A Tale of Two YOUs: Should You Create Art In More Than One Style?

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Artwork by: Marisa D. Aceves. Figurative Landscape 1. enamel on canvas

Article by: Marisa D. Aceves 

It’s true that many artists choose to communicate exclusively in one particular style. 

This common practice is often suggested by many an art professor, gallery owner and online art marketing expert. 

In fact, they are right (well, in a way); your unique style is your brand.

It distinguishes you from other artists competing for the attention of the same established galleries, but what if after years of creating art in your chosen style, you realize that there is something missing?

When your normal burst of creativity seems unfulfilling, should you dare to consider the possibility of another style or medium?

You know instinctively, that you must succeed in marketing one style of work before you proceed, at least that is what the majority of us are led to believe.

An undeniable fear that often creeps up when considering this possibility is the question of wether the art that you are presently creating will suffer as a result of taking that scary but exciting detour.

I believe the answer depends on your answer to a simple question: Are you self-represented or are you gallery represented?

Gallery Representation

If you are gallery represented, the gallery where you signed your exclusive agreement may not want or permit you to sell or even create work in any other style than the one you have been producing. Remember that style together with content/subject matter equal brand.  The gallery uses your brand to sell your work to specific clients.  If the gallery is successful at selling your present brand of work, then they probably won’t share your passion for creating work that is unfamiliar to an established audience. In this case, it becomes a financial issue, as galleries only represent artists whose work they feel they can sell.  Many commercial galleries must make a certain amount of sales to stay open. Your work then is only relevant if it remains “recognizable” and “profitable”.

If you are currently represented by a gallery, I would advise you to check with your gallery to be sure that you understand the terms of your contract.

Self-Representation 

If you represent yourself, you are already becoming aware of the “jack of all trades” juggling act that you face as you have to take on both the advertising and marketing role of a gallery and the creative output of a productive artist. 

 As a self-represented artist, having to market two different styles of work, poses it’s own unique set of challenges.  It means that you have to do twice  the amount of advertising work as well as create significant bodies of work in each style.

Whatever choice that you make, whether you seek gallery representation or you decide to represent yourself, if you plan to create in more than one style, do your research.

So should you take on two markedly different styles?

The Agony of Defeating Yourself: 7 Warning Signs You’re Prone to Self-Sabotage

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Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 2 Valley 1. Digital Photography

 

You’ve been surfing the web and combing the pages of countless art publications looking for the perfect opportunity to showcase your work.

You know that you have a limited amount of time to get your jpegs and artist statement together to send to a handful of promising juried exhibitions.

As you prepare your entry, you can feel the anxiety begin to build.

Will it be good enough?

Do you have enough experience?

Have you met the requirements for each competition?

One little doubt is added to another and another. 

Then, just when you’ve begun the baby steps to reaching your goal of increased visibility you do something stupid…

…something completely and totally irrational….

You decide not to enter.

The opportunity is gone within a couple of days, but the self-loathing and internal brow-beating can go on for weeks. 

Finally, you come to realize one small yet important fact that you have deliberately chosen to ignore: You’re your own worst enemy.

We want good things for ourselves; We have an innate desire to share our work with others. So why do we consistently do things to kill our chances for success?

There are as many different reasons for engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors as there are self-sabotaging behaviors. Self-sabotage in the arts in not a unique phenomenon. It seems to cross professions and is an otherwise equal opportunity problem.  

So how do we know if we have a tendency to self-sabotage and what can we do to address it . Here are seven warning signs that you may have a problem with self-defeating behaviors:

1. Procrastination- We have all been a party to procrastination at one point or another.  However, when it becomes a habit and an excuse to avoid things and people associated with our job (that make us uncomfortable) it can keep us from the work we need to put in to achieve our career goals. If you know that procrastination is a problem, write a list of all of the goals that you would like to achieve.  Break these goals into smaller tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed.  Set up a daily and weekly schedule for working on these smaller tasks. If it helps, keep a monthly calendar with the tasks for that particular day written in the space for each day of the month.  If it is a social problem and you are avoiding seeing people within your industry, friends and family, try to take small steps to expose your self to more people. Join a local arts council etc. Learn from good friends who can help you understand how to successfully communicate with people.

