artist interview: liz layton

artist interview: liz layton

Out of necessity of both time and money, I finally became practical with my art process after my son, Strummer, was born.  I cannot always produce art objects or physically paint or sew whenever I want to, but, I can very easily write down ideas or sketch simple studies a they come to me (usually!), which I then later elaborate on and fully expand.  I now spend much more time planning the overall construction of a piece (conceptual themes, choice of medium and materials, general measurements, cost) so that when I am able to be in my art studio (or, sometimes it’s the living room or dining room or porch) I am able to make better use of my time, and, make artwork that is more successful, visually.

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artist interview: brenden bohannon

artist interview: brenden bohannon

A big part of my process is finding the right pieces of wood and looking for certain qualities that will show up once everything is done. For anyone who has not worked with wood, 90% of the job is carving, planing, shaping, and lots and lots of sanding. It is amazing what you can accomplish with hand tools and time. 

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bad reasons for making (or not making) art

Ever felt stuck in a creative rut? Ever really just wanted to prove something to someone? Ever felt completely ignored and wanted to burn all your materials in a giant heap of cathartic flame? Well I have too, and I'm here to tell you that all of your reasons for making (or not making art) are probably wrong.

Examine the lists below, and see if something feels familiar.

sketchbook-open-badreasons.jpg

bad reasons for making art

  • to prove someone wrong
  • to achieve fame or wealth
  • to make someone jealous
  • because it's "cool"
  • to “be the best”

If you're making art for some kind of crazy image-enhancing scheme or external motivation, you are going to burn out eventually. Someone you're trying to impress may not even be worthy of your efforts! Don't make art because it's impressive to do so.

bad reasons to quit making art

  • there's no money in it
  • there's a lot of it out there already
  • someone else is better at it than you
  • no one's noticed
  • it's a "waste of time/money"
  • "I have nothing to say”

Just because "it's been done before," or you're not as good at it as someone else is a poor excuse, undermining the beauty of doing a thing for the sake of doing it. Everyone has a right to make the art they want to make, and they have their own story to tell. DO IT.

Feeling stuck? You may just need a brief creative reset!