This week I discovered what this famous sentence by Shakespeare means for me. Special ‘not to be’. Why go with the flow is good for me and maybe also for you. And why setting goals doesn’t work for me and maybe also for you.
I heard it so often. You need to be in the moment. You need to go with the flow. But it were just words to me. I can see and feel the truth in it. But didn’t know how to practice it.
That is because I also hear: you have to set goals. You have to know where you are in one year, or in five years. That is what (business) coaches teach us. And I hope that works for a lot of people but I discovered that it doesn’t work for me.
It confuses me. It assumes that you can plan your life, that you can force what you want. And it also assumes that you know what you want and that you know what is good for you.
Well, my experience is that life isn’t predictable. Plans can be cancelled. I don’t know what is good for me. I made a lot of mistakes in that. And how can I know what I want over a year or over five years?
I only know what feels good for me now, today, this hour. Setting goals gives me stress, it makes me feel I have to do a lot instead of feeling the freedom to do want I want. What I want can be different every day. So I can’t make plans for next week because I don’t know if that is what I want next week. Making plans makes that I can’t feel or see what is in the moment, I can’t hear the whispers (my feelings) that tell me what to do. I lose contact with my intuition. Making plans makes me feel anxious about my abilities to achieve them.
Thinking about the future makes me feel as if today is not okay. As if I’m not okay. I have to be better, richer, more successful and so on.
All situations that I can call ‘not to be’.
I want to enjoy life now. I had my birthday last week. It is a good moment to let go all the expectations for the future and to do what I feel in the moment. And being curious about what it will bring me. I practiced it the last days and I feel amazing. I get more energy because I do whatever feels good to do. And yes vacuuming is part of that …
While writing this I realize that is how I make art. I don’t like to plan because it is boring and predictable. And it raise expectations that often fail. I love to surprise myself when I make art.
What I also love is to inspire people, specially creative people. Because when you create you are in the moment and you go with the flow…. You are = ‘to be’. And that feels amazing!
All the art on this page is made without a plan how it should look and without wanting it to be perfect. Just for having a good time.
Are you a doer, a feeler or a thinker and how can that knowledge help you as a maker when you start a project? Doing, thinking and feeling, we all do that during the creation process.
But we are from nature a doer or a feeler or a thinker. We all have our own approach to start a work.
A doer can’t wait to start. Listening to an explanation is hard. She has already the pencil or other tool in her hands to start. She likes to start without a plan. Only a roughly idea what she wants to make. Problems are being solved during the process. The outcome can be a surprise. Give her some materials and tools and she will make something. It is hard for her when she had to search for background information, reading how to do something, work according to a plan or when she has to practice before she can start her work.
A thinker likes to delve into the topic. To read, to surf the Internet, to try out, to formulate a concept. Before she starts she needs time to think about what she need to know, how she will approach the process and what she wants from the end results. She doesn’t like to start without some preparation time because she needs a plan before starting. She looks at all possibilities before making a decision. And the danger is that she doesn’t start the work at all.
A feeler can only start when she feels what she wants. When she feels inspired by a landscape, a flower or a face. She needs the right feeling before she can start. Only that will make her happy during creating. It is hard for her to follow a class which is given by a doer or a thinker. Because they work completely different. She needs space and time to work and to be able to stay in contact with her feeling. Working in a group can be challenging. Or making something that doesn’t feel right, that she doesn’t like.
It is confusing because we all do, think and feel during the making process. But it can be handy to know what the best start is for you. And to know why you struggle when you are forced to work in another way.
Do you recognize yourself in one of these descriptions?
If you have questions or comments please send a message.
Ps: in this video you can see me as a doer struggle with a concept (thinker) to make a illustration for this blog.
Je wilt iets tekenen maar weet niet wat, hoe kan je dat aanpakken?
Eén mogelijkheid is het internet!
Er is zoveel (betaald en onbetaald) te vinden online. Zelf zoek ik graag een teken of schilder tutorial op Youtube of zoek ergens een gratis les. Meestal geeft dat me genoeg houvast om aan de gang te gaan. En heel vaak leer ik er iets nieuws van.
Carla Sonheim is één van mijn favoriete leraren. Ze heeft heel veel lessen op haar site. Zowel van haar zelf als van andere kunstenaars. En ze heeft een heel aantal gratis lessen, super aantrekkelijk!
Cori Dantini is er één van. Ik ben een fan haar creatieve gezichtjes. Het was net de inspiratie die ik nodig had om weer met plezier gezichtjes te maken. Ik heb al op veel manieren portretten of gezichten gemaakt. Je ziet er hier een aantal. En ik merkte dat ik de laatste tijd niet meer zoveel plezier had in gezichten maken. Nu is dat terug.
Ik hoop dat jij hier ook geïnspireerd door raakt!
Dus als jij niet weet wat je zal gaan tekenen of schilderen geef ik als tip om eens bij Carla Sonheim te kijken. Of een Youtube tutorial te vinden. Maar pas op voor je het weet zit je alleen filmpjes te kijken en ben je nog niet aan het tekenen!
These faces are about emotions, as all of my work is. I’m really interested in emotions.
And how to draw them. But I find it difficult to draw an emotion on purpose. So I try to draw an interesting face. That is not difficult for me, I just exaggerate proportions and draw not perfect. That gives unique faces and expressions. And it also makes me curious about what is going to happens next. I love to work without a plan and surprise myself.
It is my intention to give the viewer a recognition, a smile or some other feeling. Because that makes art interesting.
I used Procreate on my IPad for these drawings, it is my most favorite digital drawing app. I cut out interesting vintage glasses and drew a face around them.
I’m not sure why I used a red cross. Just like it.
On FaceBook I asked what emotions people see in these faces and I love the answers. I want to share them.
Unhappy, tiredness, grumpy 2x, negativism- displeasure, …, listening to the news of number 3 and grimacing, disbelief, I had it!, embarrassed and sadness.
Hmmmmm, I’m thinking about something, surprised, bored, Scepticism – wonder – indifference, maybe.., listening to the news of number 3 and grimacing, doubtful, mischief, mmm, I’ll think about it, thinking and concern.
Happy/satisfied, again?, unsure, A shy happiness – mild amusement, appears to be enjoying a smug smile at her FB feed, in agreement but a bit dissatisfied, more difficult and confusing because of the masks (corona), ya right, I still have it, upset and happiness.
Surprised at what she is seeing, I heard this before…, inquisitive, Surprise, slight anxiety, determination of some sort…, listening to the news of number 3 and grimacing, catching some kids being naughty, more difficult and confusing because of the masks (corona),that’s it! Yup I’ve seen this before, surprised and curiosity.
Last year I joined the 100days project in 2018 with faces. I had really fun with it and I succeeded to make 100 faces. So this year I was a bit more ambitieus. I wanted to make 100 faces again but only of famous Dutch women. I wanted to paint them with watercolor. No digital faces. And I want to write a little biography of these women. You can find them on my instagram account
I was very excited and motivated when I started. Convinced that I could make a 100. Well by now I guess you know I failed… That make me think about my creating process. I love to start a new project, a new technique and I sometimes I make wild plans for series. But often I loss my interest halfway and find it hard to finish the project.
I know that of myself so I only start a project when I’m convinced that I want to finish it. And now I disappointed myself. I could make more of these faces. But my first rule of making art is that I really want to make it. Not for the result but for the joy of playing. And I know it shows when I don’t have fun while making it.
So that make me think what is the motivation to make art for me. One very important reason is being curious, what will happen if…. So the moment I know the technique or I know how my painting(s) will look, I have to motivate myself to finish it. When it is almost finished it is not too hard. But with these ladies, 79 to go…. you understand…
I guess that’s why I love to take lessons to discover new ways of making art. I want to surprise myself. I find that the greatest joy of making art. To start and not knowing what the end result will be. That is what happened with this painting/collage, I started making stains and now it is a kind of story.
Do you know what your motivation is for making art? I’m really curious about that. Please leave a comment. Thanks!
This week I made houses in an excellent lesson by Carla Sonheim. They ought to be open like dollhouses. The chambers are open and you can see all there is in the house. I made twelve mini houses.
I had fun searching, cutting and pasting. Adding lines was very satisfying. I fell in love with the farm with haystack (fourth upper left) and was happy. While scanning them and editing them in Photoshop I realize that all the houses have doors and they are not open at all.
So my art tells me that at this moment I have difficulties with being open. I want a door that I can close. Interesting…and I do recognize that. I feel a bit vulnerable these days. Without these houses I wouldn’t think about myself like that. I wouldn’t be aware that I have to take care of myself.
The next fun part was to make a big dollhouse. I printed familyphotos that I wanted to use. And I paid extra attention to make it an open house. Both houses where not easy but it was fun to make and I added some of the family photo’s who fitted the best. I was happy with them when they were finished. Until I realized with a shock that in both houses which contains pieces of my actual house and therefore are my houses my mother appeared.
I don’t want my mother in my house. You can see a house as metaphor of who you are. I didn’t think about that while making it. So it surprised me. I know I have to do some work literally and figuratively. That is what my art tells me. I will probably paste a photo of me over my mother. And may be give my mother her own house. It will take some time.
That is so strong about art! It tells you things about yourself that you don’t notice if you don’t take the time for it. And the most wonderful thing is that I believe that you are the greatest expert yourself to see what your art is telling you! When you are not sure or you don’t see it you can ask someone you really trust to look with you. You will learn to be the expert.
For #marchmeetthemaker2019 I made an Instagram post and it was very satisfying to collage a closed house where I have my own spot while being creative.
I finally finished my 30-daily Minimies. You can read about the start in this post.
I didn’t manage to do every day an illustration. It was much harder than the Robins. I don’t know why. So I made the last ones only when I was inspired. I really like this one I made after a visit at the Talens Experience in Apeldoorn. I was there on a day about Fiep Westendorp. I red two books about her work and noticed that there were some similarities in her work and my Minimie. (I don’t want to compare myself with her!) So I tried to make a Minimie in Fieps style with her dog Knor.
And I like Minimie dressed up as Pippi Longstocking. I love Pippi!
And this are all the 30 Mimimies. You can also find them on Instagram where you can see them better. What shall I do with them?
So many people do art challenges. I love to see them. And so I wanted a challenge for myself. But it had to be one that was fun and doable. I love robins, I see and hear them on a daily base when I walk with my dog. So I challenged myself to make 30 robins. The colors should match but that was easy because I used more or less the natural colors of a robin. And I want them in a square. I have to say these parameters arose during the making. Most challenges are 30 … in 30 days but I was afraid to put the pressure to hard so I decided to take as long as I need.
But I did 30 robins in 30 days, it was fun and I really enjoyed it! Also because my followers on Instagram and my friends on FaceBook where enthusiastic. And I love applause and support!
You can see an election robin which I made on election day in the Netherlands. I did two singing robins, I tried a Mondriaan robin. One is a photo I made last year, I edited the photo on Photoshop. You can find my thumb print, a garden robin and a embroidered robin. I have to confess I did that one with a marker on paper but is was so much fun to make the pattern for which I lent a photo from the internet. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I even sold this Robin to a woman whose name is Robin, isn’t that cool! I love that name for a woman.
And a very dear friend made a mug with the robins for me! I love it!
These are my favourite robins, do you have a favourite?