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ART / MENTOR ME

What Are Your Top Tips for Others Who Wish to Be Creative but Feel Stuck?

MentorMe is a free resource for creatives who wish to learn from their peers. This Q&A resource provides insights into how some of the most esteemed artists have made a name for themselves in an increasingly competitive art market, how they make a business of being an artist, how they found their niche, intimate details of their practice etc. In each guide a different group of artists and photographers will share their insights, personal experiences and advice with creatives that wish to grow and evolve in their artistic practice.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine mentors encourage, guide and inspire emerging artists as they explore their creativity, develop their technical skills and find their personal style.

MentorMe Edition 1 Mentors:

Audrey KawasakiMab GravesJana BrikeFin DacTroy BrooksSarah JoncasMahlimaeSheri DeBowYoung Chun

In Edition 1 Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s Mentors respond to the following 3 questions:

  • How do you market yourself and your art to gain recognition from galleries and collectors?
  • How do you set a price for your work?
  • What are your top tips for others who wish to be creative but feel stuck, don’t know where to start, or feel like they aren’t “good enough” to do so?

Below 3 of the 9 mentors respond to the following question:

What are your top tips for others who wish to be creative but feel stuck, don’t know where to start, or feel like they aren’t ‘good enough’ to do so?

Mab Graves pop surrealism painting

What are your top tips for others who wish to be creative but feel stuck, don’t know where to start, or feel like they aren’t “good enough” to do so?

Mab Graves:This one is hard for me. I have actually never yet been stuck. I think it may be because I came into painting later then a lot of people (I was 21 when I first picked up a brush). I think I have a lot of backlog inspiration to catch up on. I would probably recommend not pushing it though. If it doesn’t want to come, try playing around with a different medium. I draw paint with gouache, acrylic, oils and watercolour. I also sculpt, sew and needle-felt. I think playing with so many mediums may also be a reason I haven’t gotten stuck yet. I have so much to explore and lifetimes of learning to do. If the medium you are working in isn’t singing for you, maybe it’s not “your” medium. I think when you find the material that makes your voice sing, it will flow. It may be a medium you totally weren’t expecting.

As far as being “good enough” – that’s something I’ve never worried about. Ask yourself who you are painting for? As long as its you, painting makes you happy and you like your work don’t worry about anyone else. Every artist is different and there is no “best” in art. Its all completely subjective and never try to compare yourself to someone else. Work that brings one person to tears could be totally “meh” to the next viewer. Just love what comes out of you, create for yourself and don’t put too much value on praise or criticism. Its your voice and the way you process the world. There is no wrong way to do that.”

Fin Dac geisha artwork  - What Are Your Top Tips for Others Who Wish to Be Creative but Feel Stuck?

What are your top tips for others who wish to be creative but feel stuck, don’t know where to start, or feel like they aren’t “good enough” to do so?

Fin Dac: “Alas, doubt kills far more dreams than failure ever will. Most of us think that we aren’t ‘good enough to do so’… self-doubt is after all the creative’s curse. You’re not alone but know that those doubts and fears are why most people end up working jobs they hate…

For me personally, there came a low point in my life when the fear of never creating outweighed the fear of failure. I felt like I had a wasted talent and wanted to prove, even just to myself, that I didn’t suck at everything.

For those who don’t necessarily have the belief in themselves or what they’re capable of I’d offer this analogy:

When you first get behind the wheel of a car, are you a good driver? Chances are, like most people, you suck. What makes you a better driver is practice… it’s that simple. Apart from a few gifted individuals, being an artist is the same. Practice makes perfect but don’t make perfection the principle point of departure: it takes hard work and dedication to get even close to that.

You honestly have no idea what you’re capable of until you start… don’t let those doubts and fears stop you from starting and finding out. Your art or creativity could be the one thing in your life that gives you reason to live, the thing that gets your heart beating that little bit faster, the thing that will give you highs and lows that you never thought possible and that gives you pride in yourself and who you really are. Can you really give all that up because you’re a little bit frightened or unsure of yourself?”

Young Chun artwork girl wearing sunglasses holding a flower  - What Are Your Top Tips for Others Who Wish to Be Creative but Feel Stuck?

What are your top tips for others who wish to be creative but feel stuck, don’t know where to start, or feel like they aren’t “good enough” to do so?

Young Chun: “Truthfully, I don’t think there is such thing as ‘not being good enough’, because what is considered to be ‘good’ in art is a matter of opinion. But, if one feels that he/she is lacking in technical skills, to create the art envisioned, it is important then to strengthen those skills; either by taking art classes or learning through books, etc. So that he/she can effectively express and relay to others the art that is imagined. Also, I think that it can help to have other interests besides just art; such as music, sports or whatever, in order to prevent oneself from feeling stuck or drained because, often at times, these other interests become the foundation or theme to one’s art.

To read the other Mentors’ answers to this question or any other in Edition 1 please click here to download our FREE Artist Resource, MentorMe.

About Author

Caitlyn Gregson is the Social Media Manager of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and a 3rd year Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She started her journey with Beautiful Bizarre Magazine in April 2017 as an intern, working closely with the Editor-in-Chief to learn about independent publishing and the arts. Caitlyn continues to work with the Editor-in-Chief, Danijela Krha Purssey, providing editorial and curatorial support, and now she also provides input into the magazine curation, assists with the administration of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, manages the magazine submissions process and MentorMe, the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine free artist resource. Caitlyn started her artistic journey as an acrylic portrait painter, but is now focusing more on photography, which she is falling more and more in love with each day. She loves spending her time reading and is a self proclaimed plant mum. Caitlyn loves all things weird, wonderful, beautiful and bizarre. And just between us, she’s also a little bizarre herself - but aren’t we all!

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