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Nine Warning Signs Of An Amateur Artist

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Hey are any of the nine signs these.?????

 

Driving into town and leaving the list of too does behind ?

Going outside to check the glaze fire get side tracked and end wondering what I'm doing out there?

Throwing the wrong two dozen forms that you thought you where throwing after you finish the last one?

Worrying that you missed the show as it could have been the weekend before this one?

You find yourself throwing pots in studio and realize this is the day you need to leave for a 2.5 day drive to show. 

At the show you realize you forgot the 4 extra boxes of mugs at home?

On the two day drive you realize you forgot the cash register and visa machine?Call home and have it fedx to show hotel next day.

Get to show at Park City and realize your visa machine does not have signal at all

Set up a double booth and realize your forgot all the side curtains to close up on an outside city show.

 

Ok these have all happened to me and I recovered from them all.

I have another 9 or 18 if that helps.

 

I fnd this post to be enormously reassuring, in that mistakes that you make in your own business are surviveable, even if they'd probably get you fired if you were working for someone else. And each one of those things on that list is something I would totally do, or have done!

 

In regards to the article, I'm torn. I'm going to preface this by saying that 1) I have been guilty at some point of every single one of these negative attitudes, and 2) the only person in my very first throwing class who was worse than I was failed out at Christmas. I had, unquestionably, the least amount of talent in that group. To my knowledge, out of that group from the fall of 1997, I am the only one still working in clay. Talent counts for very little once you're past the beginning, or all of those artists who had some incredible abilities would still be at it. I keep in touch with many of them, and they have beautiful lives that they enjoy and are happy in, and they don't feel the loss. When I stopped making art, or did it extremely timidly for about a decade, I did feel that loss sorely. So I started again. I have spent a long number of years learning bitterly and the hard way that you can't wait for inspiration, you do indeed have to run after it and beat it down some days. I think it's much less painful if you learn how to romance your creative abilities around to your way of thinking and on to your own schedule, however. Because I have lived without my creativity in the past, I know now that want that creativity at my disposal rather than being at its mercy. So I have chosen to be professional in my practice, because I believe it's a more sustainable way to work in the long run. I know that if you want to make a living at this, you definitely have to be organized and have some marketing skills, and you need to treat it like it IS a real job. I firmly believe that you need to use your creative abilities to make a living, you need to be able to make them work for you, rather than the other way around.

 

If it does not matter to you that your living comes from selling your art, and you just want to make it for the joy of it, then you shouldn't let anyone else define your success for you. It's your life, not anyone else's, and I think amateurs or even dilettantes should stop being ashamed if that's what makes them happy. Not everything that has value has to be a monetarialy profitable pursuit. Do whatever you need to in order to put food on the table, and do what you need to do to have the life you want. And there is nothing written anywhere that says you have to do this your whole life, if that's not what you want.

 

But if you do want the money, you do have to take some specific steps. And those steps happen to be in line with the things I want in my life.

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glazenerd    816

 

Not everything that has value has to be a monetarialy profitable pursuit.

Glad to hear that, spend much of my time researching and studying clay and glaze properties. I find my joy in discovering how it works, rather than making if work for me.

 

Nerd

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RonSa    189

Rereading the article and taking LeeU lead I changed the word Artist to Entrepreneur, its reads a lot better.

 

 

Ok these have all happened to me and I recovered from them all.

I have another 9 or 18 if that helps.

 

The only business that hasn't made a mistake is the one that opened yesterday. What matters more is how you handle them.

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JBaymore    1,432

I think that what we tend to call "talent" is maybe an expression of the matching up of Howard Gardner's "multiple intelligences" with some human activity.  Find the activity (or activities) that your brain is "wired for"... and they tend to "come easily". 

 

Which can be a blessing.... but also a curse.

 

Because to really excel at an activity...... you have to WORK at it.  Sometimes if all you tend to do are things that come easily to you at first... you don't learn to really work (at anything), and you don't learn to deal with failures and move on through them.

 

When it comes to reaching what we might call the "World Class" level of performance, we then get into the "persistence and determination" factor, combined with opportunities and "circumstances" as outlined by Malcolm Gladwell in "The Outliers", likely combined with a dose of genetics providing a body suited for the activity (if it is a physical one) good for "the long haul".

 

best,

 

......................john

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Pres    896

I think that often whether it is success in business, or with talent, or in most anything in life, being a problem solver is important. If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what? There is without the determination to solve the problem, there is not persistence and the tendency to go from on effort to another without finishing anything.

