If a year ago you told me that I was going to have to find my niche, narrow my focus, and CONSTRAIN my art (a taboo notion for many artists) , and that it would have led to not just a steady trickle of creativity and ideas, but rather a rushing torrent, I would have been very skeptical. I know, because I was… but now? Now I’m convinced.
“A Colorful Protest” / Mixed Media on Wood Panel / 12” x 12”
When someone that is very successful doing what you want to be successfully doing gives you advice, you’d be a dumb ass not to take it - straight talk right there.
So when a successful artist who also happens to be my art coach, told me to constrain, I fought back my resistance - I kicked the crap out of the free spirit artsy fartsy that just wanted to do all the things - she put up one hell of a fight I must say, and I started to restrict myself.
I Was Asked To Make Black and White Art…
Not gonna lie...at first restraint was not fun. I had no idea what to paint, how to figure out just one message, one point of view, one style, one medium (I feel like I cheated here by transitioning to mixed media LOL, but that’s another story for another day) and then stick to that… There was work and a lot of editing involved.
…And All I Got Was This Shitty Painting.
When it came time to paint with my newfound constraint though, slowly there was an idea, and as I was just about done with the execution of that first idea another came, and then another, and another.
Now I have pages of ideas.
The real test though came recently when I decided to challenge myself by entering at least one call to artist show per month. When the first call came up, a black and white themed show, I came close to bowing down. My art is colorful af… what could I enter? Here’s the crazy thing though, I have spent a lot of time now dedicated to my style, my point of view, my niche and have managed to constrain myself to the point of expertise in my art. Within 24 hours my initial protest at the thought of black and white art, turned into a concept that despite what it might say (lol), I’m really proud of.
Jack of all trades… master of none. There’s a lot of truth there.
But don’t take it from me… my coach? She knows her shit. Constraint is key.