2. Negative Self-Defeating Thought Patterns- Sometimes we punish ourselves when things don’t go our way (opportunities fall through), people we love disappoint us, or we simply fear the unknown.  The problem with repeating negative thoughts about ourselves and our situation/s is that eventually, we start to believe our own hype and those destructive thoughts eventually become actions. Generally, the negative self-sabotaging thoughts we have about ourselves have a deeper underlying cause that we need to address. Try to find out the real reasons for your negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities. Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of rejection? Once you are able to positively identify the areas that are emotionally difficult for you, you can begin to make a plan to move forward in these areas so that they no longer serve as emotional triggers. 

3. Difficulty Handling Emotional Stress- When people correct you or make negative or hurtful comments do you automatically become defensive? Do you make excuses or shutdown?  These could be signs that you have difficulty handling emotional stress.  Instead of falling into self-destructive habits like drugs, alcohol etc. to deal with the emotional stress, consider this: Is their criticism valid?  Who is making the negative comments and why?  We can never completely avoid emotionally stressful situations. All we can do is learn to deal with them in a positive, mature manner. There may be times, when we have to fix a problem that is due to our own lack or responsibility. Other times, the problem lies with the individual or individuals making the negative comments; it is not our problem to fix.

4. Dysfunctional Relationships- As I have mentioned before in a previous post on stress, there are some people who care more about themselves than they do about you. Their negative decisions and self-destructive behaviors can often effect you and the way that others see you.  In the course of your relationship with them, you find that you are spending all of your time trying to fix their problems instead of working to solve your own.  This game can lead to a load of resentment.  Sometimes, we want influential friends or a career affiliation so badly, our “neediness” makes us an easy target for abusers and users.  Inside we feel that  something is wrong, but we purposefully ignore the warning signs. There is also a reverse example of the aforementioned negative relationship, where we have unrealistic expectations of the people that we know and love.  We may place an unnecessary burden on them to “keep us happy at all times”. When this scenario inevitably fails, we lose our cool and they lose us permanently.  Don’t rely on others to make you feel loved, happy or worthy. Treat others with love and respect. When they don’t reciprocate, politely and calmly wish them well and let them go on their way. 

5. Entertaining Negative Past Events That Make You Angry-  Constantly reliving the past doesn’t give you hope for the future.  What has happened has happened. It is officially over.  To allow yourself to remain angry about something that has happened in the past automatically gives that past event or person unnecessary control over you and your future happiness. Whenever you find that this is happening, move from where you are.  Try to engage in another activity like reading or a hobby that you enjoy. Watch a television program that you like. Call a good friend or family member on the phone and start a great conversation.  Do not allow yourself to entertain these past events.  Calmly tell yourself that the problematic situation has already occurred; you are not going back in time to fix it. Tell yourself that you have already decided to move on. If this method doesn’t work try writing down the reasons why that particular situation made you angry? On paper tell the person or persons involved what you would have wanted to tell them.  Don’t hold back.  Now rip the paper into shreds and toss it in the trash. Give yourself permission to let it go forever.  It may take some time and practice at first, but all unprofitable habits can be conquered with time and effort.

6. You Blame Others- Sometimes, it really is their fault. Other times, it is simply our own lack of action or bad habits that eventually bring us down.  If we continue to blame others for our problems, we develop a bitter victim mentality.  It gives us the perfect excuse to avoid the change we need to make a difference in our lives.  

7. Inability To Commit To Specific Goals- We all face an uncertain future.  No one really knows what will happen tomorrow, but if we work hard and prepare we have a better chance of succeeding.  Often we find that at the core of inaction is fear.  We can experience fear about the future or about wether or not we can meet the goals we set. Nevertheless, we have to define our goals anyway so that we know were we want to go and what we want to achieve. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your work. Boldly set about making a list of goals you would like to achieve. Be realistic with a keen understanding of your present abilities and knowledge. Place these goals in an area where you can see them so that you are constantly reminded of your intentions. While your goals may change over time, it is good to have your goals in front of you.  In this way, you can monitor your actions to see if they are helping or keeping you from reaching your goals.  

While this article doesn’t  begin to cover all of the self-sabotaging behaviors that exist, it does help to identify some common ones that may be directly effecting your business.  Like many other problems, time, consistency and patience pay off.

