Blog / 2020 / How to Love Your Art #4: Determine What Parts of It Make You Happy
February 17, 2020
Up to now, the “how to love your art” blog series has covered the usefulness of hating other artists and also of loving them as well as the importance of talking about your art. Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper.
In order to be able to love your art, you must figure out what small and seemingly insignificant elements of your work bring you the most joy.
It’s like with the humans you love. There’s the crinkled spot under their one eye when they smile or the way they put the hand on their belly and lean back a bit when they laugh really hard. I am talking about the little things that strangers might not notice, but which matter to you because you spend so much time with them. You must learn to spot that stuff in your art.
For me, it’s these three seemingly insignificant bits of my practice that make me happiest:
- The movement and energy in my paintings.
- The way the paint itself looks.
- The fact that I create by myself.
The universe is not still. Even the atoms are always dancing, and I love that my art remembers that change is built into the very fabric of reality.
My acrylics still surprise me after almost twenty years of daily use, and learning to handle their surprising qualities brings me so much joy.
This time alone with my art is precious to me. The meditative flow-feeling of this work gives me energy and makes me want to be here.
None of these are particularly interesting to anyone but me, and that’s the point. You are looking for the elements of your practice that no one can ever take away from you. No matter what they may say about what you create or how you may feel rejected by others, these are the things that will always be there for you.
I find it strangely soothing to watch GIFs of the making of my art. Though I started taking process shots to share on my blog, they have become one of my little love connectors with my practice. When I’m having a hard time adoring my art, I look at GIFs like this one and I remember that what I do is a delightful mixture of utterly magical and entirely mundane, and that gives me confidence.
This pretty kitty was commissioned by a patron through my special deal on Patreon. If you give me $50 per month for six months, I make you a painting on unmounted canvas of an animal of your choosing.
For prints and pretty things of the image, check out my Redbubble shop.
For more about how to love your art, check out these posts:
- Figure out what art you find boring.
- Learn to appreciate other artists’ work.
- Talk about your art.
- Figure out what worries you most.
- Decide on what’s right and wrong in your art.
- Play with your self-expression versus communication ratio.
- Document your work.
- Inventory your pieces.
- Give your art away.
- Charge a lot of money for your work.
- Take a break from your art now and again.
- Don’t claim the copyright on your work.
- Don’t let jerks near it.
- Introduce your art to all your favorite people.
- Celebrate your work.
- Define the word “love.”
Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!
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