Learning to Be an Artist

No Plan? No problem

Heading into my artistic sabbatical & renewal, I didn’t have a plan. If anything, I had an anti-plan – the plan was NOT to have a plan. I’ve sat in this creative space long enough to know that while I might have a vague idea of where I want to head, the final outcome usually looks like nothing I might have initially conceived.

Although I didn’t have a plan, I did have a mentor & coach who helped me discover that I needed to breathe life into my time as an artist, free from the constraints of commercial work. I had originally hired Terry Bateman as a business coach to help me pivot & focus my studio work this Spring – with a new lab, new products, new pricing. So when I pivoted, he met me where I was at and was able to serve as a life coach – a spiritual guide of sorts. Through our regular conversations, I figured out my Vision Board and some broad strokes around how to reorient myself to creating art for its own sake.

Vision Board

My Vision Board for my sabbatical itself was a learning experiment, as I created it digitally from images I took myself or found in the public domain. I took pictures of artwork given to me by a friend (the giraffes), and even included a picture of my 2021 Vision Board, which I had created in January using magazine cutouts and cardboard. I used some of the techniques I learned in Thom Rouse’s workshop – the beginning of my intense conceptual period, experimenting with digital art.

Vision Board

I’m a visual thinker (I’m learning), and so I literally created a life sized project board where I could brainstorm practices, people and projects to feed my inspiration and creative time. I studied industrial engineering, so I’ve always had a process-focus. The opportunity now is to expand that left-brain thinking, combining my superpowers with new creative energy.

My Project Board

The Rain in Maine

After my one-day class with Thom Rouse , I knew I needed more time & instruction. So, without almost thinking about it, I signed up for a week-long workshop he was co-leading in Bar Harbor, Maine with Al DaValle. Al is a landscape photographer, so it was a chance to learn many new skills. I haven’t done much landscape or travel photography since I got into photography. I had done some nature photography early in my explorations – my so called “bumblebee & butterfly” phase – with lots of macro work and flowers. I think one of my take aways is learn from it all, and carry forward the parts that I enjoy. So, I’m pulling back in some of my passion for landscape and architecture – city scapes are after all just urban landscapes!

The mixology of Al and Thom means I can break through my self-imposed constraints that I have to shoot what’s in front of me. Now I see each image as a starting point. From there, I create something totally new that has never existed before.

And I am having fun!

Here are some of my favorite images from my time in Maine – some more creative than others, but nothing like what I think will be coming… So hold on to your seats!

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

2 thoughts on “Learning to Be an Artist”

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