, what we own, of life. Where did we get them from? Why do we think they will make us happy? In painting, all that is required is to paint the masses of colour you see in front of you in the arrangement you see. The errors come from when you paint what is not there, what you think is there - your assumptions about what you are looking at interfere with what it actually looks like, what it actually

Will This Create More Questions Than It Answers?

Organizing your time around actions you have little or no experience in is very difficult. As soon as you start the task, a couple new ones pop up. While with those, you discover additional requirements you hadn't considered, now there are a dozen new tasks, when there was originally only 1 - and only that amount of time to do it in... Trying to solve questions, tackle problems you do not know the answer to is a worthwhile pursuit, you grow and make leaps in progress - all the while gaining confidence to delve into the unknown and the risky. So how to you properly manage your time for them? Your schedule is a set of tick-boxes. Things you need to do today. When you know what yo have to do yo

Just Turn Up

Turning up is 80% of the challenge. When you get to the gym, you may as well start working out, you may as well do another rep after one, a different machine after that one... You very quickly go into auto-pilot. It is the getting there that is the hardest part - especially when you aren't forced to, when it is optional. Focus all your efforts into simply starting. Just open that software. Just write one line. Just pick up that pencil. Just walk out your door. Just turn up...

You Don't Want ALL The Likes...

..just the ones from those who matter.. Common social promotion practice would dictate to you that you must aim for a 20% engagement rate from your followers. This is true if you are seeking to satisfy them. However, people won't like everything you do. They may love what you hate. Hate what you love. Not understand, misinterpret. For better of for worse - it won't be consistent though, not to everyone. They will like the weirder things less, the things that push and pull at the borders - the stuff that REALLY matters, the stuff that is real change. You should aim instead to not build the quantity of engagement but the quality of it. Use social media as a litmus test for new ideas. But don't

A Little Ignorance Goes A Long Way

Ignorance is bliss.. in more ways than one. There is the ignorance of facts, of the truth. Things you will not admit to yourself, evils you are oblivious to - for better or for worse. Much of the world revolves around this and people use this everyday to function properly within it. Then there is ignorance of opinion... If you ask people for their advice, what they would do in your shoes, they very often give you their opinion instead of their advice. Being a intelligent individual you appreciate their time, consideration and thought - being an intelligent person you weigh it in your mind and change yourself based on it. This is called being open-minded. However too often we confuse opinion

An Atypical Life

It makes sense that if you want to do something different then you have to think differently. And so to think differently means you must live differently. Live in the way that facilitates your difference, that sets you apart. If you start a new business you will have to work weekends and times other people don't. You will have to say no to hangovers and therefore no to alcohol and parties. It is lonely and isolating. To see those around you challenge, misunderstand or dissuade your lifestyle decisions. Are you right? Do you need to give up this? Do you need to take up that? It is trial and error. But remember that if you want to make any real change, any real difference then you will need to

Tools Amplify, Not Replace

When we have a task, an intention, we seek to complete it. We then seek to complete it better than before; optimized, faster, easier. These optimizations in quality and quantity come in the form of tools. Tools amplify our existing capabilities, things we can already do, and our possibilities, things we couldn't do before. Fashion, for example is a tool. It amplifies human traits, you use makeup and clothes to enhance what is already there. However when we overly rely on tools, on this amplification, the enhancement is all that we see and think exists. We forget our intention and the thing we once sought to amplify vanishes. Turning the activity hollow and vapid - superficial. Dogma we are b

Spin As Many Plates As You Can

Have you ever heard: "if you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person you know" It is an old adage and so incredibly true. When we have little to do - one project to work on, it gets diluted by time. Because you have far too much time to do it in you end up procrastinating, loosing touch and coming back to it - floundering. On the other hand, have you ever had a deadline just around the corner, or worse yet, several deadlines? How much do you get done in that time? - A staggering amount. How can these two different characters possibly be the same person? Effort to workload is not a linear relationship. When you have one task you do it ...eventually. When you have several, y

Connected Isolation

Being an artist is a pretty isolating experience. You can often go without human contact for several days - falling into the meditative and deep routine of your next work. This is a blessing - artists need focus, clarity, they need to monitor their surroundings, be stimulated enough to work but not so much as it is distracting. Often through technology and the internet this is broken - we an now see and do far more from our isolated islands, learn more, take in more, connect more. The bad side of this is the distraction. Not just in the obvious ways but in the more subtle. An idea that seemed great yesterday now pales in comparison to another's work you've just seen online. You may pick up n

Expectations VS The World

A lot of the time our own malcontent stems from the world not meeting our expectations. A piece of work you did wasn't what you thought it'd be. An opportunity turns out to hold you back rather than propel you froward. A loved one fails to be the person of your dreams. The grass is always greener on the other side. Now, through technology, we are more than ever, aware of this. The Fear Of Missing Out... You will always be unhappy because the world is constantly telling you you are, it is speaking through your misshapen expectations of it - you get these ideas and standards from somewhere after all. If instead we focused on where we are right now, instead of far off imagining where we could b

Productive Lows

Humans are not machines. We struggle to be consistent in the true sense. We fluctuate between soaring highs; when you feel most yourself, confident and powerful - to the crushing lows, far away from logic and reason, struggling to make decisions and know your direction. This is natural, unavoidable and a part of you. Over time however, thankfully, you regress to the mean - your average. It's all about raising that, just a little bit everyday. For every high there is an equal low. Highs take care of themselves - as long as they are not distractingly high. You work at your best, have great sense of direction and manage to effectively shrug off problems thrown your way. This is the time for the

Optimized Paper: Presupposed Thought Processes

When you build up enough experience in something you build an assumption. Assumption turns to presupposition given enough supporting evidence for your experience being true. When we finally, almost 100% know a process, the way of solving a problem - we can effectively build tools to expedite it. Tools are extensions of ourselves. Extensions of thought, of capability and of our intention. We developed writing to communicate effectively, we built mathematical notation, graphs and metaphors for this too. Our ways of representing our thoughts on paper. Our mental processes. When we bring our presuppositions with us, our old ways of thinking, into the future, we remain old. We continue to think p

I Want To Be A Great....

