When it comes to art, there are certain truths that I would definitively say are unavoidable. We begin with a concept, which is the true beginning of a journey that takes us through many phases and one of two outcomes: We either finish it or we don’t. Over the past few years, I’ve mentioned some of my own artistic endeavors, such as some mixed-media art projects that took several days to complete, a yarn-bombing crochet project (one year), and my most recently finished work, a novel about a troubled girl who becomes a confident fire dancer, titled Girl on Fire (three years).
While these seem so different, I can tell you that there are more similarities than not. They all required learning, practice, and dedication. They all involved varying levels of fear (will people like this?), apprehension (should I really do this?), and satisfaction (I just did this!). I found inspiration everywhere I could, including the artists and authors of North Light Books. Tracy Verdugo, author of Paint Mojo: A Mixed Media Workshop, is one of many people who guided me, and it’s my pleasure to share with you some of her advice, so that you can apply it to your current or next project, or even to your life in general. We all know that art is life, after all. Here’s more from Tracy.
Planting Your Seeds by Tracy Verdugo
• Begin cultivating an inner stillness and awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts and begin to focus on the things you are grateful for and the things that light you up.
• Do more of the things that light you up and allow yourself to design a dream life, which would encompass your passions. Own the fact that you are worthy of this dream.
• Search out those who are living their biggest dreams and read their stories. Make contact on their blogs or by e-mail. Say hello and you will find out they are real people just like you and me. Begin to understand that if it is possible for them, it is possible for you.
• Begin to align yourself with others who believe in possibility, who believe in their own greatness and will help you believe in yours. Spend less time with people who want to keep you small.
• Take small, steady steps toward your dream but don’t wait to be perfect at what you do. You will be waiting a long time.
• Test the waters along the way. Jump in! Try out some different strokes, a few different bathing suits. Not everything will work out. You will learn along the way how not to drown and which swimmers work for you.
• Write a letter to your “now” self from your “future” self. Date it one year or five years from now, whatever feels right for you. Tell yourself all about the exciting things you are doing! Here’s a little glimpse of mine: Sailing in the Riviera with a client who has just commissioned me to provide paintings for his new hotel chain, financing a wonderful creative school in an impoverished colonia in Tijuana, teaching all over Europe for a year, celebrating my fiftieth birthday there and writing a best-selling memoir about it to inspire other women about the power of possibility and the diminishing myth of middle age.
• Dream big! Write down your wildest creative dreams!
• Above all, remember to be gentle with yourself and treat yourself as you would a beloved child or dear friend. You will fall. You will make mistakes. You will learn from them. We all do. The sooner you can get out of your own way, the sooner you will find the clarity to fulfill your vision. ~Tracy
In addition to incredibly motivating words such as the above, Tracy features a variety of mixed-media art exercises designed to teach techniques and inspire breakthroughs. Get your copy of Paint Mojo today so that you can begin achieving your “wildest creative dreams.”
Yours in art,