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Be Willing to Change


Have you ever tried to change a long-held belief or thought pattern that no longer served you? If you have, you know how difficult it is to do. Like changing our minds or our beliefs, changing the way we approach art can also be a challenge. I have taught thousands of students in my twenty-year teaching career, and I have learned first-hand why this is so.


After the age of about six or seven, we become very self-conscious of our artistic abilities. We notice that either we ourselves have talent, or that we “can't draw a stick figure.” We either go forward with art, or we abandon it.


If we are among the few that pursue our interest in art, we can get tripped up by sticking with the familiar, what we “know” we are good at. Students protect themselves by saying, “I'm not good at backgrounds,” ”I can't draw people,” or any number of defenses. My response is always, “You’re not good at (fill in the blank) yet.


Just as each layer of a painting must give way to the next more refined layer, we as artists must remain open to trying new techniques and new challenges to expand as creatives. Don't let negative self-talk get in the way. Allow yourself to play with a new approach, medium, technique, or style by being willing to not have to make a masterpiece. You really can't fail, because you will always come away enhanced by the experience.

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