 

 

20 Strategies for Overcoming Stress in Your Art Career

2121211There’s nothing like coming up with something that is considered wonderfully creative (maybe even genius), but what happens when stress from outside factors gives your otherwise squeaky wheel of creativity a swift kick in the rear?

 

Many of us would prefer to avoid the topic of stress because basically, it stresses us out. However, coming to terms with job related stress is a necessity for our mental health, physical health and the health of our business.

 

Coming up with a helpful list of creative solutions to combat art job stressors ensures that everyday annoyances and career disappointments won’t get the best of you.  Keeping a list of de-stressors available doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it simply means you’re organized, self-aware and prepared to deal with life’s unexpected complications.  Here are 20 strategies to help you overcome negative stress and set you bacon the road to calm, clear and creative:

 

1) Refuse to fret needlessly over things you can’t control – We cannot always determine the outcome of certain events. While showing up prepared to meet life’s challenges increases you chances of success, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll always win the prize.  Do your part to the best of your ability. Then make the conscious decision to focus on something else.

 

2) Go ahead and take the occasional break; it won’t kill you – Some of us agree to become workaholics because we have fallen into the false belief that if we allow ourselves a little break, people will think that we’re lazy.  Slacking off aside, proper breaks often help to you to “reassess the situation” so that you can approach your work with a fresh perspective

 

3) Quit playing the Comparison Game- Not everyone’s circumstances, level or talent or experience is the same. So why even go there.  Instead focus on learning valuable skills to help you improve.  Each day, approach things with your best effort.

 

4) Don’t take on too many commitments- Consider the amount of work you can safely handle without if affecting the quality of your work, health or relationships.

 

5) Rely on the support of friends and family- Don’t neglect the people that are there to encourage you.  Knowing that there are other people that have at one time, shared your aggregation helps you to realize that you are not alone.

 

6) Don’t let others put unnecessary pressure on you or steal your joy- Sure their are bullies out there in every nook, cranny and profession, but why give them your day or your week.  People have their own agendas.  It is very easy to sucked into their manipulations, but is it good for you? Learn to politely say no to things and people that you know will harm not help you.

 

7) Stop sharing your problems with people you don’t know- Sometimes we set ourselves up by giving others the ammunition to use against us.  Remember that art is often a “cutthroat business”.  Sadly, some people will use your weaknesses, worries, and fears against you.  They naturally do what they believe is necessary for their own survival and benefit, not yours.  With the exception of sharing with the most trusted family members,friends and professionals, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.

 

8) Curb multi-tasking; it’s overrated- Everyone loves to say I accomplished all these things in a short space of time, but when the quality of your work and relationships suffer, it’s time to slow down and cut the number of tasks that you normally perform in half.

 

9) Don’t get stuck in the past, stay in the present- So many of us operate on what we used to know rather than on what we currently experience on a daily basis. If “old tapes” from the past are preventing you from making better decisions in the present (ex decisions that have the potential to move your career forward), mentally seal these negative thoughts in a time capsule, bury it, and never look back.

 

10) Concentrate on learning, not winning- When you concentrate on learning concepts instead of always winning prizes or accolades, you remove the emotional stress of always having to best others as well as yourself. The positive result of this is that doing so can add additional interest, vitality and depth to your artistic vision.

 

11) Don’t forget to ask for help-  It’s O.K. to pass certain tasks on to others that can do these tasks faster and more efficiently. Then, you can dedicate more time to your art and your business plan.

 

12) Don’t place all of your hopes and dreams into one possibility-  This could be a recipe for depression if you’re fist plan goes bust.  Instead, concentrate on coming up with more than one plan, gradually adjusting to life’s challenges.  In other words, be flexible.

 

13) Stop missing out on sleep- Getting some much needed “shut eye” decreases stress and helps to improve your overall well-being.  When you suffer from lack of sleep, social, physical, and cognitive abilities are impaired. Sleep makes you more productive.

 

14) Don’t focus on all the things that could go wrong; instead plan ahead- Expect the unexpected and make plans for how to deal with difficult situations that might arise.

 

15) Address the areas that are causing you stress- For example, if you stress over money, try to come up with a budget.  If you stress over transportation, research the different modes of transportation in your area.  When you begin to see that their are reasonable solutions to your problems, your stress level diminishes.

