I never realised how much being an artist would change my life. Of course, I knew I would be happier, more fulfilled & obviously viewed as 'a bit weird'. But I didn't an artist life would change my view on so many things. Here I document a few things that have changed since making art my everyday.
When you paint a portrait, you have to look at your reference for a very long time. And not just look, but really look. You must take in every tiny crease, every hint of colour, every shade of light fragmented across the skin. The tiny pieces of shadow under each curve. These are to name only a few. In fact, you never look at somebody in the same way again. That's because even throughout a normal conversation, you start to wonder how you would capture that translucent skin with your paint.
P.s. If you find yourself being weirdly stared at by an artist, relax. It's just because they like your face :)
2. Know Yourself
When you choose to become an artist, you signing up to a lot of self searching and expression. This means you become your only company and whilst it can become quite lonely. It also means that you really begin to know yourself. Just like you would a work colleague, every difficult task you overcome or every time you make a good sale, your rappor with yourself improves. You get to know why to react the way you do. Or why you've concentrated on those colours this week. This really has helped me understand and accept myself. As a woman in her 20's it can be quite stressful finding out who you are in the world, but this has helped me no end.
3. More Accepting
When I first started, a lot of people didn't get that making art could be a real job. Yes it's taken a few years to get it to that point where it can make money, but it doesn't mean the effort I put in has changed at all. Going through people questioning you about your private earnings or criticising your choices, makes you realise what it's like on the other side. The side where you feel judged for doing something you believe in. Now I feel like I am far more accepting of other people's lives and their private choices. In fact, I try and stop myself thinking about anyones business, before I can even have an opinion. We never really know what goes on in peoples lives, and we should always give people the benefit of the doubt.
4. Self Criticism
We all have our times when we just seem to hate everything about ourselves, but these moments usually pass. The problem with being an artist, is that you have a lot more to judge yourself on, and it is a new problem with every piece of work you create. So in that sense, you never really learn to deal with it, as it's changing all the time. Also, if you sell work, it's important you share it with people, therefore leading to lots of other self-criticism. Embarrassment, awkwardness & questioning everything you do are to name a few. But every time, the fact you can do what you love, force you to overcome all these feelings and share anyway. P.S. If you're not an artist yourself, it's important to realise how many negative emotions the artist will have gone through to share their work, so always try to be encouraging :)
5. What's a schedule?
I'm not sure if this one is just me, I know not all artists are as haphazard as I am. But when you get that email at 11pm about purchasing 6 original paintings, I tend not to leave it till the morning. #strikewhiletheironshot
This sort of thing happens more than you realise, especially when you're working with people the other side of the world. (Am I the only one who hates time zones.) Working evenings tends to be an every night deal. But whilst this might annoy some, I personally love it. It means that other things don't have to revolve around a 9-5 job, and it's great for a quiet shopping trip :)
Also my inspiration very often hits in the evenings so I can hit the studio at night. A 10am alarm clock never felt so good.
These are five ways that being an artist truly changed my life quite a lot. They're not things that you would instantly think of too, which is why I thought it might be interesting.
I would love to hear some ways it has changed your life if you're an artist. Just comment them down below so everyone can read each other's! Also feel free to find me in Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Love Katie x