Each morning choosing a title for my painting is much, much more challenging than creating the painting itself. They are usually pretty random. I actually keep a list of words and phrases that either sound fun, like I want to roll them around in my mind for a while, or else I pull them out of something inspiring that I've saved for one reason or another.
For today my title came from this quote that I found inspirational from artist Meredith Pardue. This appeared in Elle Magazine.
"Create your work with passion, with ferocity, and do so from a place that is yours and yours alone. Take elements that speak to you from those whose work you admire, take it from the world around you, TAKE it, and make it YOURS. Do it again. And again. Work for it. Then work harder. Fail. Get up. Do it again. Work, work, work. It is not easy, and it is not fast. Do it anyway. Put in the thousands of hours. Put yourself at risk. If you don’t, then you are not being innovative. Someone will always be better than you. That is ok. You are not here to compete or compare yourself with others. You are here to find your own way. Be innovative. Work hard, and be relentless. Or go do something else—because forging a career as an artist is not for the faint of heart.
Save money early on in your life, and take advantage of your youth and of compound interest. Invest small amounts of money monthly throughout your college years and into your twenties, and you will have much more financial security later in your life without having to put out the money—freeing yourself from a stifling existence of working a job you dislike, freeing up your time to create. Live below your means. You do not have to live in NYC or a big city to be a successful artist.
Do not compromise your work based upon what is trendy. Keep your ego in check. Travel—make it a priority, especially in your twenties. You do not have to have a lot of money to see the world, and nothing opens your mind and enhances your perspective like traveling to new places. Read. Visit museums. Educate yourself. You will never “arrive.” What you imagine or hope will be your greatest achievement or peak experience will probably be anticlimactic. Most of your true successes will happen privately. It is easy to be free in your twenties, but it gets more challenging as you get on in your life and your responsibilities increase, as you have a family—stay your course.
So, I've got a lot of work ahead of me because I don't have the advantage of being in my 20's. But I do have plenty of perseverance, and I'm not afraid to work hard. This is great advice at any age, right?
"Big Magic" is part of my growing series of bird paintings titled "early bird." This original 6"x6" oil painting on ⅛" gesso panel is available, unframed, for $95 here.