Artist... Software Developer... There is more to this ambition than just the title. In fact the title is basically meaningless in itself... To be good at anything means you solve certain problems in certain domains, and solve them well. Skill comes from the act of doing. And doing the right actions means knowing what actions to take - being aware of their existence. Knowing what actions to take comes from what you see - the problem at hand, clearly. By knowing the problem, you can fit the solution to it. Simply knowing solutions, techniques-without-context, algorithms, design patterns, software, a medium, is not enough. A certain solution may fit incredibly poorly to a problem you know littl

Slow, Steady And Constant Progress

The world will tell you that you must change it. That you must invent the wheel. That you must produce work from nothing and have it impact the world, leaving your mark, improving the lives of others - solving world hunger. This is an exaggeration - but not too far from the truth of our thoughts. To be inexperienced is to want to prove to others you have experience. Ironically this makes you focus on the end result, rather than the all important journey of getting there - the journey is the real result, the finished piece at the end is just a byproduct of it... Too often when we know nothing, or too little, we mean to change too much. Too much of ourselves, too much of the world from our wor

Exhibition: Alpha Theta

I will be exhibiting my work Between Worlds in the group show Alpha Theta - an exhibition based on themes of the subconscious, unconscious, brain waves and dreams.. Exhibiting Artists: Chris Alsop | ARTDOBRO | Stuart Bachelor | Ioana Baltan | Emma Barnie | Sonia Ben Achoura | Jane Elizabeth Bennett | Jenny BM | Sarawut Chutiwongpeti | Elisaveta Sivas | Georgia Clemson | Homer Fives | Robert Foster | Sara Dobson FRSA | Patricia RAIN Gianneschi | Samuel Golc | Shahina Jaffer | Yuliya Lapshyna | LECH | Anne Leigniel | Panos Lezes | Ewa Matyja | Willie Nash | Andy Onyx | Christopher Opetunsin | Norbert Pietraszek | Blythe Plenderleith | Mila Raczkowska | Martin Raskovsky | Daniel Roberts

Rich Waters: Maintain Your Well Of Creativity

To be a professional artist requires that you be consistently creative. It requires practice and nurturing of your artistic and expressive muscles. And like muscles you must exercise them and not overdo it. It's natural. It's finite. It's like a naturally filling well.. Your well of creativity will always be refilling but you can also dry it by taking to much from it. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about using it. These have been taken and morphed from Ernest Hemingway's Seven Tips. Never fully empty the well by the end of the day; stop when there is still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it, so you always know wha

Treat Yourself Like A Loved One

When our loved ones and friends have problems we are often the font of all knowledge. We dish out advice and opinion to them in an effort to help. When this does work and you suggested a solution, it may be incredibly obvious to you. And upon hearing it, obvious to your friend. This situation is familiar and we have all been both people... Why is it then, that we have this knowledge, but then cannot act upon it ourselves? Why can we not see the problems from our own perspective but with perfect clarity when we are outside of it? What makes us unaware? We tend to overthink for one. And we tend to be fearful of that which has the most impact on our lives, fearful of change ultimately. This is

Belief That Cages You. Volition That Frees You.

Exploration is a key part of experimental processes, be that in science, technology or art. Navigating the process and evaluating and analyzing it is a tricky problem. You need value heuristics, markers in the sand by which to judge your progress. How are these made? How can they aid? How can they restrain? We bring assumptions with us everywhere we go as humans. Very often these assumptions are produced to help you, to ease your decision making and allow you to survive. You have adapted and they have been instrumental in this. However these assumptions can also blind you. They may prevent you from taking certain actions, either consciously or subconsciously. In this way your beliefs cage yo

Start In the Middle, Not At The Beginning

Starting anything new is incredibly hard. It's frustrating, but after that initial beginning - it is actually natural to fall into a rythm. You can see this starting difficulty at any time scale: from starting work in the morning or starting a new weekly exercise routine. The first minutes, the first day is always the hardest. When creating new work this can also be the case. That is why I start new pieces in the middle of the week. I always leave pieces halfway done by the end of the day and finish the following day. This came from advice from Ernest Hemingway: The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you

Have A Routine

Being an artist is chaotic. It is research. It is like driving full speed through the fog with one headlight out. So you need your life and your day to be as structured and helpful as possible to put you in the mental and physical position to do your best every day. To manage the chaos and highs and lows of the art practice. You must fail a lot as an artist in order to do anything of value, that's uncomfortable and difficult and requires a soft landing to fall back on. This is what a routine gives you. It gives you the leeway. It gives you regularity and order in your life so you can be as violent and original in your work as you can. Do not leave it to the fluctuating and unpredictable whim

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