May 16, 2014 at 11:41 am #125179
sheilabridgetMemberMay 16, 2014 at 11:41 amPost count: 5
I am 57, just finished my BA in Art, and need to continue producing work. Anybody have a hard time just sitting down to focus? (Ha! …stupid question I know…)May 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm #125181
blackdogMemberMay 16, 2014 at 1:00 pmPost count: 906
Hi @sheilabridget 🙂
This is a topic that comes up now and then. I think there are a few threads around here that ask the same question. And there are a few artists around here as well, though many of them may not be here at this moment. People come and go.
I don’t count myself as an artist, since I have never actually produced anything. But I did want to study art at one time, long ago. And I still sort of dabble now and then. When I can focus that is. Which for me is not very often.
A little while ago, I got kind of hyper focused for a couple of weeks and filled a sketchbook with pencil sketches. And after that I started working with air dry clay and hyper focused on it for a couple of weeks. Haven’t touched either sketchbook or clay for close to a month now and hardly ever think about them.
And that’s how it goes. I get excited for a bit, usually over some new found medium or technique, work at it for a little while, and then just drop it.
If sdwa were here, she would probably tell you that you have to make it a habit to work at it every day, no matter what. So choose a time, go to your studio/work space, and sit down and stay there, even if you don’t actually work on your project. If inspiration just won’t come, then you can putter at other things that need to be done, like cleaning and organizing your supplies. Just as long as you are working at something. After awhile it will hopefully develop into a routine and you will be able to settle down and concentrate better.REPORT ABUSEMay 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm #125185
xgal07MemberMay 17, 2014 at 12:17 pmPost count: 1
I’m an artist. I have a minor in Art, major in Psych. And I work in computers! Go figure! I wish I was a full time artist, but right now it’s on a part-time basis. Congrats on getting your BA in Art!
I’m mainly a sketch artist, with pencil or charcoal. I definitely have trouble at times sitting down to focus, getting started. So, I tend to spend less time drawing than I would like. But, once I do, I can’t seem to stop. I’ll sketch for hours! I agree with blackdog about setting a time and just work on something. I’m going to try to do this myself. Good luck with your artwork!May 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm #125231
addjsMemberMay 24, 2014 at 8:39 pmPost count: 8
yes! congratulations on getting your BA in Art – now what? haha. I have one too. On getting work done, Deadlines are great for making it happen. Join a show, a group gallery or organization that puts on shows. then you have support and a deadline. great combination.
hard to focus on a body of work without that deadline. it just doesn’t seem to happen ahead of time but then that is the frontal cortex as Barkley says
<blockquote cite"">The individual’s impairment of response inhibition manifests itself in four areas of functioning: . . . (4) reconstitution-the ability to break down observed behaviors into component parts that can recombine into new behaviors directed toward a goal.
So we have to work against that – or do art concerning it. Whatever works, I guess. Do you have a theme that you have developed already in school for your work?REPORT ABUSEMay 24, 2014 at 8:41 pm #125232May 28, 2014 at 6:10 am #125264
NightShadeMemberMay 28, 2014 at 6:10 amPost count: 28
Congrats with the B of Arts !!
I’ve been a Prof Photog for 30yrs use to lead Landscape Nature Workshops
across the Western USA and esp across California.
Did the “Art Faire Circuit” routine and for the last 8 times I submitted I’ve been “Juried-IN” for my local PBS – TV
Annual Art auction which is their Biggest Fund Raiser of the year
and about 2/3rds of those that submit get rejected.
I just got Juried-in again for this year for the Sept Auction.
I am still using it, but not leading workshops now
and also transitioning into learning to Paint doing Watercolors and Acrylics.
I also use to do Tiffany Style Stained Glass, write poetry,
Played the piano for many years, and have sung and danced previously.
I also feel I use being Creative DAILY as a way of dealing with the issues of life..
