Over the past several weeks I have come to a realization that has taken me a long time to find; I believe the key to achieving a happiness and satisfaction with my art, and my career, is to strike the perfect balance.
In the past I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with a multitude of things in my life. Much of those frustrations derived from my own choices and unrealistic expectations concerning my art. I found temporary solace in denouncing certain aspects that bothered me at the time- taking on commissions, being under paid for sketch card work, and eventually the move away from acrylic airbrushing to force myself to “graduate” to oil painting and take my art more seriously.
I now feel that this was the wrong approach. Instead of abandoning the advancements and techniques I’ve developed over time, it makes more sense, in my case, to practice a form of moderation.
As an artist it is extremely easy to get burnt out, to lose motivation, and to question one’s practices and choices towards the medium and the business. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have been artistically in a very long time. And it’s not because I have reached some goal, or attained a financial security that I always thought would accompany the feeling. Instead, it is because I have been following a sort of mantra I developed for this new year: Work hard. Stay inspired. Experiment. Be brave. Find balance.
I could probably write a page on each of those topics, but for now I’ll stick to balance. On my drawing table sits a plethora of work. I have about 50 oil painted cards that are in different stages of completion, they are for Topps. I accepted this contract because the minimum amount of cards was relatively low, the timeframe was reasonable, the pay, when all is said and done, will be worth while. Most importantly though, I really felt like painting the subject matter. On top of that I am in the process of completing about 10 recent commissions. I have sworn off commissions in the past, but they are important to keeping a steady flow of income, and honestly I’m just happy to be able to paint for a living, so I feel fortunate to have the work. I’m also MAKING the time to create my own art. Whatever inspires me. Right now it is the Star Trek series of 11″x17″ portraits I have started, and also a series of nudes, the first of which is in this picture.
All that work is plenty for me, but there are times when I don’t want to focus on painting, so I’ve also been dedicating time to revamping a store on my website and some possible areas to increase exposure for the business side of this business. I hope that this long post can offer some insight to my current invigoration, and possible motivate other artists who are having trouble. I’m always up for conversation via Skype, Facebook, or e-mail, so please feel free to contact me. Thanks.