Artist | Teacher | Coach | Mentor

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


David Limrite-Artist, Coach, Mentor, Teacher

“Step Over The Line and Into Borrowed Time”, Re-worked, 72”x 40 1/2”, charcoal, acrylic and spray paint on paper, Copyright David Limrite

“Rather paint the flying spirit of the bird than it’s feathers.”

~Robert Henri

It’s not about liking, it’s about doing. By doing, I mean creating. By creating, I mean being involved in the process of making something.

Sure, we would love to like everything that we create, but that is impossible. It is very difficult to crank out one perfect, fantastic, breathtaking piece after another. Especially if you are pushing yourself, taking risks, and trying new things.

It’s hard enough to create a beautiful piece of art without the added pressure, put on by yourself, to like it.

Creating and being involved in the process is way more important than liking what you have done. If you end up liking a finished painting, that is a major bonus. But liking your work should not be your only goal. I don’t know of any artists who are satisfied with everything they create.

There was one particular piece that I created and then exhibited at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, earlier this year, that I never really liked. I finished this particular piece just for the sake of finishing. I put pressure on myself to like it because the exhibition was getting close. I needed to finish this piece and I needed to like it. I finished the piece, I did not like it and I exhibited it anyway. Which did not feel very good at all.

This piece has been hanging on my studio wall for months just waiting for me to either re-work it or throw it away. I, of course, decided to see if I could resurrect it. I had nothing to lose. I did not like it anyway. I really got into the process of destroying it and re-creating it. I had fun working back into it. The result is what you see in the photo above. It became a much more dramatic, emotional, and powerful piece. And, I have to say, I like it.

I find that if I focus on creating and process, rather than on liking what I create, I usually end up with something that I am satisfied with. If I create a piece with the goal and pressure of having to like it, I usually end up with something less than enjoyable.