For those who have been fortunate enough to be able to learn from someone with a great deal of experience, what was something that stuck with you over the years? If you are self taught what have you learned that you feel is worth sharing with others?
I am self taught but I allow other artists of days past be my mentors as well. I distinctly remember doing an art show once and my tent was set up right next to another artist that did copper sculpture but on a much grander scale than anything I had at the time. He came over to my tent and admired and complimented my work and we struck a friendship. He invited me to his artist retreat, it was a home and work studio and place for other artist to collaborate, very impressive ranch.
I was blown away by this man's success and the scale of work he had done, now I can't even remember his name but I remember him teaching me how to give my work a more realistic look simply hammering the flat edges in to curves. He also taught me that I didn't have to make my work so realistic.
This advice added to my work a whole new level and till this day I remind myself that my sculptures don't have to be a perfect copy of my subject but rather a new reality of it. This is advice I would pass on to any sculptor.
Ronald as usual yet another wonderful discussion. I can say while in kindergarten I crayon colored within the lines, not outside. I new then as I do today soon to be 68 yrs old, its a frequency and duration by which I have achieved the ability to paint, sketch, watercolor, photography all mediums mastered musical instruments and vocal. As I have always mentioned "no goal is beyond reach while achieving success".....the success, including genetics, is the individual expression and preference, determination to paint without limbs using a brush in their mouth or using their toes to hold the brush, or a blind person the artist, photographer creating their own masterful works of art, the achievers,
I can also say it has nothing whatsoever to do with left or right side of brain, I am unique in my instance my NDE (near death experience) at such a young age.. It was my grammar school teacher of the 6th grade noticed my artistic ability and paid for every canvas, tube of paint, brushes, I new my parents did not pay for the supplies, my father at times did cut paneling and I primed the back side and had an instant canvas.... I was informed in the 8th grade Mrs. Murphy my 6th grade teacher paid for everything. I did have formal instructions by a Catholic Nun who assisted me a child prodigy to achieve the masterful paintings which I completed at such a young age. There was no discussions or critiquing this is the right way or wrong way, my ability was self refined while going to art classes every Saturday from 8 a,m til 12 noon.
I would then go home, and off on my bike to play with my friends the typical adolescent activities at the playground and take part in track and field competitions winning blue ribbons for broad jumping and short distance races....my parents were in disbelief and had no knowledge were I was rushing off to until they too went to the competitions.
Everyone has the potential to achieve, there is no age criteria young or old, my advice to others if in doubt at least try even if it is a white line down the center of a colored canvas, a doodle, stick figure, it was your attempt and creation of art or photography the snap of the shutter, smile it is your individuality, achievement and success !!!!
Mum, professional artist: Don't be an artist. Not worth it unless you are brilliant. Which you are not. (Ignored)
Boyfriend, skilled sculptor: Do not make the work too precious. That is, enjoy it and stop worrying about what others think. Your work will be far better (listened to)
Harold and Lawrence, professional artists of renown: You are good! Keep going and get better! (listened to)
Julian, skilled professional artist, senior artist at Sony UK, about a ship painting I did, two weeks before he killed himself: That is good. Keep going and practice all the time. You have a gift for marine work. (Totally listened to)
Not to undervalue my art. The lady was a "professional" artist, watercolor, that made a living from her paintings. We often did shows together - I might sell one or two, her's would always sell out. The problem was, she said, I needed to put a 1 in front of all my prices. That show, I won two awards and sold out as well. Even those I had been selling, I was barely making any profit.
"Dad... don't draw the main subject in the middle of the paper!" ~ My Daughter ( I still kept those works. Couldn't bear to part with all those points)
"Stop singing! You don't have a very good voice!" ~ My Mother in response to my joyous notes from the bathtub ( I went on to front a local band for quite a few years. Lost my voice though. )
"The small paintings take as long as the larger ones" ~ Artist Dennis Patrick Lewan in response as to why he didn't offer smaller originals... which most folks think should cost less.
"He just wears shorts and tennis shoes at home." ~ Artist Jack Terry's wife in response to the celebrity status that her husband had during art shows at our galleries. ( Lines of gushers.) Don't take yourself too seriously.
