While I was looking for a flower picture for a project recently I came across this one of water drops on the tulips. I was struck by the play of the colors and its hint of spring coming. My second thought was that it was not clear to me what I had been intending as the focal point. Usually in a close up with this much variety of focus there is a clear point of interest. This one lacks one so it ends up being more about the contrasting colors and delicate watercolor shades of the tulips. The focus matter, because having that clear focal point is the difference between a good picture and a great picture.
I sat and looked at the picture and realized that I needed focus in more areas than this picture. I have always had the goal to be an Artist, but that goal is blurry and lacks definition. When I have tried to answer the question with more depth “Making a living from creating art”. That answer is still blurry because it still does not create a clear picture of what that would look like. I sat and thought on all I do and how do I bring that in to focus so that I will have a crystal clear image of what I am trying to do. I have many artistic interests and have always enjoyed teaching. I pursue a number of different artist mediums and have always been interested in learning something new. I looked at the tulips again and I was still drawn to the image. Perhaps it was time to define what I wanted, to let go of the single word and find a definition that would be a focus for me.
I wish to make a living as a creator, writer and artist whose work is based on the principal of fostering uniqueness and creativity in a world that values conformity.
As I typed the title of this post, I thought *hmm, have I used that before?* I looked it up, way back in 2009, I made a post titled “The Importance of Play and Accident”. In the process of looking it up I learned two things. One I have never used the tag play, and two I use the word play a lot. In the creativity course I am taking one of the lessons starts with the following:
“Play has a way of dimming the critical mind so we can try new things without judging ourselves.”
This spoke to me and really defined why play is important. Growth comes in those time we reach outside of ourself to try something new. I find the converse true, dimming the critical mind can make most things play and provide that space where true creativity and growth. Think about setting aside all those thoughts of judgement and just play, you will be amazed at what you can do.
Pooh Sticks, A water color by Rennata Tropeano. 8-4-2017 Watercolor on acid free Strathmore cold press 140 lb. Part of the daily themes for #worldwatercolorgroup
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
One of the downsides to creating a lot of artwork in a short period of time is the question of when is it done. Once it is off the board it usually a start. The next question is sorting out those pieces I am going to offer for sale. Some paintings I look at and know that as they are, I am not going to offer them for sale. Some go in the pile to be prepared for sale, and some become something else. For those that I look at on the second view and decide not for sale, not for a card or gift, t becomes a question of what to do with them. Is it a matter of needing more work or should I paste them into my how I have grown book. do they need more. The prepare for sale pile…. That is my big to do, so very many parts to that. Mounting and or framing. Photographing, Adding to the product data base. Add to website and/or list. The painting and creating is the more fun part of it. When do you consider your artwork done?
When thinking about getting somewhere, it has always been about setting goals and getting there. But how do I define there? Where is there? My journey has not been a smooth one, and I am still far from where I want to be. I hit a patch of serious depression, where even getting up in the morning was hard. During that time I lost control of the web domains I had been building a brand upon. RennataTropeano and GrowingUnique. Today as I look at this, I could buy growingunique back for only $3695, which is not happening. RennataTropeano seems to have been take over by some alt Rennata, it looks like a personal blog, but with posts by the user gotham. But not me.
So, I loop back and gather myself again and start anew. Creative. No question there, being creative is the thing that keeps the depression at bay. Unique. I have always embraced that term. Different is not okay in our modern society. Conformity is the norm. Unique, however has enough style to be okay, so I have always sought to be unique. What is the direction that my creativity and artwork is taking? A bit of magic and mystical, wandering to faery. This led me to updating my mission statement. “Growing Unique is about my quest for a life that is unique, creative and magical. I enjoy helping people move from dreaming their life, to living their dream.”
I have become very interested in the links between creativity and mental health. I have not quite yet figured out how to fit that into my mission statement, but when I do, it will be there.
When searching through my collection of images for the theme of Furry Friend this little black squirrel. I am enjoying this challenge of doing 30 watercolors in July for #WorldWatercolorMonth hosted by Doodlewash.com I have found that daily creativity is one of the best habits I can have. I start by blocking out 25 minutes for painting in the morning as a starting point. Many times it goes longer than that because it is going well and I am enjoying it. But, I seem to be more productive in other areas when after I have started with creating. I am also taking a course on creativity from Coursera. One of the things that jumped out at me is a quote.
“To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow creatively” J.P. Guilford
I think process of working creatively also does the converse, it frees that part of your mind that solves problems, so you get more done as you spend less time looking for answers to the small things.
This post was originally shared on instagram. There is just something about vintage patterns that I love. I remember a dress from that time that had those same on the shoulder ties that I wanted so much. Now, I am glad that the pictures of me in the fashions of that time are few and far between.
These are the prototypes for Garden Fairies. I hope to be adding them to my magical and mystical line. Photo originally shared on Instragram. I like the idea of bringing the content I share elsewhere back here to my home.
In today society there is an emphasis on Conformity and sameness. Fashion magazines tell us how we need to dress and advertisements tell us what product we need. One thing I often struggle with is the polar opposites of being an artist. When I was learning to draw and paint, the emphasis was on getting the painting to look as realistic as possible. Now, what I am told is that people want to see my unique style. Art should be unique and be about your vision as an artist. This blog is about my journey to find just that, My own inner vision and voice. Once, when telling someone about something I had created, I said something about wanting to bring a bit of magic, mystery and beauty to people’s lives. To help them learn to choose being unique.
Being stuck as an artist can seem like overwhelming. It may be a blockage of creativity, drained of inspiration or it could be the other kind, lack of time due to poor management of time and resources. I have been artistically stuck for a while, with several painting sitting waiting to be finished. In the meanwhile, I have been working within a three dimensional system to create fairy portraits.
I am hoping the time away has given me a fresh perspective and will add a greater level of depth to my work. I have decided to work through Alyson B. Stanfield book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio! She is also the author of artbizcoach. The book starts with the phrase:
on deciding to take responsibility for your art career.
The first time I start to read this book, I did not take note of this, but this time it resonated with me, three words really stood out to me.
Career. I often talk about my art. There is something more concrete and subtle about it calling it what it is, my art career.
Responsibility. I have also started working with a bullet journal with the express intention of focusing on being responsible with my time.
Your. This is my goal and my dream, no own is going to come along and do it for me, so I need take ownership and get going. It is time to continue on my way, I hope you enjoy the journey as I move forward with my art career.