Does that count as being an artist, according to your question ? 😀
*Cheers*REPORT ABUSEMay 28, 2014 at 8:43 am #125265May 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm #125277
Sleepy JeanMemberMay 30, 2014 at 5:35 pmPost count: 2
Me. Artist, that is. One of my mottos: Too many ideas, too little time. I paint, draw, sculpt, collage and dabble in photography. Crafts: paper mache, make my own beads, mosaic. And then there’s sewing, needlepoint, embroidery and creating dolls and sock monkeys. Let’s not forget daily journaling, sketchbooks and writing. Been this way my entire life. I play the piano and now take guitar lessons. It can get out of hand trying to find the QUALITY time for all these interests. I am not painting for now. I am sewing cute little dresses for baby girls, taking guitar lessons and gardening. I have had to make a specific schedule to make sure I do the things I want, focus, do them well and move on to the next. My challenge is I want it all and I want it now. So sticking to a schedule and a goal have really helped. When the dresses are made, I have a painting ready to start. Enjoy your art! For me, I need to be creative – it’s who I am. Getting all the ideas corralled to wait their turn is teaching me patience. Well, kinda.REPORT ABUSEJune 1, 2014 at 10:58 am #125282
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantJune 1, 2014 at 10:58 amPost count: 473
Love this thread. To get going on something creative I have a few tricks. (Cause once I’m started I tend to not be able to stop. Engaged and in the zone. For hours. If I didn’t have to eat and sleep, I wouldn’t.)
One thing is to just write down ideas, do sketches, jotting down key points, or start writing an opening sentence. And I set a time limit. A ridiculously short one. “I’m going to jot down blog ideas for 5 minutes.” And an hour later I’ve got four ideas and a finished blog. Or, I’ve gone 5 minutes and have a couple of ideas.
Another is to stimulate myself with triggers. Can’t think of what to create, scan the headlines, read what’s in the forums, read a magazine and notice what thoughts come to me… When I’m working on something visual I browse through images in a book, or online. Input. I went to a hairstylist back in the 80s who charged a fortune and did amazing work on women’s hair. I stopped going cause who wants to spend 60 bucks on a haircut? Well, not me.
The point was that in-between customers he, and the other stylists, would skim through these magazines that had nothing but ads and images. (Okay, there was some text, but mostly it was images.) They were high end fashion and hair magazines. There were a few that were more general, like Esquire and Vanity Fair… and they would just rifle through the pages, looking at 20 images a minute. It seemed to short to be registering, but it worked. They’d input all these ideas, and then suddenly something would click and they’d begin.
The other way to find time to create is to turn off the television. Or put it on in the BG. Or an audio book. Or music. And then start playing.
And that’s the biggest thing. Play. Give yourself freedom to experiment. And make sure you have time set aside to do it. If reserving time to ‘play’ sounds frivolous or silly, then ‘reserve time to brainstorm and lay down some groundwork’. Or some other fancy term for ‘beginning.’
Know what you don’t have to reserve 8 hours. 20 minutes is fine. Just starting is the most magical, powerful thing you can do.REPORT ABUSEJune 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm #125287
addjsMemberJune 1, 2014 at 3:24 pmPost count: 8
How’s it going? What were your final art pieces for your BA about? What material used?
