What inspires you?

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An artist’s drafting table during Amarillo’s First Friday Art Walk at Sunset Center.

On the first Friday of the month a local shopping center-turned artist alcove hosts an art walk.

There are over 50 artists, most likely over a hundred, but I didn’t count.  Each storefront is a different artisan’s work space, some use it as a gallery, others use it as a studio, and some use it to collaborate and host curated art galleries for the community.

During the most recent visit, I took my 12-year-old daughter and tasked her with finding at least two artists whose work pleased her, and ask them these three questions:

  1. What inspires you?
  2. What has been the hardest hurdle to overcome in your art form?
  3. How often do you art?

So she whined, of course, pre-teens are whiney.  But in the end she did find a couple artists that caught her fancy, one of them happened to be someone I knew through a different medium.  They talked for almost half an hour about sketching and here are the pearls of wisdom she gleaned:

  • Art is the transcending of time, melded with your personal understandings of life. It’s not something to be compared to another, only to your previous self.
  • Art is done daily, in some form, you hone your skills and learn something new, or perfect a technique.
  • Don’t let someone else define your art, or put it in a box… It does not have to fit the mainstream understandings, genres, or pop culture topics.
  • You don’t have to stick to one medium. Do you. Do what makes you feel creative, maybe even break rules with style or combinations, but be consistently honest with what you want to convey, not just regurgitating what is currently popular or “in.”

So remember this, when you’re struggling with your medium(s) take a moment to remember why you enjoy them. Then get back to the grindstone and practice.  Be a forever student of life, and teach those who cross your path to enjoy the journey and not be ashamed of changing mediums, subjects or gleaning from a different frame of reference.

Everyone has room to grow.

Cheers,

-Madalena

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