How to Stop Worrying And Make Some Art: The 3 Pillars Of Being An Artist

Being an artist is not easy. You create something with an uncertain outcome. There is much risk involved and you're out of your comfort zone.

Not to mention the doubts; about your direction, your 'style', your career, your decisions - those alone are so mentally exhausting and useless you will end up never enjoying a single moment of your time spent as an artist. Instead running to the hills away from it.

It doesn't have to be that way...

Here are my 3 pillars I use to remove the fatigue, fear and fretting - how to stop worrying and make some art!

1 - Creation:

Of course one needs to create in order to make art, everyone knows this.

What I am talking about is creation breeding creativity. You make stuff, that then makes you make more stuff. Simple.

There is something tremendously powerful that happens to your mental processes when you are performing an action, when you work with material, when you produce something of value into the world.

You have to go beyond thinking and start doing.

Thinking with your hands and with your eyes, thinking not statically but enactivley.

Whenever I have creative block I purposely stop actively thinking about the problem and instead go and do a warmup painting, drawing, software sketch.

Almost always this in turn spurs me on and gets the juices in my mind flowing - that's why you hear of so many artists doing a warmup piece when they start the day. It's not so much a finished piece but a way of letting your mind and body think.

And don't get precious, have fun - after you're finished, just throw it away because you are ready to make some art now!

Creation does not even have to mean a warmup sketch or anything even artistic! Go for a run, a walk, cook something fun - as long as you are moving or engaged in an activity. It's all the same effect.

2 - Stealing:

No I don't mean robbing people.

Stealing like an artist is a respectful way of remixing all of your influences and interests. Stealing is not copying, it is not doing the task at hand alone but instead, doing it with your heroes.

Don't try to reinvent the wheel - ask the person who made it themselves to show you! In this modern age that's just the equivalent of a google search or a YouTube tutorial.

What you steal, the connections you make, are as unique as you are.

Through your favorite tastes alone your 'voice' or 'style' emerges - so don't worry about those things, don't even think about them, they are the poison to creativity.

Only think about how you will apply all of this different knowledge you can siphon from you heroes, look to others but do not compare.

If you can do this successfully then much of the hard decision making is taken away, leaving you to just enjoy the execution of making art!

3 - Observing:

I really only learnt about this when I started to study alla prima painting and it has been useful in so much more than just my art making process.

Observing is forgetting what you know. It is removing yourself and your preconceptions and to just listen, look, see and react to life.

In painting if you can replicate the arrangement of colours as you truly see them then there is no need for ANY technique nor any knowledge of the subject in front of you - you can make a successful painting. It is a beautiful thought that all an artist needs is their eyes. The ability to SEE the world - removed from biases and rules.

The best thing is that this way of thinking is so versatile - you can potentially be thrown into any situation and paint anything.

By thinking this way about your process and aim you eliminate much ambiguity in your direction and remove the exhaustion worrying about if you're 'doing it right'. This of course does not just apply to observational painting - I use it in my abstract work too!

So in Summary:

Art is an ultimate freedom of life - if you can just get over yourself and your thoughts...

By using these tips you remove yourself and your ego from the process, you stop being precious about your work and self-conscious about yourself, you gain clarity and objectivity.

True professional qualities.

Just watch, react and think only of the world in front of you and the work.