I can get stuck with graphite on smooth Bristol board forever.REPORT ABUSEJune 3, 2014 at 9:11 am #125309
sheilabridgetMemberJune 3, 2014 at 9:11 amPost count: 5
I focused mainly on pen & ink in the end. I discovered some pens I enjoyed working with, and bought a few decent pads of bristol like paper. I did some painting, and I need to work on that, as my insecurities get the better of me, and I need to over come that. I’ve been struggling with just trying to organize the space I set aside for working. Organization has never been a strong point with me. I never know where to begin!June 4, 2014 at 8:01 am #125317
FochaosedMemberJune 4, 2014 at 8:01 amPost count: 32
I have a hard time getting motivated enough to even sit down. The queen of unfinished projects. House is full of ‘supplies’ for intended projects I am planning on doing. Like Sleepy Jean, I too have “Too many ideas, too little time”. Sometimes after dinner – *if* the kitchen is clean (else I feel “off”) and it’s it’s still early enough, I’ll go down to my craft area and I can get as far as tidying up to free up work space and organizing newly accumulated supplies, but then I realize it’s now 2 am and I should just go to bed. Can’t fathom how much new paint, glue, or other expired or ‘got broken’ supplies I’ve wasted over the years. Items purchased for gifts for children that needed to be made into something or wrapped and these recipients have now outgrown them. How many domains I hold on to for planned websites. How many times I’ve promised things I ended up being unable to deliver due to inability to judge and manage my time. I have learned to be realistic and just politely say “no” to requests for help. But when I do get going, if I say so myself, I produce AWESOME things that are 95% finished.REPORT ABUSEJune 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm #125319
addjsMemberJune 4, 2014 at 9:17 pmPost count: 8
Now that you are done with school you don’t have deadlines unless you make them for yourself.
When I do get going I draw what I know or at least I have to start there to before branching off for a theme. So I start with drawing ‘the anxiety of being an artist with a deadline’. Like so many artists I end creating what I know – I use paper to convey that information and my work is figurative. Me going crazy.
I always have to get that out of my system, how ever large or small first, and I don’t have to complete it – just get started on that, and then my ideas for a deeper theme or development of meaning of the painting/drawing comes. The underpinning of the visual.
I over-prepare for art. I over-buy materials and over clean up. I sometimes don’t need to organize my space so great as to get it out of sight. The organization never really last that much anyway. (But mentally it does get in the way – I understand the need)
I love pen and ink too. Are you using sharpies/ or pen nibs/ colored ink.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2014 at 10:27 am #125368
gianmariaMemberJune 13, 2014 at 10:27 amPost count: 30
Not diagnosed (yet). But from what I read about ADHD, I’m a likely candidate.
I’m not a full time artist. I have been a commercial artist for a couple of years but reverted to a “regular” job to pay the bills (and to my great regret I still haven’t quit).
I’ve done illustration and comics. I can share my experience.
I have never come up with strategies. That actually work, I mean.
I have an hard time getting started when it doesen’t seem “fun”, if it doesn’t “feel good”.
That is why I often put on a DVD, a podcast, YouTube (damn you!!!) or the radio as a background in order to get at it.
After years of low productivity I’m starting to understand that those things may be getting in the way rather then helping.
I’ve noticed that two things though make me less “scared” to get started and to keep at it:
1) Doodling on common paper (not a sketchbook, not a quality Bristol board) with a simple pencil, I can get rid of the stress of doing things right. the more disposable the medium or the drawing itself, the more conforable I feel.
I would go on for a while, sheet after sheet until I see I’ve got quite a stack of sketches. Looking back at them I can see where there’s something promising or actually good and then I work on that. It is a matter of “seeing” what I want to go for.
I think I see it even before starting, but more times than not, it is too blurry. So I let my hands go and only afterwards I review what is actually on the paper and that helps me a great deal.
2) A great way to “break ice” is drawing from life or copying stuff. This is good exercise anyway and actually release you of the burden of getting an idea. You make yourself in to a “medium”, a “drive belt” between the subject and the piece of paper (or clay if you are a scluptor) in front of you.
Hope this can help.REPORT ABUSEJune 16, 2014 at 10:32 am #125396
sheilabridgetMemberJune 16, 2014 at 10:32 amPost count: 5
You have some excellent ideas,….I love the idea of the disposable paper. I may have mentioned this before, but I realized a long time ago that I tend to doodle a lot on whatever is handy while talking on the phone, and I would realize afterwards I liked a lot of what was there afterwards. I think that is along the line of ‘disposable’ paper idea. While watching (commercial free) on TV, I sometimes place a sketchpad on my lap and let my hand go where ever, usually a decent pen on bristol. I have gotten some pretty cool stuff while doing that. I also try to now force myself on not giving up on a ‘piece’. Giving up is too easy and it means I am letting low self-esteem kick in.
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