Showing Your Work as a Creative Process

 

Do Not Go Gentle, acrylic, 40x30, (c) 2011

An opportunity to show your work… is an opportunity to be creative. At the very least, showing your work is a way to acknowledge your creativity. That may sound like artist’s ego talking. Probably is. AND I believe that acknowledging your own creativity — affirming it, celebrating it, shouting it from the rooftops — is essential for an artist’s growth.

My creativity has felt a little stagnant lately, and one of the missing elements is not interacting with my work by putting it on public display. Selecting and arranging my art for an exhibit inherently involves taking a close look at my “babies” and giving them my own stamp of approval: This or that piece deserves the honor of being shown.

No matter how hard I am on myself — and I tend to be my toughest critic — when I enter a show, I have to engage with the work and discover something worthwhile. I have to admit that I LIKE this or that painting (or jewelry) enough to show it. I have to wire the painting, add a price card. I have to submit photos to the exhibit organizers. Most often, I have to pay for the privilege of publically saying I like these creations of mine.

As a stimulus to my creative process, choosing to enter an art exhibit is priceless! I’m in a show this weekend (see below for the “commercial” — you’re invited!). I can’t wait to see what happens next in my studio.

Happy creating — Linda

P.S. Houston art lovers — You’re invited to “Visions of Artists Alive and Well” on Saturday, 1/21, 1-5PM, at JoMar Visions, 902 Hardy Street. I have 7 pieces in the show, including my most recent work, “Do Not Go Gentle…” and “Vortices” (triptych), plus prints and clearance items. See you there! — Linda

Inspiration Is Where You Find It

Vortices (triptych), Linda Summers Posey, acrylic, 30x15each, (c) 2011

I was skimming a list of calls to artists in my email, when one item grabbed my attention — an artists’ residency program at the Torpedo Factory, a well-known arts center in D.C. My usual reaction would be, “Forget that. I’m probably not qualified anyway.” But the criteria for this program clearly state that it’s open to emerging artists.

C’est moi! And if I don’t apply, some other emerging artist will get my spot.

Now, I’m open to the possibility. More importantly, I have fresh stimulus for my creativity. The application asks what you plan to work on during the residency. So I’m thinking about what new creations I want to play with, what new media I want to explore, new styles I want to invent — all because I read about this program.

I may or may not wind up applying — who knows, I may find a more suitable program somewhere else. But my creative juices are bubbling and whirling in whole new directions. So thank you, Torpedo Factory — perhaps we’ll meet this summer!

What stimulates your creative possibilities? Please share with us.

Happy creating — Linda

Happy New Creative Year!

How can you make 2012 more creatively fulfilling?

I HATE the thought of making New Year’s Resolutions. They’re usually forgotten before I take the 1st step.

This year, I finally noticed the elephant in the room or, in this case, the house. I’ve had it up to here with clutter, the mass of “stuff” from long-term living in one home. So I did something I can only call a resolution — I “resolved” to reinvent my space. Yes, I mean clean it, clear it and organize it so it supports me, my life (including my spouse) and my art career. By IT, I mean everything in my environment — from cathedral-ceilinged living room to the tiniest cabinet, from my studio/home office to the garage.

What’s more, I’ve taken action! I hired a professional organizer who’s creating order at lightnight speed and coaching me to let go of everything useless, unnecessary and unadored. The public areas are already under control — and my art shows off nicely against the clear, open background of the living/dining areas. My studio is open and functional — though there’s still plenty to clear out there. Now we’re attacking the closets, cupboards and garage — the hidden spaces where clutter lurks, waiting to take over your life!

Why am I describing this in such detail? Of course, I’m proud of the good start I’ve made, and I want to encourage you to start something that will improve your life in 2012. Whether it’s cleaning up or taking a new art class or addressing a health issue, VALUE yourself and your creative life enough to do whatever it takes to preserve and enhance it. I’ll be reporting on my progress occasionally, and I hope you will too.

