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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)

EFFORT NOT OUTCOME

David Limrite-Artist, Coach, Mentor, Teacher

"I think of it as something that is the result of my activity rather than the reason for it. It's the activity which is exciting, but of course, it wouldn't be if it didn't occasionally produce an image."
Frank Auerbach


SUNDAY MUSINGS

I am very excited about a new project that I am working on. Actually, I am revisiting a project that I started about 2 years ago and set aside for the year and a half it took to create the work for my recently concluded exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

The project is a sketchbook. Which may not sound like much, however, this is just not any old sketchbook. It is very large (30"x 22") and was handmade for me by a very good friend and talented artist herself. The above photo of this sketchbook in progress shows you one of the completed images. I have included an 8"x 10" sketchbook in the photo so that you can get an idea of the larger sketchbooks size. It has 26 pages of high quality paper in it and I am about halfway through it. I am not creating individual pieces in it, as I consider the entire sketchbook to be one cohesive work of art.

I love my large sketchbook project because it allows me to explore, experiment and focus on process. Each piece is a small part of the whole, so there is no pressure to produce individual "perfect" pieces.

I will keep you posted on its development, including a video of it in progress and a virtual tour of the entire project when it is complete. Stay tuned.

EFFORT NOT OUTCOME

This is just a reminder to encourage you to try and focus on effort not outcome. Process not product.

Give yourself a break. Creating a really good piece of art is hard enough without putting pressure on yourself to do so. All I can say is that, for me, I always create a much better painting or drawing when I put the focus on the making of it rather than on the quality of it.

By immersing myself in the creation of a picture, it allows me to have fun with it and focus on searching for the right color, line, value, texture and shape. The fun stuff! When I am having fun, my pictures are always better and it shows. In my classes, I can always tell if a student is focused on process and having fun with it just by looking at their work.

Detaching from the outcome reduces the risk.

So, take the pressure off of yourself, get out in the studio as often as you can on a regular basis to build momentum, and focus on effort not outcome. The quality will come.

Best,

David