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Joined: 3/20/2008
Msg: 1
Your biggest mistake as an artist?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Given that life had other priorities, art has always been a luxury stress reducer for me, and attempts to make a living at it just ruined my art, so I have my paycheck job which I like well enough and my volunteer work which I love, and the art which heals me and keeps me going and gifts my loved ones and occasionally makes extra cash for me when I am in need.

I've made mistakes as an artist, one for years was struggling to "get it right" in proportion and composition and to fit other "rules" and in a moment of extreme frustration on a horse I was painting, I broke the rules and created a masterpiece. Sometimes I fall back into that trap and have to free myself all over again.

The biggest mistake I made was thinking that living in an artist's community would surround me with support and inspiration. Not only was it a bad move financially, but a bigger group of drunks pill poppers and pot heads with a few creepy pervs thown in might be hard to find. Many were divas out to sabotage others and have tantrums at the slightest provocation and many delighted in provoking the others. I made very little art last year always dealing with my lack of privacy and neighborly conflict. I moved from a gorgeous loft to a quiet crappy house in a crappy neighborhood with a BIG yard. At peace, I'm not only making more art, I'm making some of my best work and have fixed the old paintings that all bothered me in some way but I couldn't figure out how...

I love creative people, but I guess not all creative people make good neighbors nor a great community of support.

I'd like to hear of other artist's big mistakes??
 good guitar player
Joined: 6/24/2008
Msg: 2
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/11/2009 11:02:47 AM
My friends sister went to evergreen college in WA. in 88-87, she said there was a great music scene out there with like minded folks who loved English 60-70 rock and punk....Hendrix to Black Flagg. She said we'd fit in real well and our band ought to move out there, we said no seattle is too depressing it rains all the time......In retrospect not a wise idea, then again I did turn down a gig with a band who got booked on the lilth fair in a VERY minor spot...opening for the opnenig acts opening acts opening act ...zig when I oughta zag
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 3
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/11/2009 7:58:54 PM
artistic communities can be rather taxing.. also given the amount of ego that one must have to make art and try to express (or in most cases impose) their particular world view on others. This I have found to especially true in the theatre and music options of art. Having spent some time in both 'worlds' what drove me out was not the pill popping pothead pervs (although there are more than a fair share).. it was the monumental egos involved.. yeah, I play and I'm not that bad, but there is always room for positive criticism and suchlike. Currently I am a chef, which carried many of the same dramas with it, but.. it's a little easier to shut down the criticism, when you carry out a dish flawlessly.. it tend to first open and then shut some mouths. anyway! you'll find people of similar mind sets eventually, and there will be support available.
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 4
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/11/2009 8:43:33 PM
OH! my biggest mistake? I would have to think was in dating, falling in love and moving in with another musician (last relationship). I'm not saying that everyone of these end badly, but our did. too much ego to much intensity (in the wrong ways) and too much self-centered behavior.. as guitar players tend to do. Communications broke down and there was too much bullheadedness to try to fix it.. although we both did (and still do to some extent want that), or atleast be able to walk away from it as friends like we started. The other biggest mistake was to trust out old lead singer with anything... he was approached by the guy doing the booking for GreenDay on the dookie tour, I and the other guitar player in the band were planing... planning mind you.. hadn't yet done so.. to move.. me to Hilton Head he to L.A. so the singer turned it down.I think things might have gone a bit differently if we had done those shows... then again.. I don't really mind how things have turned out all told.
Joined: 3/20/2008
Msg: 7
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/13/2009 2:14:52 PM
I suppose that in the course of learning, especially as an artist. that there are no mistakes as long as you learn and grow from them.

Why, as artists of all people, do we fear risks? It's funny how artists tend to "waste" time and other*valuable* things in the eyes of the world, yet one of the things that hold us back from accomplishment is a fear of waste. Fear of wasting the paper, the paint, the fear of wasting money and the fear of wasting our lives. It seems to me that there must be some old track rerunning in our heads of other people's fears *for* us.

I've been good about tackling my fears. As soon as I know that I'm afraid to do something, nothing can stop me from doing it -maybe why I ran off and got married on new year's! lol- but it takes awhile sometimes to acknowledge a fear.