 

16) Encourage others and encourage yourself- When you help others as well as yourself, it improves your mood and outlook.

 

17) Don’t try to do things all at once- Breakup large tasks into smaller goals so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

 

18) Don’t be oversolicitous- Helping others is admirable, but when you take it to the extreme, you become “wait-staff” minus the paycheck.  People begin to disrespect you and even take advantage of you.  This can lead to excess pressure and resentment as you begin to feel used and unloved. Be generous with your time and gifts, but don’t become a doormat for users and career opportunists. Let others know you have limits.

 

19) Spend more time with positive, caring people- Their positive outlook and behavior will rub off on you and eventually become a good habit.

 

20) Avoid users and narcissists- When you invite users and the self-obsessed into your life, the only thing you find time for is them. The only thing they find time for is them. See the pattern. Treat them with respect, but don’t get involved.

 

Keep these items close at hand. Use them as an important part of your de-stress arsenal.  If you feel yourself slipping back into old habits, don’t fall into self-blame. Reconsider the situation. Respond accordingly and get back on track.  Remember that positive life changes take time.

It’s All YOUR Fault!!!: 20 Smart Ways to Stop The Self-Blame Game Before It Ruins Your Health and Your Creative Business

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It’s 3 O’ clock in the morning.  Why aren’t you sleeping?

 

Your mind is racing. Thought after negative thought enters your head like bullets riddling the side of a car during a shootout.

 

That last client thought you were an idiot; if you had just finished that second degree, you’d have made the sale.

 

You’re too slow when it comes to finishing your work; if you could only whip out ten great projects a day, then you’d be productive.

 

You’re so shy you’d rather read a book then start a conversation; if you just had more confidence and could make friends easily, then everyone you did business with would like you.

 

The emotional blows and the mental needling go on like this for hours and hours, destroying your self-esteem and making you feel like the biggest loser on the planet.

 

All you want to do is stay alive,…at least long enough to finish you latest creative project, but every emotion in you wants to tell you it’s not going to make a difference.

 

You’ll still be that failure that get zero results, a miserable self-blamer who get blamed for everything.

 

Tossing and turning you try desperately to stop thinking about all of your perceived failures but. . . . .

 

after all of this, you still can’t escape the inescapable conclusion . . . .

 

It’s all YOUR fault!!!

 

So when you wake up from yet another unproductive night of restlessness and insomnia you begin to wonder . . .

 

Will I ever succeed?

 

By now you desperately want an escape from the constant feelings of isolation and despair, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. . .

 

Feelings lie.

 

That’s right, feelings lie and so do many of the flawed thoughts that cause them.

 

While it’s difficult to get away from the negative thought patterns that keep you in a perpetual state of “self-blame”, dealing with them is absolutely vital for your physical and psychological health as well as the health of your business.

 

What if somehow, you could actually get a good night’s sleep!

 

Seem impossible?

 

Trust me, it’s not.

 

What if their was a way to stop the negative thought patterns that cause you to participate in your own “self-blame game”?

 

Well, there’s actually more than one way to stop the vicious “self-blame game” in it’s tracks before you start to believe your own negative hype!

 

Here are 20 suggestions for defeating the “self-blame” beast before it get’s the best of you.

 

1) Admit that you have a problem – When you admit that you have a problem with self-blame you bring the problem to the surface. It is no longer hidden. Now you can figure out how to deal with the areas that trigger your depression.

 

2) Identify the problem areas that cause you to self-blame – Make a list of all of the areas that cause you stress.

 

3) Create a “plan of action” –  After you have created a list of the things that are bothering you, do some research. Create small goals/steps  for dealing with each problem.

 

4) Adjust your dietA diet full of preservatives and artificial flavors can sometimes have an affect on a person’s moods and overall well-being.

 

5) Remind yourself of all of the areas in which you excelMake a list of all the areas in which you do succeed.  Maybe you’re good at sports.  Maybe you’re funny. When you check the list of the skills that you do possess, this will help you counteract the negative feelings that you get when you sense that you lack an important skill.

 

6) Learn a new skill or do an activity that involves problem solving –  Activities that involve problem solving actually engage left-brain activity.  Engaging left-brain activity helps to quiet the emotional right-brain response to everyday disappointments.

