A lot of people still get surprised when they learn that I am working as a registered nurse when I am not painting. I would be lying if I say I never thought of giving up my nursing career and do my art full time. However, I believe that one of the essential components of my creative work is being a witness of real life stories of our own vulnerability as human beings. As a nurse I have grieved with my patients and their families in the midst of unthinkable tragedies and celebrated with them as they overcome health issues and recover from illness. Those beautiful stories become part of me. And then I pour my heart and soul in creating each layer of paint on my canvas – where I weave serenity and joy with a gentle touch of humanity.
Instagram users GIVEAWAY ALERT! I’ve been overwhelmed by your amazing support with my Aurora Illuminata series. All the paintings have found their new homes within 24 hours of posting. So I would like to say a big THANK YOU by giving away this mini Aurora Illuminata painting. Up for grabs is a 29x29cm canvas on board mixed media painting in a beautiful white frame. Click this link to my Instagram post for contest rules: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAWTtsFHfAx/
This post was originally published in Kris’ Instagram account. Featured Photo by russn_fckr on Unsplash
One of the struggles of being an artist is when you have this grand idea of how a new painting will look like and you thought you’ve figured out how to achieve your vision. But then the reality hits you that there can be a lot of trial and error involved in the process.
I find it really painful when nothing seems to be working (the colours are not quite right, the textures are a bit odd, or I just can’t feel anything from the painting as if it has no soul).
These are the moments when I need to be kinder to myself. I believe being critical is important to produce quality work but I learned not to tell myself those words I would never say to someone I value and respect. Instead of saying “it’s terrible!” I choose “it’s not quite right but it’s not done yet.”
Standing back to reflect has been very helpful in my art practice so I could maintain my sanity and not lose the joy of creating.
This is one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve watched in New Zealand. I still remember that season in my art career when I was finally able to do my very first art show. Took me three years to get there and it was a surreal experience – so excited but almost freaking out at the same time. I felt most vulnerable during those moments of waiting for that first sale and whenever somebody gives feedback about my work.
I believe I have grown so much over the years in terms of dealing with all the emotions I have to go through with my decision to become an artist. I still get nervous during opening nights but I get to enjoy the experience a bit more. Feedback (favourable or not) will always have an effect on me but only for a moment – then I move on because I don’t do my art to get praises or recognition. I do my art to celebrate life and hopefully make a difference to someone’s creative journey.
How about you? How do you handle criticism? When do you feel most vulnerable?
Follow my creative journey at my facebook page or instagram page @krisancog
It’s quite strange whenever I’m having one of those days feeling ambivalent regarding my art. Those are the days when in my heart I wanted to paint but my mind seems uncooperative and picking up my brush seems too much work as though the magic is all gone. A lot of artists call this as the ‘creative block’, which I believe happens to everyone without any exception (it’s only a matter of when). These are the moments when I feel stuck. And the challenge, of course, is how to get unstuck and be productive. I tried different strategies over the years and here are five of those that I found helpful:
1. Just pick up your brush
A lot of times all I need to do is start that very first brush stroke and the rest follows. It’s like a domino effect– you only need to do one thing that will jumpstart your creative process. This is particularly helpful when you have a deadline for a show (or a commission) and you won’t have time to procrastinate.
2. Review your workspace and reorganize if necessary
I normally work on multiple paintings and chaos is inevitable. I realized that one of the reasons why I couldn’t execute my process easily is because my workspace is not set up ergonomically. What I mean by this is my paint tubes could be scattered everywhere I may have trouble finding the color I wanted. I have limited space in my art room and when the space feels too tight it affects my ability to be totally free in creating the brushstrokes essential for my pieces. Little things could add up and I start telling myself that I couldn’t be “creative”.
3. Step away
Your creativity could be stifled if you have been working non-stop or procrastinating for too long. You need to break it and do something different to defibrillate your negative creative rhythm. Physically stepping away from your work either briefly to have a shower or going out for a walk in the beach can make a significant difference in developing new ideas or making you feel refreshed to be creative.
4. Perform your ritual if you have one
If you are like me who likes my cup of coffee and good breakfast before starting a painting session, then have your coffee and eat your breakfast. If meditation is what you do to go into the “creative zone” then meditate. Some artists have certain attire they need to wear, and some make sure they have brushed their teeth. It may be the only things that’s missing and needs to be done before you go deep in questioning what happened to your creative genius.
5. Write it down.
Journaling my thoughts and frustrations is quite cathartic for me. Sometimes the answers of those hard questions reveal themselves after I have written a few pages of reflection. Other times I just feel better after writing and feel free again to execute my passion.
How about you? What do you do to overcome your creative block?
This article was reblogged from Kris’s website. Click here to view the original post.
Come follow me. Let’s have a peek at Kris’ art room and see what’s in there.
I feel like I have the key to the secret garden if you remember that famous children’s novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was one of my favourite books when I was a kid.
Kris had just finished cleaning up this room and I am just curious to see how it looks like.
He could spend an entire day painting while listening to his favourite classical music playlist. I am just in awe on how he could produce such beautiful art pieces and lay them all piece by piece in the living room in preparation for his Art Shows. I remember asking him one day on how he managed to create all of those artworks. He said he enters into a “zone” (perhaps a different kind of dimension) so he could express his thoughts and emotions and let them flow into the empty canvas.
Since then I wondered what kind of dimension it is.. Hmmm..
He is away today so I tried to sneak in to his room and wondered if I could also get in to that “dimension” LOL! then maybe I can be creative as Kris!
As soon as I opened the door I could feel goosebumps all over me just watching at his unfinished artworks. My goodness! Is there some kind of spirit in here? I do believe in ghosts but I think it’s not the ghost spirit for sure!
I just watched in wonder how amazing Kris is. I just stood there inspired of how one’s talent could create such a positive energy that could speak to my soul! Char kaayo! 🙂 but it’s sooo true!