Evolving as a Mixed-Media Artist

Apron by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer | ClothPaperScissors.com
Apron by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. “When you’re making choices based on other people’s opinions, you’re operating from fear,” says Julie. “To quote Nelson Mandela, ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.'”

You may have heard me say that I’m only comfortable when I’m not in my comfort zone. There’s a reason for that–it’s because I’ve seen, time and again, how stepping into the unknown brings me joy, new experiences, and increased knowledge. Mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer seems to be of a similar mindset, as I read in her Cloth Paper Scissors article (July/August 2014) about her artistic evolution. Here’s a snippet of what she has to offer from that enlightening article.

Evolving as an Artist
by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

• I make art a daily habit.
• I make an effort to push myself out of my comfort zone.
• I let go of crutches. It isn’t easy, but it’s important.
• I embrace what scares me.
• I pursue bad ideas. (I don’t mean bad ideas such as, let’s use encaustic without any ventilation. I mean bad ideas like making mud-colored paint or covering up something that looks pretty good as is.)
• I make an effort to reserve time in my schedule for personal artistic development.
• I substitute the word “learn” for the word “fail.”
• I try very hard to celebrate successes.

Julie adds, “It’s scary to change up what’s working for you. For a professional artist, it’s a risk. However, I think it’s riskier to become mired in doing the same thing over and over again, to the point where you are selling knock-offs of your own art. Trust that the marketplace will find you, when what you are doing is fresh and interesting and authentic–not just to others, but to you.”

Now, take this advice, and apply it to your art. Start with your art journal and see what happens!

Get started with Julie’s digital Art Lesson, Paint Over Collage: Making Sense of Chaos. It’s included in a special sale at the Interweave store that celebrates Art Lessons, which are geared to help you enhance your art journaling techniques.

Always evolving,


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Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques