Image size 11" x 14" approx
painted acrylic papers on mixed media board
It's not you, it's me.
Has anyone ever heard this before?
One of the things about being self taught is that you sometimes (OK, all the time) don't know what it is that you will learn next. This week I gained some insight into one of the ways that I respond to new information and new creative input. I'd like to share what I found out because maybe if you are like me, a confirmed introvert, you might benefit. Or maybe you already know and can commiserate. Or perhaps just writing about it is helpful for me.
I have been following along with Nicholas Wilton's ArtToLife's videos. He has covered three topics: design, value and color. The information has been good and I have enjoyed hearing him talk. However, when I finished listening to the third video, I started to feel a curious kind of resistance. A wariness even. It was a feeling of needing to protect myself somehow. From a psychological standpoint I suspect that it is fairly common for people to engage in "measurement." We constantly self assess based on what others are doing or saying. When I finished the videos I thought that maybe I didn't want to hear any more. In fact, I didn't want to get any more instruction. I just wanted to nurture my own ideas, whatever they are, and to continue to push myself along without someone telling me how to do that.
It's a little nuts right? Who doesn't want outside information that is beneficial? You need input and learning to grow right? But how much? And from whom? At what point do you turn that off, turn away from the outside influences, and look inward for the answers? At what point do you count on yourself, your own vision and your own ideas about how to do things? Confidence may be the key point here. Do you have enough of it to march forward on your own, regardless of the outcome? And that's what I discovered this week, that it could be time to stop looking for answers outside myself. (Hence the expression above, "It's not you, it's me.") Maybe I already know enough to continue to move forward. I did sit down to write about my ideas, what I know, and to make a list. It's a good list. I have ideas. I know stuff. Not enough but enough to keep going if I want to.
All this isn't to say that people can't benefit from instruction from outside sources such as Nicholas Wilton. The man is generous with his information, is encouraging growth, and is fostering an atmosphere of sharing and support among fellow artists. But, I think it is OK to question stuff like this and to try and find out what you really need. What you need might be one thing or a variety of things. Only you can decide that right? The need may not be another workshop or video or blog post. I am not advocating one thing or the other. I am only sharing what I learned and suggesting that the ideas are worth some thought.
And with all of that said, do you think I am going to stop looking at the artwork of others? No way! But I won't be looking in order to learn what to do next. Just for enjoyment and to add to my aesthetic sensibility. Check out this guy. He goes by the name of Hense. I feel like he may be a kindred spirit; a shape making, color loving kind of guy!
OK, if you have an opinion let me know. And I promise that the next post won't be so lengthy or "thinkey."