 

 

best,

Pres

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RonSa    189

If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what?

 

 

best,

Pres

 

 

I've always felt that if I can only come up with one solution to a problem I'm doing something wrong,

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GiselleNo5    464

 

the only person in my very first throwing class who was worse than I was failed out at Christmas. I had, unquestionably, the least amount of talent in that group. To my knowledge, out of that group from the fall of 1997, I am the only one still working in clay. Talent counts for very little once you're past the beginning, or all of those artists who had some incredible abilities would still be at it. I keep in touch with many of them, and they have beautiful lives that they enjoy and are happy in, and they don't feel the loss. When I stopped making art, or did it extremely timidly for about a decade, I did feel that loss sorely. 

 

Callie, I couldn't even center the clay for the first six months. 

 

I connected with some specific potters online in the first year of throwing. They were about where I was in skill level although they had been throwing longer, and some of them were where I was in the amount of time they had been learning. None of them had the struggle I did to center or to just make basic pots. Some even said that they threw something successful the first time they sat down at the wheel, whereas for me it was something like 40-50 lbs of recycled clay before I had ONE POT that did not fail. 

 

The interesting thing to me is that I have now been throwing for 2 1/2 years and I still can see videos of the same hobby or small business potters throwing and they appear to be in the same place they were two years ago, while my throwing, which was horribly stunted at first, has improved to where I feel I can call myself competent. I sometimes wonder if because I have worked so hard for every scrap of skill I have, I am aggressive about holding onto it and refining on it. Perhaps, as some have said on this thread, if it had come easily to me it would have no value and I would have lost interest. 

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Pres    896

 

If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what?

 

 

best,

Pres

 

 

I've always felt that if I can only come up with one solution to a problem I'm doing something wrong,

 

While teaching, it was my set policy to always give the student at least 3 choices when asked to solve a problem for them. Kept things from being too much the "Teachers pot". Also demonstrated on another piece of clay whenever possible, not on their pot.

 

best,

Pres

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GiselleNo5    464

 

 

If you come up to a problem or some sort of limitation to moving forward, and cannot figure a way around or through it, and just give up then what?

 

 

best,

Pres

 

 

I've always felt that if I can only come up with one solution to a problem I'm doing something wrong,

 

While teaching, it was my set policy to always give the student at least 3 choices when asked to solve a problem for them. Kept things from being too much the "Teachers pot". Also demonstrated on another piece of clay whenever possible, not on their pot.

 

best,

Pres

 

 

 

I like this!! Something tells me I would enjoy having you for a teacher, Pres! :) 

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Chilly    329

 

 

best,

Pres

 

 

lol - sounds like my mum.  If I asked her "how do I........ spell/make/cook/sew/.......  She'd reply with "how do you think you ........." and then talk me through my own answers.

 

Actually, thinking about it, I do the same when I'm teaching Bikeability.  The kids ask are we really going to ride on the road and I say, what's Bikeability all about, and they remember what I told them at the beginning - riding your bike, safely, on the road.

 

I sometimes wish you could just get a straight answer from people, but in reality, I think you learn more the other way.

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Pugaboo    438

An excellent discussion! I have always said, talent gets you in the door but determination keeps you in the room. I've been called talented and it makes me think, Baa talent shmalent it's the hard work that gets you places. I run into a lot of hobby, amateur, whatever you want to call them artists, Potters, photographers, etc. they always ALWAYS ask, how do you make a living doing what you do? I say I work HARD, I work everyday, it's my job, I get up and create something every day whether I feel like it or not and it doesn't matter if what I am making inspires me if my creative muse is singing... if it sells it gets put into production. I work at least 10-12 hours a day, if I am not physically creating something I am designing, researching, testing, marketing, selling, etc...I will say it again...ITS MY JOB, I may happen to LOVE â¤ï¸ MY JOB and I do and if I could do it 24/7 and forgo sleep altogether I would. They always look fussy and say oh but I only feel like doing something if the sun is shining, or the birds are chirping, or it's the 3rd Tuesday, whatever their excuse is. They also only want to make the stuff THEY want to make. I try and find out why they want to be a professional and sell their work, if it's their only means of keeping body and soul together etc. if they are not relying on their art sales to keep a roof over their head I encourage them to continue creating their art and not to worry about selling it. If what they are doing makes them happy to do that and not worry about the rest. I tell them if I didn't need to sell I would still be creating. I tell them not to worry about anyone else but the pleasure they get from following their creative outlet.

