Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who sculpts you?

Your artistic progress depends a lot on your choices.

A lot of people don't realize they have as many choices as they do and they let their artistic development become "shaped" by others. I wouldn't say this is inherently bad if you have the right shapers, but odds are there are better alternatives for you. Basically, who decides what you will become? Who sculpts you?

Some of the choices below are clear what the "right" answer is, but some are less black-and-white:
  • Do you want to have everything explained to you or learn things through trial and error?
  • Are you open to exploring concepts outside of the box or does safety keep you steady?
  • Could you take honest but possibly negative critique of your work if it meant the opportunity for growth?
  • Would you want your group to be filled with people of your sensibilities? (Comfort vs. different ways to process/create)
  • What will improve your skill more at this point, teaching, creating, or doing?
  • If you need inspiration, will you wait for it or force it to happen?
  • Which of these would you rather give to someone looking to you for guidance - a helpful but unflattering comment (without being mean), or a meaningless yet feel-good comment?
  • Would you rather be a distraction or an inspiration?
  • Do you respect a teacher or mentor more by trying to be exactly like them or doing your own thing?
  • Do you wait for masters of your craft to come to teach you or attempt to learn from them before ever meeting them?
  • Is your first reaction to a suggestion to consider it or shoot it down?
  • Think about the one thing you would want people to remember about you in your craft. What steps are you taking to ensure that it happens?
  • What are you more likely to do when you enter your studio: socialize or drill?
  • What's the one habit you'd like to change? When will you change it?
There are several other questions I could probably come up with, but I just want you to start questioning things you may never have (don't I always?) Some of the questions need context, of course, but I'm sure you could apply most of them to your current development right now and see how the choices you make shape you.

Sculpt yourself, or someone will do it for you!

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