 

7) Ask a trusted friend or family member for additional support – A trusted friend or family member can help give you a different perspective as to the true extent of you problems.  Sometime’s we tend to over exaggerate or blow things out of proportion.

 

8) Read trade magazines and journals – Trade magazines and journals are a great way to check out insider advice on how to solve common business problems that the majority of people face at some point in their careers.  It always helps to know that others have gone before and faced the same or similar obstacles.

 

9) Seek help from a counselor or business consultantCounselors can help you get to the root of why you self-blame. Business consultants can help you to approach those areas of your business that are lacking or are weak.  These are the areas that probably trigger self-blame the most since many people’s feelings of failure are often tied into performance and competence.

 

10) Talk to other business owners and clients – Like trade journals, other business owners in a particular creative niche can provide much needed advice on how to solve the business problems that keep you up at night. Clients can tell you what is both positive and negative about your business practices so that you can begin to make improvements.

 

11) Find support groups – It is important to know that you are not alone.  After all there are others out there that suffer from the same insecurities that you do.  Knowing that you have a group of people that can support you that you in turn can support  helps to improve you outlook on life and can help to alleviate situational depression.

 

12) Change your outlookTry to focus on the “blessings” or positive aspects of your life.  What are you grateful for?

 

13) Do small tasks or choresTending to  small tasks or chores that you can finish easily gives you a sense of accomplishment.  It gives you the sense that you are moving forward.

 

14) Learn from other peopleObserve, learn and emulate people who are good in the areas in which you are having difficulty.  You may not come out an expert, but you will eventually learn something valuable that you can apply to your business practice.

 

15) Volunteer to work with a charitySelf-Blame at it’s core is in fact a self-centered activity. Volunteering to help others takes you away from yourself and your problems.

 

16) Attend a creative business workshopWorkshops are great for helping entrepreneurs think outside the box.  Maybe if you approached your problems from a different angle, you could begin to see the possibilities instead of focusing on the obstacles.

 

17) Listen and participate in a webinar or tele-summit  – Webinars and tele-summits can offer helpful advice on common business problems. The Q&A part of webinars and summits also allow you to contact the professional directly even if you don’t live in the same state.

18) Join local business groupsLocal business groups are a great way to access help, advice and support within your community.  They are also useful for making contacts and networking. The more people you know, the easier it is to help your business grow.

 

19) Participate in an online forumOnline forums are yet another type of community setting in which forum members can ask appropriate questions of other members that are more experienced in certain areas of business.  You may find that you can help to answer other members questions as well. Knowing that you can help someone else with their problems helps you to feel more confident and increases your self-esteem.

 

20) Spend time with friends and family – Finally, don’t forget to spend quality time with family and friends. No, we are not perfect, but it’s nice to know that despite our many faults, there are people that both love and care for us.

Here are some additional resources for overcoming self-blame:) 

1) Steps to Stop Blaming Yourself – http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15455/1/Steps-to-Stop-Blaming-Yourself.html

2) Avoid All Forms of Self-Rejection: Stop Blaming Yourself – Beyond Blue – http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2010/05/avoid-all-forms-of-self-reject.html

 

This Blog’s For YOU!!!

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Sensations Bath Landscape Series Check it out at http://acevesart.com/

I’ve thought about making several changes to this blog, but I’d like as many suggestions as possible as to what you’d like to see.

What exactly do you need from this blog?

While I’ve covered many different topics, I know that there are some that have not been addressed.

Many people have searched for the answers to certain questions, but they have not found a blog that covers the information that they are looking for!

Remember that this blog is for you!

Hey guys, I need all the help I can get; any suggestions for improving this blog are welcome!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magic Formula For Success: Does It Exist?

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Marisa D. Aceves. Spectrum 3. Digital Photography

Everyone searches for that elusive ‘formula for success’.

At some point in our lives we all entertain the big ‘If ‘.

Many of us want to believe:

If we just read a certain book about marketing, we will understand the secret to selling our unique brand of art.

If we just take this SEO seminar on how to optimize our website, everyone looking to buy our work will suddenly find us on the internet.

If we just purchase this social media package for $99.99, we will become a ‘social media rockstar/artstar’.