Once I was afraid of *wasting* expensive art supplies. They were in storage during several moves and it all had to be thrown out. Now I use it up wear it out and go shopping again!
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 9
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/13/2009 4:34:50 PM
hereshecomesagain...loved your post! I'm a classical musician, and I've experienced the same atmosphere within the music world (at least the music world locally to me)
Creative people are amazing people...they can also be self-driven, egotistical people.
It seems to me that my fellow artists are more about getting their own gig and keeping the doors that they ae able to open, closed tight to those aound them as to secue their own stance. I would say that my biggest mistake personally has been to doubt my own abilities, and, as you said, try to play by the "rules" (the rules, in my case, and what I took alot of heat from, was that classical guitar is played fingerstyle, and that is it) I play nylon guitar with a pick, and it works and I love it. I have awards on my wall for original composition, including ecognition fom the Royal Conservatory. But$ I let a few nay sayers (artistes) get me down and I gave up alot (full time instructor's job, full time gigs) because I let myself down and didn't feel adequate, as I was never a schooled guitaist. Rules suck. IF we look back through history, art and music always moved forward when someone stepped up and said, hey, I think it can be done differently. Too many people are caught up in technique and theory (art and music) and it hinders their creativity.
Joined: 1/27/2009
Msg: 10
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/13/2009 5:24:27 PM
maybe not a 'biggest' mistake, but a 'best' mistake: i only studied art about 3 yrs ago. i have background in mechanical and arch. drafting, and i think linearly ( used to). when
i was in figure drawing, studio drawing, etc. i was drawing in linear perspective-simply how i saw it. i was getting a little frustrated that i couldn't draw what i wanted to etc.
one day i simply challenged myself to 'see' differently and began drawing in free form and it taught me a lot. never looked back.
biggest mistake would be working on a painting and knowing in my gut that it was complete and i added more to it. trust your eye, right?
Joined: 3/20/2008
Msg: 11
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/14/2009 6:58:37 AM
artist 48

overworking, I found, comes from not being happy with some part of the painting but not being sure what that is. I became attuned to that dissatisfied feeling and now, instead of being compelled to keep working on it, I do several things-

reframe- composition is not y strong suit and with paper, I have options. I will use other blank papers laid on my work and move them about in a frame, resizing and changing layout in several ways to see if I like it better.

If that doesn't work, I frame it and hang it on the wall, I used to set it aside, but now I stick it in my face but under glass so that it's not easy to work with until I'm inspired. If I really have a problem with it, I hang it by my bed. I see it when I wake up and when I fall asleep.

I let my subconscious deal with the problem. The subconscious is your art brain. Our logic brain tries to take the project away when we over work and determine to finish it. Our conscious linear brain just doesn't do art, but it likes to be in charge! Letting go of the art consciously and telling your subconscious to work it out through imagination and to take you back to the painting when ready is a technique that has taken a lot of crap paintings to the next level for me.
Joined: 3/25/2009
Msg: 12
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/14/2009 6:35:15 PM
My biggest mistake was focusing too much on one sound with my music, and not looking into the theory and other genres. Im having such a difficult time right now figuring new stuff out. It suuuccckkkss... My advice to young kids is not to go into their music teacher and ask to learn a song. Ask to learn the instrument... soon enough, youll be writting all the songs for everyone. I cant even figure out my own guitar solos... bargh.
Joined: 2/5/2009
Msg: 13
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/14/2009 9:54:38 PM
sharing my ideas with someone else who clearly (hind sight speaking) has no 1. Talent and 2. Respect and most importantly 3. Brains.

I work better alone.
Joined: 12/7/2008
Msg: 14
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/14/2009 10:11:24 PM
My biggest mistake was not wanting to be a starving non-phenominal artist. To avoid that I ended up taking a job to pay the bills and buy my supplies that cost me my ability. No pity, I have found other ways to channel my creativity. But I was so desperate to be independent and all, I took a job that paid well but had risks of hand injury(carpal tunnel). If you need your art to make you happy and to fulfill you, weigh the risks of any physical labor involved in a bill paying job. Better to flip burgers and find ways to cut your art costs than to loss the talent forever. I can't draw like I used to, but I have found I have other artistic talents besides drawing/painting.
Joined: 1/19/2005
Msg: 15
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/14/2009 10:42:50 PM
Trusting the wrong people. If you hear anyone actually say "Trust Me" ... run away as fast as you can! I've been screwed out of money for work done so many times.