"Be respectful of your fellow sojourners." Challenging other artists in a disdainful way can be the start of one's demise. Marty Bell was a ultra-popular artist in California (making millions of dollars in the 80's and early 90's) who once criticized a fledgling Thomas Kinkade as someone who will never go anywhere. He heard about it, accepted the challenge, and ended up bankrupting her and taking all of her top employees.
Some of the best sage advice I have ever gotten was from my great Aunt Mimi Gifford. She was the head of the board of directors at the Philadelphia College of Art in the 50's-60's. A natural artist she dabbled in stuff well ahead of her time including expressionist and abstract art. Though she was fluent in realism. She told me "just let go and have fun". And I have it true that this attitude produces some of the best art.
Another source of sage advice came from an online blogger. Artists must beware so many things when selling from understanding the copyright laws to how to price your work for the venue you sell it in. But one thing remains a constant that is very helpful when pricing, keep your time in mind and NEVER EVER price it below the fair minimum wage for the area in which you are selling. How much preparation time did you have? What did your materials cost you? Where are you going to show it and sell it? Do you have available in prints? How many have sold if any? What's your overhead? Always pay yourself. And on and on the advice goes.
Finally, my own sage advice has to do with the early days, high school and college for most budding artists. GET THE BUSINESS CLASSES FIRST. Take some marketing, accounting, sales and reproduction classes. Learn the current copyright laws, how to photograph your work, and get a good understanding of the printing processes.
I hope this has been helpful to those of you reading along.
I totally agree with Ed..."Work fast. Failure early....."
The only thing I would add is, "Fail often..."
“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
― Michael jordan
My sage advice is to listen to the sage advice of others, take it with a grain of salt, and then do what works for you. Listen and learn from those who appear to be genuinely helping you as opposed to preaching at you. Whether you are 5 or 55, people like to be nurtured and mentored in a way that doesn't belittle. Someone who has a "great deal of experience" doesn't necessarily mean that what they did to achieve success will work for you.
My most memorable sage advice came on a handball court, when I was about twenty-four, facing down a balding, chubby, sixty-four-year-old man, whom I knew smoked. Was this guy kidding?! -- wanting to face off with ME, a well muscled, quick, strong, agile youth?
He spoke not a word of advice that I remember, because what I remember most was his ability to move and beat the crap out of me every single time for years, despite my impression of his physical appearance. What a wake up call. His advice was in his performance. Probably no words could translate that any better.
Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone} was on a talk show I was directing and when it was over I cornered him and told him I was writing scripts and did he have any suggestions.
He said, "Write a script, and if it doesn't sell, throw it in a trunk and write another.
If that doesn't sell, throw it in the trunk and write another. One day, when one sells, open the trunk and you'll be set for life."
Anyway, I apply that to my art. When it catches on, I'll be in good shape.
PS: My 3 scripts are still in the trunk. Anyone want to make a movie?
Tame say hello Robert new friend[smile]. Tame take cap off and Tame get dried sage from jar made of glass. Lens made of glass too. glass jar make dried sage look big. Robert friend wise sage. Robert give Tame sage advice.
What is the small work and what is the big one,
human propriety is to make it all bigger,
on many occasions bigger then nature.
We are those who concentrate all energy to make something new.
But the inspiration comes from the outside and inside,
mixes and revolves around you in many creations.
Creations of art and empathy.
But are we really, deeply, empathic?
We are alone if not then.
My teacher, tought me this, she is so Empathic to everything naturaly. I am glad that I found myself in her class.
A camera club friend told me to sign up with FAA. She said even if I don't sell that at least I will have an official looking place for my best work when others show interest. So I did - and this is where it becomes sage advice - I found it actually caused me less stress when talking about my art because I can just point them to FAA and don't have to figure out which images to show or (gasp!) how much to charge if they ask to buy something. I am much more open about my photography than I ever was before. An added advantage (and morale booster) is the occasional stranger sale.
A very wise old sage once told me the definition of insanity...doing something the same way over and over and expecting different results. This has helped me realize that if it doesn't work the first two times, save time and figure out a different way of getting the result you want.
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