If we just work hard to attract the attention of this one particular gallery, we will finally get that life-changeing/career-making show that we’ve always dreamed of.

If only…if…if …if

We cannot live our lives counting on the next ‘If ‘  to change what we don’t like about ourselves, or our art career.

Yes, hard work, discipline, proper planning and solid marketing will increase our chances of success, but they do not guarantee that it will occur.

Sadly, those of us looking for guarantees and magic formulas will find that there are none.

What we might ask ourselves if we happen to encounter anxiety about the relative uncertainty of our chosen profession is “Why am I creating art in the first place?” and “What do I consider success?”

 

 

 

 

How To Make Sure Procrastination Doesn’t Keep You From Your Best Work

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Marisa D. Aceves. Object 180. digital photography.

For additional examples of my work, check out the my website at http://www.acevesart.com/

Deep down inside, we all know we have to “get to work” to make our creative business a reality.

While many of us could come up with a variety of well worn excuses for why we can’t or shouldn’t work, work is necessary in order to create a sellable product.

However, when we work feverishly without rest, we can over think a problem and inadvertently “destroy” what is beautiful about our art.

So how can we avoid this aggravating situation and still remain productive in our studio?

What is the difference between “stepping away” from our work and “procrastination”?

When we “step away” from our work, we are simply taking some much needed time to properly assess whether or not certain elements of our work are coming together to form a successful, complete piece.

We can ask ourselves questions like:

a) Does the work reflect what we initially set out to say?

b) What can we correct about the piece?

c) What part of our work needs to remain intact?

“Stepping Away” is definitely a time for both proper judgement and reflection. It is different than procrastination because it serves a purpose. It is a brief, meaningful rest before you return to work; it is a momentary vacation not an eternal vacation.

The evil twin sister of “stepping away” is procrastination.

Webster’s dictionary defines procrastination as “The act or habit of procrastinatingor putting off to a future timedelaydilatoriness.”  

 “Procrastination” convinces us that we need to take a longer break than we really need.

Pretty soon everything else we’d rather be doing instead immediately takes priority over the hard work we must do in order to accomplish our artistic goals.

So how do we stop “procrastination”?

Here are some tips for how to avoid procrastination while allowing yourself some “stepping away” time.

1. Admit that you have a problem with procrastination 

Admitting that you have a tendency to procrastinate is key to addressing how to stop this common “time-stealing” habit.

2. Deal with the reason/s why you procrastinate 

There are several reasons why people procrastinate.  Your reason/s for procrastinating may be different than you neighbors’, but the point is that you understand why you procrastinate so you can address these issues.

Here are some common reasons for procrastination:

a) Fear – Sometimes we fear rejection if we perceive that people won’t like our work. We may fear tasks that require technical expertise that we do not yet possess or understand so we put them off. If we never put our work on display so that the public can view it, no one know that our work exists. If we fear complicated technical tasks that we do not understand, it is better to ask for help in these areas so that we don’t miss out on the opportunity to expose our work to different audiences on different platforms.

b) Lack of Motivation or Inspiration – We may procrastinate believing that we need to ‘feel’ motivated or inspired to work on our art or creative business, but this simply is not the case. Avoidance tactics based on depression only leads to more depression because we have not made any attempts or taken any small steps to complete our goals. We are still in effect right where we started.

c) Low-Self Confidence – If we are not very confident in our abilities to perform a task or learn a new skill, we may consistently put important tasks off rather than face personal failure. Confidence is increased with familiarity. Once we become more familiar with a task, we become more confident in our abilities to complete that particular task.  When we continue to avoid the tasks we know we need to face, we never gain the skills that are necessary for success in whatever area we wish to pursue.

d)Perfectionism- We all would like to experience the joy of being considered an expert in something.  Many of us want to do the very best that we can. However when we set expectations that are too high for our skills at the time, we may find ourselves procrastinating because we believe that if we can’t do it like the experts, it’s just not worth doing.  This belief is both false and detrimental because you don’t become an expert without time and practice. We are all beginners at one point in our lives. There is no shame in admitting this.

3. Create a work schedule – Creating a work schedule helps you to organize the tasks ahead so that you do not become overwhelmed with what you have to do during the day, week, and month.  When you know what you are going to be doing at a certain time of the day, this lessens your anxiety and fear.

