Posts tagged artist talk
I cannot be a great mom and a great artist.

This is a major limiting believe that I have carried with me the past 10 years, or maybe lifetime.

I cannot be a brilliant and prolific artist as well as an attentive and nurturing mother.

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My career as an artist began, with motherhood. Before this, I taught art for 5 years, ran an online vintage shop, and lead creative workshops. But not until 3 years ago, while pregnant with Vigo, did I start painting for me and selling my work. Upon becoming a mother I became an ‘real’ artist.

I don’t yet know where this belief came from, I may have to seek counselling on the subject. There is a pressure for mothers in general to always be present with their children. To be there for them all the time. There is also a strong natural inclination to do so.

But as a working mama, who wants to thrive at my job and passion and in motherhood, I consistently am confronted with this self doubt about whether I am falling short in both respects.

“I cannot,'“ is just not true. Now, I have decided that I can…

What could this look like, what could being a great mom and a great artist look like? This is what I began imagining…

-I take chunks of time in the studio to perfect my craft and build a body of work. Ideally at least 3 days a week. Sharing the childcare time with my husband Dominik.

-I make beautiful work that is unique to me, that speaks to and moves people. That adds beauty to this life and (at times) bleak world.

-I make a good living as a visual artist, I could do what I love and support my family. We could be flexible and free in our lifestyle and I could be making and selling art to pay all our expenses.

-I want to be WITH my children. Enjoying and delighting in them when we spend time together.

-My children (1 child so far) are so beautiful and fun. I want to savour my time with them, especially when they are so small, cuddly and their brains are making millions of new connections a day.

-Let go of MOM GUILT and know that I am most happy when I am both working in the studio and spending time with my babies. If I were a full-time stay-at-home-mama, I would be pretty miserable. A happy, healthy, and balanced mama is of great benefit to my offspring. A miserable and overwhelmed mama who is around all the time, would not be best for their little hearts’ and brains’ maturity.


I am so grateful to share the parenting role 50/50 with my husband. This has freed me up to really take time with my son Vigo as well as put in good and consistent hours in my studio and art career. What a dream scenario.


My limiting belief is being dismounted and a few of my goals for this coming year are to…

  • Be present and active with my boys (yes we are having another boy.)

  • Take time to make, prioritise my studio practice.


Wish me luck! I’ve been practicing this the past two years, with Vigo, but I am so excited and delighted to add a new baby to our lives and see how we can make this work, while having two small children in our home and lives.

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What is a limiting belief that you believe? Imagine the possibilities if this were possible. What would it look like? It is possible.

Decide that you can.


Thanks for reading lovelies.


Anna

The Artist's Way: 5 Ways I've changed
TheArtistsWayArtistRecovery

I've been reading and working through this book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It's an artist recovery program. It's supposed to take 12 weeks. Whoops. I started it in august last year and am on "Week 11" now. It's been an incredible journey to recover my creative self. I would recommend this course/program to anyone who feels blocked as an artist. