I titled my talk "Under the Influence(s) Of…" and here are some of the excerpts, quotes, and main points:
Last year I had paintings juried into seven consecutive national shows, which prompted WSO to invite me to share the secret of my success. As I thought about how to approach this talk, I concluded that we artists are faced with at least three main challenges:
- Understanding your past (and present) artistic influences—both masters and current artists
- Applying what you’ve learned (without copying outright); figure out what problems this artist has already solved
- Finding a way to put the YOU in your work and tell a compelling story that gets your painting noticed
Looking beyond just my own journey, I interviewed 3 other successful WSO artists (Ruth Armitage, Margaret Godfrey, and Geoff McCormack) and found that they developed their own style in part by learning how other artists resolve problems in their own work.
So what do these artists have in common and how might you achieve similar success? I aim to take you on a visual adventure---charting each artist’s creative journey through use of their images, ideas, and sage advice.
The artists I’ve interviewed for this talk have several things in common:
- A quest for excellence
- Thick skin
- A competitive spirit
- A desire for community and validation from other artists
Obviously this is the high-level part of the talk; I included a lot of comparison images (my painting next to a painting by the artist who influenced me). If you are interested in having me give this talk to your art group, please contact me!
Two of my favorite quotes from the presentation are:
The difference between a master and a beginner is this: The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried.
If you give up on your [art] when you aren't happy with it, then all you ever learn is how to start. You never learn how to finish. –Ira Glass