This is where I’m at with “Elephant Dreams”, a mixed media piece on 30″ x 30″ canvas that I’ve been working on. It is a commission, it is sitting on my easel now, in a state of being worked on, so I’m good with sharing this part of it. This piece was a collaboration of what the client wanted and part intuitive. This collector has a love of elephants and loves my mixed media art.
Art continues to flow as I work on a couple of commissions. The regular flux of being studio grounded tells me that I’m being active and that feels good. I’m learning to see rejections as both a sign that I’m trying and that it’s just not a great fit at the moment instead of taking it so personally. It’s funny how adjusting our thought patterns can make such a significant impact on how we feel from day-to-day.
I’ve definitely thought about this struggle between feeling free to create whatever your heart desires, creating what you think will sell, and not stifling yourself by creating more of what has sold in the past.
After creating quite a few mixed media pieces, I needed and took a break from them. Those pieces sold and I figured I’d make more eventually. Well, the mixed media bug has hit again! I got some more inspiration, and I’m ready to delve back into the subject for a commissioned piece.
I try to find a balance between creating what is asked for and what I’m feeling. Thing is, most of the time, it’s the stuff I create from my heart, not knowing whether it will sell or not, that sells the quickest. So, while it’s important to listen to your clients, it’s even more important to follow your gut. Plus, I never really know what’s going to sell. Trying to guess at it is not my forte either. I just keep creating, because that’s what I’ve got to do.
When your finances depend on your creating, it may be more difficult to find that balance, but even if you spend most of your time creating for sales, I think it’s extremely important to carve out time to create for yourself, even if it’s just in your art journal. Creating without the intention of showing any one, with permission to toss it, is important in order to keep growing. Play and experimentation in art are essential. You never want to take the fun out of it. That’s my take on it anyways, at the moment…
Janelle Marks said
You have some great thoughts here. It is hard to judge what will sell and making time to create for yourself. I have to remember to play without wondering if anyone else will like it or not. Thanks for writing this and for being so inspiring. I'm loving this elephant piece and can't wait to see more.
Thanks Janelle, good to see you here! 🙂 I think it's that tension of what will sell and what your heart wants that stresses many artists out….or maybe that's just me! 🙂 I'm looking forward to how my "Elephant Dreams" will turn out. 🙂 Thanks so much for leaving a comment. 🙂
Lisa Ullrich said
Can't wait to see the finished product! I agree, you have to create what you love to create! Otherwise, it's work and not enjoyment.
Lisa, you're sooo right! I think the key is finding the right audience for your particular style, and I believe that's the beginning of a lot less stress. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
bella sinclair said
Ah! Be still my heart! I love elephants! Reading about all your layers and pieces has me intrigued and enthralled. Can't wait to see it come together!
I completely agree with you about creating art from the heart. I have found that those are the pieces that seem to resonate most with others.
I got an art journal! But oooh, I'm ashamed to tell you that I have not had the courage to make a mark on it yet. 🙁
Bella, one of the most bravest woman I know!!! Just pour some paint on it and then you'll have your first marks! 🙂 I're really looking at elephants differently because of the work and fun research I've done for this. Researching always helps intensify my creating experience 🙂 I'll show the finished product…I promise 🙂 Keep me posted on your journal efforts, if you can. 🙂 and thanks for coming by.
colleen attara said
Well said. It is a delicate dance indeed. I too find that the pieces that are instinctual and just done with me in mind sell more quickly.
Allowing time to play without knowing exactly what the outcome is huge. I never throw anything out. I put it aside and return to it or I just keep pushing through. It is amazing how quickly I can love something when a new color is applied. I love that quality about art…you must keep at it. So much like life….
Thanks so much! Colleen! I love the fact that you never throw anything out and push through. That's one of the hardest thing to do, especially when you're tired of it or you're stuck! It is best to keep on keeping on! 🙂