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Old 04-30-2012, 03:30 PM
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Gwenever Gwenever is offline
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New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Hi, my name's Wendy. This is my first post on WC. Ive titled this post as a reference to my circumstances. Ill save the boring and solemn details for another time.

I've got a strong desire to create. I draw and write almost everyday, but its hard to keep an optimistic stand on things. Ill be spending time on this site, I know, because creative discourse is hard to find around me. Conversation matters.
This is not me just being melodramatic. I value other perspectives:
With limited resources/ opportunities, few simple supplies and a zero budget, how would you make the most of your artistic pursuits (personal and professional)?
In other words, how would YOU creatively maximize productivity and reach goals?
(school, not being an option for at least a couple years)
I cant just not try. I cant let fear consume me. Thats all I know for certain. Beyond that it's all a huge blur.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:18 PM
mame mame is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

There's always a way if you have 'a strong desire to create'.
James Castle drew with charcoal and his own spit and tools of his own making.

Brief biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Charles_Castle
Utube video: http://youtu.be/GxgoeW1FMXk

Just a little inspiration

Last edited by mame : 04-30-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:19 PM
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Greg Long Greg Long is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

While we all want the best of materials, as Mame has said many create with little other than found items or basic tools. Old magazines for collage, thread and wool for tapestry, 3d items for sculpture, old cans, shoes, rags, all can be put to use. There is a great tradition in the southern states of Quilts made with old rags and scraps such as those of Gee's Bend.
As for goals, you need to set them yourself, but they need to be realistic goals so they are achievable.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:43 PM
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Mettaphorica Mettaphorica is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Hi Wendy
You emphasised the YOU, how would YOU go about it? So I will answer about what I would do if in your situation.

Few materials/resources can actually be a blessing. I hail from the Colored Pencil forum, and there is an artist there by the name of Bleuie. He lives in the Phillipines, which is described as 'backwards', and he cannot get much in the way of supplies, resources. Many in America (and in Australia, where I come from), have offered to send him what he needs, but he declines.
Why? Because he says that having fewer resources makes HIM more resourceful; he finds ways of doing things that others haven't. Consequently he's developed his own style. His work is beautiful--head over to the CP forum and do a search.

It is true that you don't need a lot of supplies to make terrific art; that said, you can't make terrific art or enjoy it very much if what you do have is low quality and/or not appropriate. For example, CP works best on certain types paper. The paper makes a huge difference in the painting/drawing outcome. Newbies often won't buy themselves the slightly more expensive, good paper, because they figure they are 'just learning'. But then they jump onto the CP forum and are disappointed with their results.
So, it is important to have the right supplies, and the best quality you can afford. Otherwise, you may always be comparing yourself to other's work, when it's not your skill, but the quality of materials that's at fault.

So if you work on paper, make sure you have the right paper that will bring out the best for your particular medium. Recently I did graphite sketch in a cheap sketchbook. The sketch is the best work I've ever done, IMO. Trouble is, the cheap paper does not do it justice, and has restricted me from shading too much with values before the pencil/charcoal starts to wear into the paper.

As for how you go about it, setting yourself some goals is one thing. But the way you go about things is another. If I were in your shoes, I would adopt an attitude of curiosity. What can I do with these tools? What can I produce with them? What strokes or combinations can I use? What would happen if I combine, say, graphite with watercolor? How far can I push them? How many different things can I create?

Another way to go about it is to find one particular subject, or elements or a color, and focus on that, do a series. You will find you will get really good at that subject. But it has to be something that fascinates you or excites you.Also, experiment with painting/drawing somethign that you don't think you'd ever like.So for example, if, like me, you've no interest in landscapes, have a go at a landscape. Why? Because invariably you will discover something about yourself, your technique and art that you hadn't known. Again, adopt an attitude of curiousity. "I don't like landscapes. I wonder what would produce if I tried one?"

