Just get to work he says…

All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of work itself…If you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.” Chuck Close

I am really struggling with getting back into the study year and just getting work done as Chuck Close advises. In the first few weeks, I learnt how to create Photopolymer Etching film, for printmaking. This was something I felt I could really sink my teeth into, and was all ready to expose my prepared film, only for the process to be stopped by a broken vacuum on the exposure unit. Since then, my focus has gone off on other tangents and hasn’t landed into any particular interest for the brief ahead of me. In the process I have procrastinated getting work done – remembering that work is what makes stuff happen in the first place. At least this thinking time had enabled me to consolidate my view, and my voice as an artist. I am contemplating extending my skills on one or two of the forms of media below.  Obviously, I need to refine my thoughts. It’s fine for me to utilise all of these media for projects in the future, but I will need to decide which of them will best express my concept and outcome for this semester.

Photo Montage with Photoshop, Printmaking in particular Photopolymer Etching, Illustration using paint or pencil, Fibre Art, Clay, or Soft Sculpture. I think its safe to say at this point, that I will be a mixed media artist. I feel like a fledging sitting on the precipice about to embark upon my first flight – excited and really hesitant. Wish me luck!






Concept Drawings

I intended to practice my drawing skills with this project, and found that through these charcoal sketches of the 3D marquettes, (in previous post) my confidence in my ability has improved. Even though I don’t have enough time to draw every outcome in this series, at least I have overcome my block of putting marks down on paper.

Survival Skills as a provincial Artist – wise words from Richard Parker

Visit Richard Parkers latest exhibition in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Visit Richard Parkers latest exhibition in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Each week at Ideaschool, where I study Arts and Design, all are welcome to the ‘Friday Lunchbox’. The Friday Lunchbox is an hour of our school day (during lunch) where a speaker from the arts community gives a presentation based on their field of expertise.  This weeks ‘Lunchbox’ featured New Zealand’s acclaimed and influential ceramic artist Richard Parker, and he passed on some very wise words regarding how provincial artists can survive by a list of simple methods that he has developed through his 30 years as a successful practicing artist.

I want to share with you the tips that I felt the strongest response to, and I hope that they also spark something for you in your creative endeavors.



  • Get your hands straight into it at the beginning of the day to avoid procrastination
  • Set 3 small tasks each day to accomplish, rather than an over ambitious ‘to do’ list
  • Start work early, after having attained quality sleep the night before. It is said that the best restorative sleep one can have is before the clock strikes midnight
  • Use simple daily affirmations – morning and night
  • Support your dealers
  • Care for your customers
  • Have professional images taken of your works, as only good images get published
  • Keep CV up to date and looking good
  • Never give up
  • Make little positive changes every day
  • Develop a healthy relationship with money, and be good at asking for it
  • Money sustains us. Develop a healthy relationship with money. Don’t be afraid to state your worth
  • Consider your artist statement carefully, drawing inspiration from your visual diary and keeping words to three paragraphs maximum
  • Think globally!
  • Avoid spending time with people who have negative and self-destructive attitudes or behaviours
  • Avoid overeating. It dulls the mind and spirit. Avoid sugar. Stay sharp.
  • Avoid fear. Face it head on and watch it disappear
  • Develop a technique for handling rejection

The most significant influence that Richard Parker made for me, was the reminder to put my creative life first and foremost. In doing so, I am able to sustain my own life forces and be a better mother and partner as a result. If I am happy, then the family will be happy also. Richard referred to Art as our ‘life blood’, and making art must be a priority in life, not one to be left until you have enough time. So tonight, I happily leave the dishes in the sink knowing that I will sleep easier once I have taken the time to feed my creative soul.

An Inspiring Read – author Paul Arden

This is a must read for anyone wanting to break out of self-limiting beliefs around creativity and succeeding in life. The world’s top advertising guru, Paul Arden has complied a pocket bible full of motivating and insightful messages that have changed my thoughts towards my own negative thought processes and ability to succeed as a creative practitioner.

This read came to me at a very crucial time, as yesterday I had the opportunity to present a three minute digital ‘showcase’ on me as a creative practitioner. Having came away with the feeling that I had missed the mark completely, and more than likely failed to meet the brief requirements, I most definitely needed ‘a kick in the backside’ pep talk from Paul Arden.

The chapters that really stood out for me were:

It’s right to be wrong

where Arden suggests that when we avoid focusing on trying to be right, many other possibilities become available. In my case yesterday, I developed a great ‘left field’ concept even though it didn’t relate very well to the topic. I’m far from perfect, and I probably never will be, but I can make the effort to become better than I currently am. I can certainly give myself credit for taking a risk and I also must hold on to the courage that propelled me to put myself out there in the world.

Do not seek praise, seek criticism

Yesterday I felt deflated when other class colleagues were praised for their efforts individually, and my name wasn’t mentioned. Considering the benefits of seeking out and accepting criticism enthusiastically rather than seeking praise, has lifted my spirits allowing me to be prepared for another insightful lesson and learn from my mistakes. Again none of us are perfect, and we are all different people with our own set of potential weaknesses and strengths. Which brings me to the next pearl of wisdom…

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

I often need the reminder of this obvious truth.

Don’t give a speech, put on a show

Had I not failed to introduce my topic and how it is a creative suggestion of the brief outline, I would have certainly put on a show rather than given a speech. I enjoyed being the story teller in my presentation, it was just a shame that not many people had a clue why I was saying what I did.  I then adopt another tip from Arden…

Fail, fail and fail better

And all is as it should be in my world, and I can…

Achieve the unachievable

By aiming beyond what I am capable of and pushing through the barriers where my self-limiting beliefs put an end to things.  I need to define where I want to be in reality, and visualise it happening. Before the end of the week, I intend to have a clear vision in mind, for what and where I want to be as a creative practitioner, and how good I want to be in this reality.

Watch the Score!

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden

a prime example of the wise words of Paul Arden


Arden, P. (2003). It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. London: Phaidon Press.

Lisa Duddington. (2011). Usability and UX Blog. Retrieved on 17 April, 2013 from http://usabilitygal.com/2011/01/14/book-review-its-not-how-good-you-are-its-how-good-you-want-to-be/

Tea for thought – Serendipity

“It's a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn't even know you were aiming for.”  ― Lois McMaster Bujold

“It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.”
― Lois McMaster Bujold

Often the end result in a piece of art (with it’s given creative process that takes dead ends and many turns in different directions to get where it needed to be) is a fortunate accident. A definite pleasant surprise.  I need to remember this when I experience fear and doubt as an artist. It’s the mistakes we make along the way that gives such satisfaction to the journey. Do you also feel the fear that hinders one from leaping into the creative process, regardless of the unknown outcome?