4. Divide large tasks into small actionable goals – Breaking large goals up into smaller goals helps you to both gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment.  As you begin to achieve each small task, you gain confidence and your depression about not getting things done begins to lift.

 5. Set up a specific time for each task – When you set a specific time for each task, you make yourself accountable for getting to work in that period of time. As you work, you will notice how you use your time, you can then address how you can improve time management issues.

While “procrastination” can seem like an insurmountable problem, with a positive attitude and a willingness to address the issue, you can overcome it.

 

Artist Sources: Procrastination Info 

1. Procrastination Help :: How to Stop Procrastinating

2. Procrastination Help Courses

3. Stop Procrastinating – The 21 Day Program to Break The Habit 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fastest Way To Nowhere: Creating Without Intention

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Marisa D. Aceves. Satellite 3: Uncharted Landscape: Dune 1. Digital Photography. 2014

Check out the rest of the Satellite 3 Series at http://www.acevesart.com/

Let’s face it, when it comes to creating art, sometimes we encounter a serious mental or emotional block.

When we’re desperate for answers to our general lack of enthusiasm and productivity, we search the internet for websites, blogs, art magazines etc. that are willing to address this issue.

Eventually, we discover a general pattern in the advice that we receive from some of these sources.

This particular advice is as follows: “Always show up each day to work in your studio. Don’t be afraid to play with your materials to get over the fear of creating art.”

However helpful this advice may seem, it is only useful if you consider one very important point:

All the playing and experimenting in the world won’t help you unless you create with intention.

What is “creating with intention?”

When you create with intention, you create with a specific artistic goal in mind before you begin experimenting with your materials.

This particular goal will help you to define how and in what way you play and experiment with your materials.

For example, let’s say that you want to create a series of  urban landscape paintings, but you are unsure as to what colors that you want to use. You might play/experiment with color scheme in order to decide what type of mood that you wanted to convey with your work.  Executing small painting studies with several different variations of either warm or cool colors might help you to achieve this goal.  Painting studies might also be used to determine which composition you find most interesting or pleasing etc.

In these two examples, “playing/experimenting” would be considered effective in determining the final version of  your urban landscape paintings.

In the above example, I used painting, but this same concept could be applied to a variety of different mediums, sculpture, photography, drawing and digital art.

There are some people who say that it is “freeing and fun” to just paint or create without any worry or concern about the end result, but I disagree with them. Sooner or later, you will be driven to seek meaning and purpose in your work.

When you finally do decide to create work that you want to share with the world, you will find that you can’t do so without both an adequate understanding of the basic foundations of all successful art (line, form, shape, composition, etc.) and a specific goal in mind.

Creating without intention is to create without purpose.  While that may have it’s momentary joys, creating with intention, (though sometimes challenging) is far more rewarding.

If you have any questions about this post please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

The Thing That Tics Me Off The Most : Internet Conmen

Abstract photo of a piece of designer soap 3

 

*Author’s Special Note:  Legitimate content marketers, businessmen and women who sell great products and write helpful articles should not think that I am targeting this rant towards them.  I am not.  Only I am sick and tired of all of the charlatans and conmen that give anyone even trying to run a legitimate business a bad name.  They populate the internet spreading their dangerous seeds of deception, living off the backs of desperate people.  Quite frankly, they deserve to know that consumers do not appreciate their scams or improper use of internet real-estate .

 

Advice should be helpful.

When you look for information about how to increase your business outreach using social media, how to increase blog traffic to your site or how to sell your art and creative product/s you just want to know one thing….

Is there anybody out there that understands your  individual frustrations, your perceived internet marketing agony!

There’s nothing like searching all over the internet for that special bit of information that you hope is going to change your world immediately.

The scenario almost always begins like this: You spot what appears to be a helpful article on the first two pages of a search.

This article speaks to you and appeals to your need to solve a marketing problem that you just can’t seem to grasp.

It has a juicy, irresistibly clickable headline ..so you click the attached link in the hopes that this time,

you’ve found something both useable and shareable.

Ahhhhhhhh…….dream on folks. The majority of the time, what you receive in return for your click is just more of the same advice that you’ve read a hundred other places.

