Recently I discovered Ryan Kingslien and his online school Uartsy.com. A friend had posted one of his youtube videos on facebook, Unleash the Artist Inside. For multiple reasons what he talked about really connected with me. He spoke about the psycology of the artist and the pressures we place upon ourselves to creat art and the resulting lack of work from that stress.
He asks the viewer a question, gives you a moment to answer and immediately predicts what your answer was. He makes a few more analogies that many artists can relate to.
The very first challenge had 2 simple yet not so simple questions for you. To paraphrase, what makes art art and what makes you an artist? We were to answer these 2 questions 10 times. Below are a couple images of what I wrote down in a sketch book.
Then next day we took our answers from day 1 and further analyzed them. Circle the answers that are empowering in a positive way. Cross out the answers that can be negative. This part of the challenge can be a bit more subjective depending on the person and how they're answers make them feel.
As for me I had to admit that a few of my answers were having a negative impact on my perspective. Even now I'm still reconsidering crossing out a few more. =/
Day 3 was all about what music gets you in the groove. This was an interesting challenge to me because I listen to music almost all day at work and a lot of music can get me movin. Especially mash-up. One mash-up in particular will always get me pumped up and ready for anything!
Yesterday's challenge might have been a bit laid back, but today is all about putting your artisic experience into tactile words.
What does my art smell, taste, feel and sound like?
That is a good question. I've never really thought of it before. Normally I just sit down and get to work. But for day 4 I made it a point to pay attention to such things.
Smell is probably the easiest one to nail down. I currently use Geneva Fine Art Artists' Oil Colors. They fill the air with the smell of cloves as they use clove oil in them.
Taste. Well I'm not gonna taste the paint, but metephorically speaking this could be a mixed basket. It's usually either bitter or sweet. As I begin a painting things are sweet, but eventually I hit a sour patch where things get yucky. I try to persist past this taste and sometimes I'll come back to something sweet or it'll stay bitter.
Feel. My art can feel like many things. Sometimew while I work it feels very smooth. The paint flows beautifully while other times it's a bit rough. I find myself scrapeing paint into the canvas.
Sound. If everything goes well, it's pure silence. I don't hear a thing.
The 5th day was a bit of a challenge. For this challenge we were asked to look back and investigate our "success state." A moment in our lives where we felt like everything was going right. In those moments what was you body doing and what was your mind doing?
If I'm remembering correct when I'm in a success state my mind is absolutely clear. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not thinking about what I'll do tomorrow and I won't be thinking about what I did yesterday. It's all about the present moment.
My body should feel great. Full of energy. I'm not sluggish from a lack of sleep. Not hungry, not exhausted. I'd be feeling in good physical shape even though I'm not.
This day was more of a lecture day. Subject being the importance of good posture and carpal tunnel. Ryan speaks about his experience and shows a little exercise that he does everyday that has helped him.
That is the question for the day. Who am I? Specifically Ryan asks you to answer these questions:
Who is timtom? What are your dreams?
He stresses you to try not and get stuck with the "Whats" of what you do. Because what you do isn't specifically who we are, right? So for this challenge I took the whole day to think, and reflected upon the questions.
This is probably the toughest challenge for me yet. This is really difficult because I don't typically think about who I am, I just am. I'd much rather leave such judgments to others. After much deliberation I decided to narrow things down to two features. I am a dreamer and I am a learner.
I feel like those two features describe me pretty well. I definitely consider myself a dreamer. The biggest dream I have is to earn a decent living making the art I want to make. I've realized that I'm not a big fan of doing commissions or working on other people projects unless it happens to align with my creative interests. And I will always be a learner, someone who seeks out knowledge anyway and in anything that I can.
Week 1 Closing Thoughts
In retrospect, this was a good first week. I'll admit I expected different types of challenges. Draw 20 heads, 100 thumbnails, etc. Day 4 and day 7 were the most difficult days that required the most thought. Ryan did get me to ask myself questions that I typically avoid.
If you're interested in joining me in this challenge visit Ryan's website by clicking the link below!