 

Another thing not really concerning the amateur or professional area of this discussion but.... it annoys me when students tell me oh I can't do that I'm not talented like you! Or they say I can't do that because I know I'm not talented, or creative, or artistic, etc. I ask them why they say that and it usually goes back to school when someone told them at some point they weren't... and unfortunately they believed them and it stuck with them their whole life. I talk with them ask them questions about things they like or don't like and then guide them, I never tell a student you have to do this or that I ask them questions and then guide them to get their own vision realized. Some just know they want to try but have the fear of starting. I come up with ways that they can do that and it's amazing to watch them bloom when they realize they too can be creative. When they fail and wail oh I've ruined it I tell them it's not ruined it's just dirt and how can you ruin dirt? They look at their blob of clay and go you mean I don't have to throw it in the garbage? I say, nope, give them a lesson on wedging and they start again and are more relaxed because they realize it's not ruined it can always be redone and each time it generally gets better because they learn from their mistakes. I don't really think of myself as a teacher I'm their guide it's my job to guide them through the creative jungle and help them find their own voice.

 

Okay that was my 2 cents on professional and amateur. People sometimes forget there is room in the world for both and that each bring something unique to life.

 

T

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RonSa    189

it annoys me when students tell me oh I can't do that I'm not talented like you! Or they say I can't do that because I know I'm not talented, or creative, or artistic, etc. I ask them why they say that and it usually goes back to school when someone told them at some point they weren't... 

 

I've seen to many times when grade schools do an excellent job squashing creativity in order to help the children conform to the norm.

"You must draw inside the lines, the sky must be blue and the sun yellow."

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Joseph F    865

 

it annoys me when students tell me oh I can't do that I'm not talented like you! Or they say I can't do that because I know I'm not talented, or creative, or artistic, etc. I ask them why they say that and it usually goes back to school when someone told them at some point they weren't... 

 

I've seen to many times when grade schools do an excellent job squashing creativity in order to help the children conform to the norm.

"You must draw inside the lines, the sky must be blue and the sun yellow."

 

 

I actually do a lot of counter to this. My son paints with finger paints a good bit. I don't know why but he just loves finger painting. So I get in there and paint the sky purple, and the trees orange. We end up with some pretty crazy paintings.

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RonSa    189

Finger painting just might be the predecessor to working with clay

 

When my two daughters were in 1st and 2nd grade and we were coloring together on the kitchen table they gave me a page from their coloring book of a teddy bear to color. I told them they could give me they any 4 color crayons from their box and I'll still make it look good. After much debate and giggling between the two and thinking they would foul me up they gave me a red, purple, green and blue. It was just a matter of blending cool to warm colors along with using the white of the paper for highlights. They were surprised at the results and I explained to them what I did and how to make things look closer or further way (basic color theory). Then I challenged them to try the same thing.

 

Later on at a parent teachers night one of their teachers approached us and said that our daughter uses the weirdest colors when drawing and maybe we should see if she is color blind (girls are rarely color blind) or maybe some counseling if she isn't. The teacher was well meaning and I asked her how did the pictures look and she replied that they looked good despite the colors she was using. The teacher gave me a quizzical look when I replied "Success!"

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S. Dean    76

<snip> .... it annoys me when students tell me oh I can't do that I'm not talented like you! Or they say I can't do that because I know I'm not talented, or creative, or artistic, etc. I ask them why they say that and it usually goes back to school when someone told them at some point they weren't... and unfortunately they believed them and it stuck with them their whole life. <snip> 

This is a good time to plug the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  Great read about the difference between thinking that you/others have a given set of abilities/talent/intelligence etc (fixed mindset) vs the mindset that you/others can always improve (growth mindset).

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Rex Johnson    47
On 5/6/2017 at 6:55 AM, GEP said:

...Some professionals are making meh work. These are just two different subjects, that's all.

This article is not addressed to amateurs in general. It is addressed specifically to those who are actively trying to be professionals....

Word dat. Glad you clarified your intent to post thus article.

I'm not familiar with 'Skinny Artist' or it's purpose. Kind of appears it's directed at' those in learning to be'. Otherwise it's just more internet fluff...

Quote

some amateurs are making mind-boggling work ....

...you should see some of the student's work that comes out of my wife's high school art class, so much natural talent!

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