Winning in the Studio

Winning in the Art Studio!

Winning in the art studio can be a big challenge when there’s a lot of living going on!

Hanging out with family takes a lot of time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Then, there’s feeding, shopping, laundry and cleaning!

Writing blogposts, making videos, and maintaining my website, taking hours out of my weekdays, keeps me away from art, too.

With all this life happening, how do you get into studio to create meaningfully?

Creating art around life
The Inspiring works

I'm only human

Simply being human can be a deterrence, too. Bill and I languished in bed for days, fevered, and coughing with the flu.  I didn’t worry about making art or videos. By then, I had made several videos ahead of time, so I was fine! 

So I thought!

New medium

The steep learning curve I  experienced with ‘Red Playground Derivative Squared’ and ‘Red Playground Extreme’ set me back substantially. Printing with oil-based ink, a medium with which I had little experience, nearly stopped me in my tracks because they took longer to dry than planned. And,  I had to create a space for them to hang to set-dry and move on to other works.

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Printing is messy

Printing IS messy. Really messy! Cleaning up took at least 30 minutes after each session which upended my already ambitious schedule of making and editing videos for 52 works by next May. Hmmm.  So, I did a rethink on how I would meet my deadline. 

Change is tiring

This year of exploration was crucial for where wanted to go in my arts practice. Nonetheless, I battled weariness from constant change. In longing for the familiar, I acknowledged there would be no growth in comfort. I had to  continue pushing my bounds.

Does anyone care?

Alongside weariness I sometimes battled “Imposter Syndrome”. Why should anyone care about my art?

How did I overcome this thinking?

I literally stepped up to the mirror and said to myself, “You’re going to get in the studio, set everything up, Hit ‘record’ and start making art!”

It’s really tough, sometimes, but I do.

This kind of self-talk is tremendously important when you want to achieve a goal that seems bigger than yourself. I plan to talk more about the “Imposter Syndrome” in a future blog post.  Let me know in the comments if you’d find this helpful.

The Mental Game

Winning the mental game is the toughest aspect of forging a satisfying arts practice. I found that reading books, watching videos, listening to podcasts about mindset has helped tremendously.

Time and money invested in mentors and programs on leadership, philosophy and organising skills has given me tools to move ahead. Let me know in the comments if you’d like for me to talk about what I’ve learned about the mental game.

The most important thing about mindset boils down to this: the key to a satisfying studio life is to make at least one simple motion forward every day, no matter how you feel emotionally.

Winning in the art studio.

I get into the studio nearly every weekday. (As much as I love art, weekends are for family)


Even if only to clean up, organise, or add a few marks to a work, I make sure I move forward. I simply don’t quit. Little steps forward is how I’ve created a body of work that is meaningful to me. Click here to see my narrative realism works.

Everything I make in the studio is not a “win” for me. The ones that don’t work for me are quietly put away in a stash where I review and learn from them. That’s the important thing about stuff-ups. You get to study them and learn for next time.

Winning in the art studio, particularly when you’re tired, sad, distracted, or coping with what life throws at you, is to simply show up and move forward in the direction you want to go.

Remember, each time you get into the studio and make motions forward is a win. Especially when you don’t feel like it. It’s a win!

my thoughts on Red playground extreme 1 and 2

Red Playground Extreme really astonishes me. A year ago I would never have imagined I would create works like these two. They decidedly differ from my earlier Red Playground works, too.

Pushing through my fears and acting on my decision to show up has given me a set of works that demonstrate that I have pushed myself well beyond that which is “normal” for me.

Now, that, in my book, is a win!

Winning in the Art Studio Red Playground Extreme 1 and 2
Red Playground Extreme 1 and 2

Discovering Studio Success

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