When you hear the term artist, you automatically visualize the stereotype - the wanderer, flaky, unstructured hippy. The reality is however, that there are so many different types of artists, all of whom bring their personalities into the studio with them. Portrait or hyper-realist artists will obviously have different traits than the abstract artist or the one that dives into a world of surrealism.
I am always curious about how others engage with their art. Do you sketch things out first? Do you have a clear vision of what you want to do? Is there a clear correlation with how you live life and how you create? For me, I absolutely tackle my artwork in the same manner as I live my life. I have never been one to follow the rules. Even as a child, I was completely incapable of colouring inside the lines - the structure was so stifling and conforming. I needed to go my own way, even if it was the long way around, I still had to do it on my own. I also have a tendency to run off on a whim, which is what led me to live in so many different places. I never had a plan, never really knew where I was going or where I was going to stay - I would just figure it out when I got there. I moved to Cairo within two days of applying for a job. I went to my university with the intention of applying and obtaining a business degree (eek!) but instead, ended up applying for a teaching job in Egypt. Makes sense. I moved to Toronto, with no job or anywhere to live, just because I was tired of the snow on the east coast. Each chapter was always a journey of exploration and I tend to work in the same manner. I let the paint guide me and take me where it wants me to go. I am just along for the ride.
This whimsical nature and lack of structure gives me great joy in my art studio. I love not having a plan, and just painting whatever pops into my head. The freedom of abstracts allows me to stay true to myself and to my nature. I have moments of frustration now mind you, especially when I want to paint more structured or work on a figurative piece, but overall, the more unrestricted I am, the happier I am, and the more productive I am.
I am always intrigued with how other artists work. I want to sit with them and watch their process. I want to get inside of their head and learn from them. How about you? How do you work? Do you paint like you live? Or do you enjoy taking on another persona when you create? Whatever method you indulge in, be sure that it is a reflection of your true self and one that keeps you happy and keeps you creating.