Thursday, April 5, 2012

Characteristics of an Artist

I've been thinking about what makes a good artist, and I've come up with three things that a person needs.  An artist needs to be creative, have skills, and be focused enough to complete a project.  I imagine a triangle with over lapping circles at each point.  The optimal range is where all three circles over lap.  There are a few blessed people who are born with creativeness, skills, and focus.  For the rest of us, there is hope because we can become creative, learn skills, and ask for help to keep focused.

Improving creativity sounds impossible, but I believe it can happen.  The most important factors are time and releasing pressure.  Set aside time to doodle, let your imagination run, be a kid, or just think.  It's kind of hard to do because it seems like you aren't doing anything, but giving your mind a break can make a difference.  Not only is playing time important for being creative, but it's also a healthy.  A quote that I cut out and glued to my sketch book goes like this, "Don't tell someone 'Be Creative'  tell them 'Do something only you would come up with-that none of your friends or family would think of'."  You have things that I could never do, you have thoughts I will never think.

We can learn new skills, and there are many ways of making art.  Sometimes I am amazed and intimidated by the skills that others have, but I need keep working trying new things.  Most people aren't born with their skills; they learn and practice to become who they are.  Take an art class, make time to practice, don't be afraid to try a new material.  If you try a paint brush and that doesn't work, try using clay, or yarn, or paper. 

Focus comes from inside and outside.  Jacob helps me focus, and encourages me to keep going.  He knows I enjoy painting and helps me remember to take time to finish up projects.  Creating a calendar of goals can also be an effective way of developing follow through so we create a finished product.  Having friends ask about projects helps too.  If anyone needs a Follow Through Buddy, let me know!

I don't think these are all the characteristics, but I do think these are important.  I would like your thoughts and stories.

Am I missing an important element?  What's the hardest characteristic for you?  Have you taken an art class?