Something I've learned here on these boards (and I would consider myself new to art) is that often what we think we like and are good at isn't always the case. I know a CP artist whose horse paintings are phenomenal.She gets people asking what sort of horse she owns. Her horses blow you away. Yet they don't float her boat, not like painting felines does. but she has a natural talent for horses. I love drawing animals, too, yet I discovered a natural flair for paintign flowers with watercolor pencil. I was as surprised as anybody, because it wasn't how I "thought" of myself.
So again, with that attitude of curiosity, push yourself to try something new.

If you need inspiration, hang around on the board(s) that is appropriate to your medium. Ask questions. Definitely post your work, complete or in progress. As reluctant as I was at first, I, like probably everybody here, discovered that posting your work for feedback achieves several very helpful things. It makes you feel less alone, the feedback can be enormously helpful in helping you grow as an artist, and also, strangely, posting your work or WIP creates a distance between you and the work, and when you look at it online in a forum, you can often see it for what it is yourself. So I would encourage you to do this.

Creating goals can sometimes be hard if you don't know what you want to achieve. Look at other's art, or reference pics, or go outside and take your own photos of what please you. When you look at other art or reference pics, they can become a source of inspiration and the 'goal' just comes organically out of that.
Something else that's really helpful is to write down an artist's statement before you begin. An artist's statement is what you want to show, or what moves you about the picture or scene you are about to do. Or it could be something as simple as, "The red in this picture really struck me, and I want to show red". Writing it down becomes your goal, and guides you along the way.
Do set yourself "art time' as somethign in your schedule, whether it's 2 hours a week or 2 hours a day. I have managed to go from 4 hours a week to 2 hours a night, simply by deciding that the only way I'm going to get good is to do it, , and 'doing it' has meant adjusting my schedule and making darn sure I don't get distracted and that I sit down after dinner at roughly 7.30-7.45. It used to be a goal I had to work toward-giving my art (and myself) that time; now it's just routine, and I feel grumpy and odd if I don't get it.

So apart from art related goals, makes sure you incorporate a doable schedule. You may need to build up, like I did, in order to not put yourself under too much pressure and give up because you missed a time.

As for classes, you don't need to do an academic course to get good at art.
I have found Youtube videos can be very useful. And there are lots of tutes and online classes here on WC.

Well, I hope I've not overwhelmed you and have provided some help.

any q's,
PM me
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:19 PM
fritzie fritzie is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Are you flexible about the media in which you do your creative work? You mention writing as one interest. That must be the least expensive in terms of supplies (other than, say, dancing freestyle in your living room).
I'd think drawing would be next. Pencils, eraser, and a sketchbook make a pretty basic kit.
Donna mentions YouTube videos. But there are also art instructional books in libraries if you prefer that route and also in used bookstores, depending where you live.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:20 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Talk to the people here, first of all. I've given away airbrushes, rolls of canvas, stretchers, paint to artists I know only through the "Net--and received oil paint, coloured pencils, and oil mediums from artists here at WC. There are plenty of artists here with extra supplies, and some of them will send you stuff--and pay for the postage to get it to you!

As for a "zero budget", I question whether that is strictly true. If you can afford food, you can afford to eat a bit less (or slightly less expensively) and buy a tube of paint and a brush every other week (at least)--and in a few weeks you'll have enough paint, and can start buying canvases instead.

(If you can start saving just $5.00 a week now, you could buy a very nice easel at the end of this year!)

In the meantime, find some blank paper somewhere (ask friends, family, local copy stores, print shops--law offices!--and work on drawings, which you can translate to paint once you have those supplies.

Where there's a will, there's a way. If you really want to make art, you will--and nothing but death can stop you.

If you don't end up making any art, maybe making art wasn't what you really wanted to do...
Forcing the waveform to collapse for sixteen years...
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:32 PM
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Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

I would probably find old parts at a junk yard and bang them together and do something "creative" with them. I'd make wild scrap quilts. You did not say "design and execute classical style art," or anything. If I had nothing in the way of supplies or money I would put together "found" objects like these people who weld truck-part men together. I would carve wood, or soap. I would use spray cans and make amazing urban-style murals out of spray paint--

As a matter of fact, there are many art forms out there that specifically do not require fancy supplies from an art store. What about environmental art? Think crop circles. Wasn't someone famous for making etch-a-sketch drawings? You can paint with pigments dug up from the ground and paint on the inner sides of bark. You can weave or fold little objects out of wheat, or paper. You can sculpt with bread dough or marzipan. If you have paints you can do your painting on sanded old furniture.