Happy New Year & Happy Creating — Linda

Claim Your Title – Claim Your Greatness

Cosmic Spring, 18x24, (c) 2011

I have friends who are talented, powerful creative artists (and that’s not just my opinion) — and who call themselves “dabblers.” I’m shocked to hear this. (I’m not naming names — you know who you are.) Why do they underrate themselves and their work? Lack of assertiveness or self-esteem? False modesty? Fishing for someone to call them out and insist that they ARE indeed artists? I have no idea.

In general, I’m never shy about claiming my title as an artist.

  • Am I a Great Artist? Probably not. That doesn’t mean I’m not one. Besides, I refuse to compare myself with other artists, living or dead, great or otherwise. Who knows what kind of art they’d produce if they had my background. Maybe they’d be at the same stage in their career as I am now. Conversely, if I’d lived in their time and circumstances, maybe I’d have been a Michelangelo or a Mary Cassatt.
  • Am I the best artist Linda Posey can be at this moment? You betcha. I reserve the right to be proud of who I am as an artist RIGHT NOW. While my first goal is to create for my own satisfaction, I revel in every bit of positive feedback and every sale.
  • Am I the best artist I’ll ever be? I certainly hope not. Every time I paint, I feel like I expand my creativity and my power of artistic self-expression.

If you’re creative, if you make any kind of art, I urge you to claim your title as an artist. Not as an ego trip, and certainly not as a “box” to limit yourself, but as an affirmation of what’s possible for you. Set aside the comparisons with others, the setbacks and criticisms you’ve endured in the past. Forget, for now, the future achievements you aspire to. Right here, right now — declare the possibility of your creativity, the possibility of your own greatness — or potential greatness. I AM AN ARTIST!

Happy holidays — and happy creating! — Linda

Fire Up Your Creativity — Play

The Lighter Side of Anger - (c) 2010

To me, playfulness is one of the hallmarks of creativity. That’s a pretty serious way of saying something I don’t want to be serious about at all.

Don’t get me wrong. Creating art is — on some level — hard work. AND if we don’t play at our work, it loses the vibrancy and energy of authentic self-expression. When does creative work become play?

  • Play is FREE. It’s uninhibited by rules, expectations (our own and others’) and the desire to live up to someone else’s dreams, desires and standards. We may take those factors into account, but we don’t allow them to limit our self-expression.
  • Play is FRIVOLOUS. It doesn’t mean anything. I may be creating the most “important” work of my career, but I try to remember that 500 years from now, this canvas will, in all likelihood, be consigned to a dusty attic, if not to a reclaimed landfill.
  • Play is FUN. At least for a moment, it takes you back to some childhood moment of giggling, giddy delight.

Play with your art. Those moments of free, frivolous fun are what creating is all about. And play with me on this blog. Your (playful – or serious, if you must!) comments are welcome.

Happy creating – Linda

Keep Your Creativity Alive – Leave the Past in the Past

Today’s post was triggered by a comment on an earlier post made by “surrealsol”:

“Early this year I got back into art after not being very engaged in it for many years… I had to get rid of all the preconceived ideas I had learned in my youth… I learned to focus on feelings… There were no expectations or mandatory rules to think about. This focus on feelings allowed me to have a freedom in art I had never experienced. It keeps everything fresh and experimental… Now I feel certain that art will always be a part of my life.” — surrealsol

The teachings, expectations, rules and preconceived ideas from the “gurus” of our youth are a powerful foundation for who we are as artists. Most of us wouldn’t be artists without the discipline of our art education. But that education can also become the concrete overshoes that sink us before we learn how to swim on our own.

Give yourself permission to transform those rigid rules into flexible guidelines, to experiment boldly with your art until you discover for yourself what works and what doesn’t work in your own creative self-expression. Do this, and you’ll unleash, as “surrealsol” did, a new freshness and freedom in your work, and perhaps a new commitment to your art career.

Happy creating, Linda

Staying Creative – #17 Go Somewhere New

Going somewhere new today… rocking over to another blog for this cool video. From “29 Ways to Stay Creative” on Poetic Phases blog by Tiana…

Hey, don’t leave HERE just because you go somewhere new… 🙂 Come back and join us again, right here at “Creativity Rocks Our World!” for more FUN!

http://player.vimeo.com/video/24302498?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0

Thanks, Tiana.

Happy creating – Linda