How to choose better for your Art + Life

How to choose better for your Art + Life

Do you ever feel like you made the wrong decision? Upon looking back, it seems so obviously wrong. How could I make that decision? Well, that is what I am talking about today.

Have a look here:

If you want to be better able to choose what you want, especially regarding your art-making, it helps to have criteria. Knowing what constitutes a YES, and more importantly, a NO beforehand, can increase your correct choices.

It is never that one decision that is particularly problematic but instead the sum total of many slightly off judgments over time. It is almost more important for those who are just beginning their creative path to pay attention and to stay focused on all that inspires you.

It is all about improving the batting average of your right decisions / how you spend your time, the kind of art materials you use, and even how you want to feel when making your art. These decisions matter. Especially in the beginning stages of the Creative Path.

A small adjustment in your direction in the beginning, can in the end, take you to an entirely different destination.

Starting tomorrow, Monday, October 19th, I am leading the free Creative Breadcrumb Challenge. It is a five-day challenge running next week that is all about clarifying your criteria for what is a yes and what is a no. I hope you can join us. Click the link below to join us.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE CREATIVE BREADCRUMBS CHALLENGE

What is your criteria for saying yes?

Let us know in the comments your strategy for staying current with all you desire in your art and life.

I hope your Sunday in the studio is fun.

Nicholas

Are you thinking big enough?

Are you thinking big enough?

I remember not feeling so good about the kind of art I was making. I thought it was because of my circumstances. I had all sorts of ideas about what was or was not possible for me. But years ago, I had a conversation with my father, Clifford Wilton, who changed all that. He said something to me that made me realize I was not thinking big enough and honestly imagining what I did want. Not just in my art, but my life, too.

And that’s what today’s video is all about.

Have a look here:

Every year around this time, I take some time to reimagine what truly lights me up, not just in my art but my life, too. They are both, as I know you know, intertwined. To get someplace, we must first imagine it. And imagine it often.

Let us know in the comments your strategy for staying current with all you desire in your art and life.

We would love to know.

This year I thought I would invite whoever wants to join me in my reimagining process. It is called the Creative Breadcrumbs Challenge. It is free, and it will walk you through the process I use to gain clarity, insight, and to fire up my art mojo. It starts in about a week on Monday, October 19th.

Here is a link if you would like to join me.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE CREATIVE BREADCRUMBS CHALLENGE

Hope your Sunday is going great.

Nicholas

I am not competitive

I am not competitive

I used to hate competition. But now it doesn’t bother me.

I figured out that competition was so unpleasant because I was focusing too much on everyone else. I lost track of me in the process. Whether you are running a race, dancing, making art, or almost any kind of creative expression, it just doesn’t help when you are not squarely in the driver’s seat. In other words, the more you pay attention to your internal conversation instead of the noisier, external one, the more your art, or whatever you are making or doing, will feel like you.

This little idea is what we are talking about today.

Have a look here:

Competition loses some of its edge when we shift our focus from them to us. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else is making. What matters most is what you are making. It is about your passion and involvement in the creation of your art.

Let us know in the comments below how you think about competition.

In gratitude,

Nicholas Wilton

PS Click on the link below if you would like to attend the Art2Life International Exhibit opening ceremony. This Tuesday, Oct 6th at noon PDT, I will be opening the exhibition website, interviewing artists, and announcing the awards.

https://art2life.lpages.co/2020-a2l-juried-exhibition-opening-reception/

I hope you can join us on this day of celebration.

How to make your art more consistently

How to make your art more consistently

Do you ever set goals for yourself to make art so many hours so many times a week? I used to do that, but I discovered that it rarely works out for me. So I changed my thinking. That is what this video is about today.

Have a look here:

I call this strategy, “Following the Pattern of Desire.” This thinking means that I pay more attention to the pattern or sequence of making art, rather than how long I do the activity. If I only make art for 30 min, it is still a win because I upheld the pattern I established for myself as a goal. It is a simple idea, but I feel it will get you more involved in your art without feeling bad about not hitting unrealistic goals. Today I make sure I follow the pattern and let go of how long I did the activity. This thinking helps me make considerable progress without guilt or shame.

How do you maintain consistency in your art practice?
Let us know in the comments.

I am also super excited to announce a brand new upcoming program called Spark. It is a 21-day creative field trip. It is all about getting inspired, playing in our art, and discovering what brings us alive. The program is all done in a sketchbook!

Sign up here to get on the waitlist for when it opens!

https://art2life.lpages.co/spark-2020-waitlist/

We will be starting the program at the end of October, so get ready!

Nicholas Wilton

These 3 hacks help me make art

These 3 hacks help me make art

I love simple hacks that can help make my art easier, quicker, and better.

Today I want to share three with you that I’ve recently started doing in my art practice. Maybe they could help you too.

Have a look here:

In the end, it is about creating more time for yourself so you can focus on the part of your art process that lights you up the most.

What tips and tricks do you use to help make your art easier, quicker, and better?

Let us know in the comments.

I hope today is a sparkly art day.

Nicholas

PS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day, artists from all over the world are creating amazing art.

So you want to sell your art?

I received this question the other day: “Is it wrong to try to make art that sells?”

This answer is, well, not entirely.

And there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

But from my experience, I coach artists to focus first on making art they genuinely love. The kind of art they couldn’t resist buying. If you can do this, then you stand a much better shot at selling your art to others.

Here is why:

In short, the secret ingredient in the art that sells is the maker’s passion. People are not just buying your art. They are buying your enthusiasm and all the creative energy swirling around your creative process.

I don’t believe you can game the system. It is not like selling potato chips whereby you perfect something and then make more. Art is the by-product of your journey of discovery, curiosity, and wonder.