If it is useful information, it is either cloaked in metaphor and symbolism or it uses technical language and involves plug-ins that will take a week or more for the average person to figure out (in both cases, you need an interpreter).

So what are we to do?

Stop reading and tweeting it!

Knowing all of this, how many times have you tweeted these cryptic articles anyway just to fill somebodies “tweet something useful” advice.

“Well, I’ve got to tweet something,” you say to yourself, but really you know darn well that it won’t help your business campaign or bring people to your website. The only one benefitting from your social media sharing is the  person that originally posted the article.

These experts of persuasion successfully convince you that somehow by continuing to follow their advice, that you too (with enough hard work and dedication) can experience similar financial independence.

It sounds like yet another pyramid scheme, doesn’t it.

While you look like a social media dummy, they levitate over everyone else’s heads, whirling about some karmic poppy field..occasionally touching down to bless their dutiful subjects/followers with bits of wisdom and the occasional nudge -wink of encouragement.

Sometimes, they will pull out a chosen apprentice or two that they strategically plucked from the internet trenches as a sort of testimonial to their coaching success.

Ask yourself, if taking their advice and applying it in real time was that easy wouldn’t everyone else be in the same position????

There is another thing that people willing to take their advice might want consider : If they give out all the information about how they became successful at what they do, wouldn’t they be giving away that steady, reliable source of income by increasing their competition?

Why would they do that?

Maybe the source of their income is the people buying their packages which gives them a cut.

While there is nothing wrong with paying them for their research, you need to go in with “Your eyes wide open.”

Are they aware of some secret knowledge that the rest of us do not have access to?

Hmmm…maybe…  or perhaps they’re just excellent copywriters who know how to capture your attention and make you believe that they have something special to give you that you just can’t get any place else.

But can you?

Yes you can, it’s just not always going to be presented in as entertaining a format.

Right about now, you are probably asking yourself, where can I get truly helpful information that doesn’t just entertain me and convince me the same information I’ve been receiving is some new insight?

Good question.

Let me get back to you on that one.

I have a feeling that if I do find the answer, it will ultimately end up sounding something like this…

There are several helpful articles on the internet with great insight, but the people writing them are not always the most articulate or the most computer savvy.  Many still struggle with how to write strong copy, as this is a skill that requires a great deal of practice.  Finding them is like finding a needle in a haystack because they still haven’t figured out how to optimize their blog for search engines. Nevertheless, useful content does exist for your business, it just does’t always come in the sleekest of packages.

Remember there’s a lot of good advice out there, just don’t be so desperate to make next month’s light bill that you forget that success happens over time not overnight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know yourself?

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Marisa D. Aceves. Object 180. Digital Photography.

Check out the rest of my series at http://www.acevesart.com/

Our success depends largely on how we define it.

How we define success is based on how well we know ourselves.

If what we are trying to say with our artwork fails to resonate with others, perhaps it is because we are holding back who we truly are……..

…or who we truly are has yet to be discovered.

 In any case, we shouldn’t let society determine our self-worth.  When we do this, we fall into the people pleasing game. Therefore, we please  no one.  We are never satisfied with what we say or what we do. Our whole identity is dependent on what others think or believe.  The tragic result is that we live our whole lives according to someone else’s flawed definition of excellence.  We hate every moment of it.  Soon we find we lose the joy we once had in connecting with others through our unique creative expression.  We would rather be the genius of others we admire.  Over time, we find we have unceremoniously given away the wonderful childlike trust we had in our natural ability to problem solve creatively. One thing that I have learned over the years is that if it doesn’t feel genuinely “YOU,” it probably isn’t.  Yes, we can and should respect and nurture the talents of others (as well as our own), but we should never try to be them. At the most it will backfire on us and everyone will discover we have been lying to ourselves and others; at the very least we will live our entire lives as the person we wished we were believing that others only want the “persona” we agreed to create.

You can hide behind and sell a “persona”.

Many have done this successfully, but at what cost.  Some say it can be done as easily as you can create a “pin name” and sell a different kind of work under that name.

It is possible to  sell a different type of work under a different name and not lose yourself, but only if you know yourself.  The challenge for many artists and creative marketers is to know who we “truly” are. Once we are comfortable with ourselves, then we will eventually find the audience that appreciates what we do and the services we offer.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you!