Actually, when painting started in the early Renascence, it was done with egg tempera on panels of wood. Egg tempera is a wonderful medium and requires very little pigment. You can paint oils on paper as well-- thick watercolor paper-- you don't need easels, a piece of masonite or any panel with clips from an office supply store will do. Just lean it on the back of a chair and you have a drawing board and easel. there is a fascinating array of things you can do without fancy supplies.

I am pretty old (50's) and I learned from teachers who had to make most of their tools by themselves. Back in the 40's in art school, you started by making your tools.

You can paint with the dropped feathers of birds. You can get a squirrel tail (yes road kill) and strip off some hair and make brushes by tying around a slender stick-- viola, there is a brush.

In painting, you need 3 colors and black and white. The large tubes can actually last 20-30 years. I have some paint still that I bought in the 80's.

Check craigslist. Often people sell used art supplies. Do not look down at a half a tube of paint. That can actually be a lot, depending on your use. Hobby Lobby always has 40% or 50% off sales on things like paints and paintbrushes. What about yard sales? School supplies? I've painted many pictures with those cheap grade school water color sets.

I'd think you have a perfect opportunity here to really seek deeply and use your problem solving skills.
Making art since 1973-ish
Blog under reconstruction

Last edited by Use Her Name : 05-01-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:52 PM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

If you draw, pencils can be found for free. People drop them everywhere with little thought or care. Likewise paper can be reclaimed and reused. Maybe not the quality for finished pieces but certainly good enough for practice.

In watercolour lots can be done with just three tubes. The paper provides white and darks can be mixed.

Some of the greatest art the world has ever known was done with minimal tools and supplies. Look at the art of the Ice Age. Woodcarving requires nothing more than a chunk of wood and a knife. Paper mâché can be made from scrap paper soaked in water (or with a little glue, even flour, added).

Lots of free information on how to do art on the web, both high cost and low cost options. That should help you feel you are maximizing learning opportunities.
My Painting Blog: http://adkpainter.blogspot.com/

This is our ART: useless, boring, impotent, elitist, and very, very beautiful.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:05 AM
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byron byron is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

notebook, pen and crayons. check out the art journals forum on wetcanvas. if you invest 20 dollars on a reasonable sketchbook that you feel comfortable toting around. a pen can be found almost anywhere. i started keeping journals in 1996 and now have shelves of sketchbooks of all types of paper and all types of sizes. I often abandon a sketchbook for periods of time and switch to another one if I think the style of the sketches bother me later to return to them with new perspective. sketch journals are important for keeping track of fleeting creative thoughts whether it is a stanza to a poem or an idea for a painting. they are as private as you want them to be. I like the 5" by 8" size now adays as I am just trying to keep up with thoughts and am fairly confident that a small drawing will convert into a larger work. it is relatively unobtrusive and I like them to have one of those elastic straps to keep them closed with a favored blue or black pen waiting inside. people ask to look at my sketchbooks I tell them sure but it is a private journal and I wish them to not read it as they browse.

I regularly browse my old sketchbooks from as far back as 15 years now. they are an incredible source of inspiration for me and I am rewarded from the habit of keeping a journal. my first years i used colored pencils as well as pencil and ink. i would occasionally use watercolor after 6 years and now if I want color I just use childrens crayons because they blend beautifully together for deep and rich colors and wax is one of the most stable painting mediums of all times
comments and critiques encouraged

Last edited by byron : 05-02-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:08 AM
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Gwenever Gwenever is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

I appreciate all of your responses. Sorry it took so long for my reply. I'm using my phone for internet, which takes a bit of patience on my part. Let me clarify I do have the basics for drawing, some painting, and some 3D work. There's just plenty I dont. I do practice doing whatever I can with what Ive got. But I do get discouraged when something I want to do isn't very possible. And Keith, I wish I had just kept to myself that zero-budget stuff because I fear I gave the impression Im out to create pity for myself.

