For 2014, resolve to get a grip on the following 4 challenges that visual artists regular face.

1. How will you handle the limits of your medium? Every art form has its own natural limitations. For example, how much “work” can you really expect pigments on a rectangular canvas to do? Certainly, artists have done a lot with the medium! But its natural limitations have caused artists to paint right onto the frame, to paint monochromatically to highlight limitation, to adhere other materials like sand and glass onto the surface, and to try in other ways to “transcend” limitations. Make this year that you arrive at your own “new take” on the issue of limits!

2. How will you personally define “originality”? If originality is something you are after, how will you aim yourself in the direction of doing more original work in 2014? Does “original” have to mean outrageous, breathtaking or brilliant or are there other equally valid and personally relevant ways to define originality? If you were to handle atmospherics or plunging perspective in a way that you had never handled them before, might that count? Try to discern where you want to set the “originality” bar and why you are choosing that precise setting.

3. Is there something that you still don’t handle well that you would like to master? Maybe it’s a piece of technology, maybe it’s capturing the energy of a waterfall or the flight of birds, maybe it’s making the eyes or hands you paint come more alive, maybe it’s mastering a certain style, maybe it’s mastering a certain subject matter. What have you put off mastering that you know you really want to “own”? Is 2014 the year to choose something to master?

4. Art materials can be very expensive. Going to the art supply store or going to an art supply store online can feel like a trip to the candy store—one that also threatens to break the bank. How might you better meet the challenge of the expense of art materials in 2014? Change media? Change the size in which you work? Restrict your palette? Live with cheaper frames? Look for better prices? Reduce other expenses for the sake of art supplies? Or maybe better honor that you are worth the expense and “go for it”? In 2014, create effective strategies for dealing with the expense of art materials!


Eric Maisel’s latest book is SECRETS OF A CREATIVITY COACH. See how Dr. Maisel works with 25 creative and performing artists from around the world. Visit now!



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