Bad contracts and too many "freebie" jobs for the sake of a resume in the early daze. LOL

Biggest mistake was not enough school and too much "sightseeing" while living in Los Angeles in the early 80's. But then, I was a geeky greenhorn in the big city and everything sparkled in La La Land at the time.

School is very important. Draw, Film, Read and Discuss as much as you can. Look up professionals in whatever field you want to pursue and ask them questions! I even wrote to Stanley Kubrick, one of my favorite film directors, and I got an answer back. I was thrilled. He was looking at head shots for actors for his film Full Metal Jacket. Unfortunately, he would be shooting over in England, so nothing came of it. But I still have the letter.

One mistake that I corrected after working as an "extra" on a few films, was staying put and out of the way on location. I'm sure Assistant Directors hate hearing that, but it's true.

I wanted to be seen, so I wandered over to where the camera crew was, instead of the catering wagon, and I was chosen while standing around the set and watching to be in the background and behind the main actor. I wish I had done this a few films sooner?
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 16
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/19/2009 9:17:02 PM
My biggest mistake was not trying to get into art school after high school to improve my overall art art skills (especially digital art). It's hard to play "catch-up" years later when you're going on 35.

I wish all artists, the best of luck, because it's rough out there trying to market yourself.
Joined: 6/17/2008
Msg: 17
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/20/2009 6:36:40 PM
Well with me, I was taught by my Grandfather, he was an artist with many talents and he taught me all he could, but he died of cancer not too long ago(a few years) and I stopped painting after that, just couldn't bring myself to do it, and when i was going to try again my father passed away so maybe a subconcious idea that its cursed or something i dont know lol.
Joined: 9/30/2008
Msg: 18
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/21/2009 11:37:36 PM
I stopped taking photos for fun and enjoyment when I used my camera to make money. When I opened Yeadon Photography I loved what I did but, it was sad that I stopped carrying my camera with me everywhere that I went. I HATE that this happened but, lately certain things have inspired me to connect with it again. I have been passionate about photographs, especially black and whites and capturing moments in time since I was in middle school. Time will tell but, I do feel it coming back again very slowly.
Joined: 3/20/2008
Msg: 19
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/22/2009 2:07:23 PM
heidi, I think it's clear that some artists are more prolific and creative when they are making a living with their art and some are not. I fall in the NOT category myself which why I'm turning the money making aspect over to my husband.

I feel a bit bad about dissing the comunity I left. It was begun with the best intentions and is still adjusting and I left behind some truly wonderful people, and I did not leave because of them (since most of the divas had moved out in a tantrum) but because of my job commute, right now the steady paycheck is what I need to accomplish several goals including getting my husband's paperwork in order. Still, the community as the ideal was a dissappointment to me. I think that if it were to improve then they would move in some serious marketing specialist who could devote their work to making artists succeed. We're mostly a bunch of add and adhd folks at best, y'know. And I've got to go take care of some deadline financial issues and I'm here instead.... so gotta go. Have a painting calling louder than the bank.... LOL
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 20
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/22/2009 8:22:28 PM
classical36.. you summed a great deal up there... thank you.
Joined: 3/10/2009
Msg: 21
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/22/2009 8:32:24 PM
that makes a great point.. the add/adhd (or when I was 'diagnosed' it was hyper-activity) artists need someone to make them work at/to a schedule.. and then loathe it at the same time.. sometimes the muse is there, sometimes it's not.. I've often wondered if it's actualy some sort of insanity, a useful and wonderful form.. but something they might come out with a pill for sooner or later... which for the record I oppose (should it come to pass).