I'd like to take the focus off myself now, because I just can't communicate that way for any long duration. Especially if it feels the slighest I'm complaining.

What are the heaviest challenges you've faced while moving towards your creative career? What mind-set was fundamental in overcoming it?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:59 AM
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

I've faced a lot of challenges, so I know what you might be going through. I have not had to steal art supplies, but if I had to I would have and this would not have made me feel guilty. I have, at times, sacrificed food.

You asked what the heaviest challenges were and for me, it was the stress of being poor, and the overall depression of trying very hard and feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere. I still go through the latter at times.

What mindset helps get me out of it? I guess realizing what really matters. The bigger picture. I have to ask myself WHY I make art. Is it to get/receive something specific? Adulation, money, reward, recognition, fame, fortune, or self-worth? No. I have to find my self-worth inside myself, not outside. And I have to make the art because it's in me to create what I passionately visualize. My reward is just executing these things into the physical universe. If another person enjoys them, that's just icing.

So I guess the answer is real perspective. I get into a mindset of inner focus and just create the work I really want and ignore everything else, which in turn renews my commitment to my work.

Hope that helps?
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:51 AM
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Gwenever Gwenever is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Artyczar, I know what you mean about the absence of gulit. To an extent, and for some, it could be like stealing food.
Do you support yourself with the same art that you're passionate about? That is my dream. Im thinking in any possible direction to make that my reality. Any presence of doubt magnifies some pretty dark feelings, though, which can have negative momentum without my conscious effort to reverse it. I guess Im wondering, if your passion is what puts food on the table, wheres the balance between creating what pleases you and what others will pay for?
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:29 PM
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

That is quite the question Gwenever. Am I a full time artist? Yes. Am I supporting myself with my art? I try. ...It doesn't always put food on the table. Since 2008 in this economy, it's been tricky. I've depending on grants a lot. That counts as my art though. But 2011 until now, I have had to stretch few sales and it's not easy. I've had to take on website design jobs and even graphic design stuff. Some people might count that as art, but I don't. I had to stretch sales from almost a year ago until now. I had some recent sales that saved me. And I hate admitting this, but I resorted to some credit card usage a few months ago, which is a giant no-no for me and against all my life policies. Luckily, I paid them back.

Hand to mouth this life. But always worth it.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:45 PM
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La_ La_ is online now
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

there's no easy answer for any of it
there's no magic recipe for success in art
there's no magic pill to control creativity

there is interest, and desire, passion and experiments and developments, evolutions and luck ... or there is commercial art.

there is, for me anyway, great journeys and satisfactions, struggles and gains, losses and ways to try again. and there are sales, sure, but to actually make a living with creativity, with artworks, i think one must sacrifice a bit of soul to do it - or at least sacrifice much paint time for marketing time.

i've grappled with painting what i paint vs painting what i think people will buy, but it's almost impossible to predict with any certainty and i just can't conform to painting pretty little (supposedly) marketable pieces, it kills my creative soul, sacrifices too much of me and makes me grumpy. i don't like being grumpy and would much rather sacrifice buying stuff than sacrificing what i paint.

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:29 PM
fritzie fritzie is offline
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Re: New Here; Creativity for Productivity

Gwenever, it is important to ask yourself how important it is to support yourself entirely with the sort of art you want to do. Many people have this dream, but I have never believed that wanting it enough is the difference between those who succeed and those who don't. It may have something to do with how what you love to do fits in with the current market and how uniquely your work meets the needs of the market.
The surest way of doing the sort of work you want to do is not to start out with a mindset of being unhappy if you also must work at something to support yourself that is not your greatest dream.
Why not accept that many or most people who love making art support themselves in part by other means? Then in your daily work you can think "this is what makes it possible to do the art I want to do." Then you can feel grateful to have the chance rather than resentful of the job. Meanwhile you will be able to buy the materials you need and a body of art will bloom alongside your day job.

Last edited by fritzie : 05-02-2012 at 04:32 PM.

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