I know this seems hard, but you wouldn’t want it any other way when you think about it a little.

Let me know your thoughts on this nuanced topic.

When you make your art, who do you please first? You or them? Let’s try and flush this out a little in the comments.

Have a great day in the studio today.

Nicholas

PS Thank you all for your heartfelt condolences about Maizy. I couldn’t respond to everyone personally, but your messages touched me beyond words. Thank you.

PSS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day, artists from all over the world are creating amazing art.

Maizy

Maizy

A few days ago, we had to say goodbye to Maizy, our sweet dog. She was such a fixture in my life, in my family’s life, and I know, for many of you, she touched your heart as well. I thought I would share a small piece of her sweetness with you today instead of talking about art. I will miss her so, so much.

Click on the video below to watch.

Thanks for being here.
Nicholas

PS Thanks for all the amazing entries for the Art2Life International Exhibition. There are 2 days left to enter, so you still have time.

Here is where you can find all the info:
Call for Entry and FAQ’s.

These art tools help me the most

These art tools help me the most

I get many questions about my favorite tools, and it’s been a few years since I last shared them with you, so today, I thought I would share a couple. All of them help me create an essential contrast in my art. It is a contrast, or “difference,” in my art that I love. It is the difference between control and out of control. Instead of a careful, perfectly made mark, I prefer mine to feel a little like they were made by mistake. It just seems so much more unpredictable.

Click on the video below to have a look.

The tools we use help us get the look and feel we desire. And it is different for everyone.
What is the one tool you love to use in your art?

Let us know in the comments below.

I hope your time in the studio today is surprising.

Nicholas

PS There is still time to enter the

International Online Art2Life Art Exhibition.

Don’t miss this. It is going to be an epic show! Check out the cash prizes, juror details, and dates of the exhibition.

Want more info about this exhibition and how to enter? Click here for the Call for Entry and FAQ’s.

PSS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day, artists from all over the world are creating amazing art.

Are you juggling too much?

Are you juggling too much?

Do you sometimes feel you have too many ideas? Does it seem crazy to be entertaining one more thing with everything you already have on your plate?

How do you deal with the overwhelm of all those creative ideas and plans you have?

People accuse me of taking on WAY too many things, and as a result, I have thought a great deal about this. I have some thoughts about this that might help.

Click on the video below to have a look.

In case you are rushing to your next idea and don’t have time for this video, here is the nugget:

Having too many ideas in your head is not what makes it hard; thinking about ALL those ideas while working on ONE of them is what makes it hard.

In other words, while you are doing one idea, only think about that one idea. Your brain is excellent at holding many ideas. It is just not so good at doing 2 or 3 at the same time.

Contrary to what most people tell you, I believe there are benefits to having a full plate.

Benefit #1: Constantly thinking about ideas, iterations, and solutions to what you are involved in keeps your brain creatively nimble. This ability is what all artists leverage to create their art.

Benefit #2: Having multiple projects swirling inside and outside your brain gives you added objectivity to the one project you are doing. Making clear and potent decisions allows you to make your art faster, easier, and stronger.

Benefit #3: At its root, creativity is about making connections between seemingly unrelated things. The more stimulus an artist has, the more surprising and wondrous solutions are likely to happen.

How do you manage all your ideas, plans, and projects that you have inside of you?

Let us know in the comments below.

I hope your Sunday is wondrous.

Nicholas

PS There is still time to enter the online

International Art2Life Art Exhibition.

Don’t miss this. It is going to be an epic show! Check out the cash prizes, juror details, and dates of the exhibition.

Want more info about this exhibition and how to enter? Click here for the Call for Entry.

PSS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day, artists from all over the world are creating amazing art.

I was avoiding this.

I was avoiding this.

Pulling off a small painting is hard. However, it can feel especially daunting to make a painting bigger than yourself.

After I moved a raw 8ft x 8ft canvas into my studio, this is how I felt.

I was unsure and reluctant to begin. There is just so much white space. The pandemic came along, and I postponed starting because, after all, it wasn’t safe to be in my studio.

That was a pretty good excuse. It bought me some time. But eventually, I just had to start. And that changed everything.

Thankfully, there is a big difference between thinking about making art and making it. The latter is way easier.

Click on the video below to have a look.

Avoiding, and finally tackling, this big painting reminded me of three essential points regarding art-making resistance.

#1 You have to start.

It doesn’t matter what it looks like but take that first step. Starting will break the cycle of avoidance and give you new information that will help seduce you into making your art. Which, thankfully, is entirely different than worrying about making your art.

#2 Making art brings you into the present.

The rich experience of art-making with all the choices of color, shape, line, and texture will provide you with a reprieve from worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.

#3 Don’t attach to the outcome.

This particular painting might be the best one you have ever made. Maybe a gazillion people will like it on Instagram. But don’t focus on this fact. Perhaps this painting will be the biggest flop you have ever made. Maybe a gazillion people on Instagram will agree. But don’t focus on this fact.

Instead, tune into the process. Creating art is full of mystery, experimentation, and wonder.

These are the gifts that we can safely savor.

How do you overcome resistance in your art-making?

Let us know in the comments below.

I hope your day in the studio is filled with wonder.

Nicholas

PS We had so many thoughtful comments on last week’s vlog with Christine Iacobuzio Donahue. The winner of her book, Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science, is Judith Henry! Congratulations! Please email me at nicholas@art2life.com to claim your free book.

To purchase Christine’s book, just click here.

PSS If you haven’t already, join the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group by clicking here. Every day there is a ton of cool art being made. We would love to see yours too.