I have been trying to get my artist friends (who most I have known since highschool) to relocate to a central area... but each person needs their own environment.. Matt a and Joe love the mountains, I love the ocean, Tracy, Tanya,Michelle,Balin,Paul,Margret, Beth, Paulo etc. love the vibrancy of a city.. so... it proves to a bit tricky. and even if we did.. the petty little bullsh*t of being neighbors would get to us (it has before, we all lived within 1/4 mile of eachother a few time.. student ghetto you know).. anyway... good luck with everything. each to their own.
 The Artful Codger
Joined: 2/29/2008
Msg: 23
Big Mistakes
Posted: 4/24/2009 10:17:49 AM
Perhaps forgetting that mistakes are opportunities for growth and cause for celebration.
That dwelling on them in any negative way, refusing to immediately claim ownership of them
or lingering within the confines of regret gets me, and my work, nowhere fast.
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 24
Big Mistakes
Posted: 4/27/2009 8:15:22 AM
My biggest mistake is staying inline and focused. Until now, I've dedicated a lot of time on drawing and improving my skill as an Artist (supplimented by reading many art books). Seems like I can't make the transition from pencil and ink drawings to paint and pastel work. It's like I'm color impaired or fear of color selection and implementation. I'm all concerned about distroying a great pencil layout, which I spent a lot of time drawing, as soon as I take a brush to it or a piece of pastel. A lot of times I overwork a piece using pastel and then I get frustrated.
Some people have told me to take an art class on painting. I don't know if I want to dedicate my time driving across town and taking a night class. Sometimes those classes just teach fundamentals that I can get from a book, so I think they're a waste of money.
Other experiences I've had with Art instructors is conflicts of interest, and some of them have big egos that I don't care for. You know, they're there to teach, not be some sort of all knowing, God of Art. Sometimes, I'm just too much better of natural ability than they have and I see more jealousy than trying to get along (thus the conflicts).
So I don't know, the Art world is truely f'd up in my opinion. If all can just share off of each other and benefit from it, the better off we would be. This ego crap can go into a waste container and put at the wayside. And I'll will go alone frustrated until I find someone who is willing to teach and be my mentor to make me strive to be better at painting.
Joined: 10/15/2007
Msg: 25
Big Mistakes
Posted: 4/27/2009 10:07:57 AM
Big 'mistakes', though you eventually learn your lessons from them.....

Ignoring my creative side for too long, intermittent times....leads to frustration within my everyday life. Finally figured out that I have to something, anything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant EVERY DAY!

I'm the progeny of artist parents, so one of my mistakes was thinking that it would be fun to be involved with another artist. I thought, since I had witnessed it, that two people of similar mind-set could be mutually supportive of each other....NOT! I found that I was the one doing the 'giving' with no 'return' in the offering. Much better to deal with my own ego, do my thang, take classes (with supportive teachers/students) where 'constructive' critiques are on offer.
Joined: 3/20/2008
Msg: 27
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/27/2009 6:20:27 PM
I've seen a few art sites that had multi dimensional support for artists. They seem to change quickly if they find any success. I'd like to see one that is truly co-op, volunteer run and member supported. I'd like to see one run without ego and flash and greed.

About the difficulty going from pencil to pastel, I agree, go to a coy shop, as for a paper with some tooth or weight to it and make several copies of your favorite drawings. since these are practice, you can use the cheap ultra hold hairspray for a fixatif or to restore tooth as you go. Learn some techniques to fix overworking and remove color. Also, I frequently use either a vague underpainting in watercolor or water soluble pencils/pastels and/or a colored archival paper to be my background color- less color to apply means less work. If you work with very cheap papers and such and you produce something great, get a high quality digital photo of it before it deteriorates with age and get an archival spray and spray both sides. The hairspray that I used on newsprint has kept a couple of pastel gems looking good for 12 years now. I liked the newsprint because it forced me to be gentle and sparing. I tend to work very heavy, and leave thick layers of oil pastel and I like that, but there have been times when less was much more. One reason I like crayon is that over work becomes almost impossible, and I can do a lot of studies in cheap crayon before using the more expensive papers and oil pastels. Sometimes my crayon studies produce a gem of their own and I never go on to do an oil pastel or chalk pastel version.
Joined: 4/20/2009
Msg: 28
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Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/30/2009 12:36:07 AM
My worst experience as an artist was a small amount of initial success, it allow my ego to trick me into believing I didn't need to expand style which cause a loss of motivation and creativity.
Joined: 1/29/2009
Msg: 29
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 4/30/2009 6:45:28 PM
Not making the attempt to make it on Broadway after college. Taking a secure teaching job without taking that big chance. Oh well. Maybe after I retire!
Joined: 11/10/2008
Msg: 30
Your biggest mistake as an artist?
Posted: 5/2/2009 3:57:30 AM
spending too much time trying to make the "right" people notice me and not enough actually learning and practicing early on.
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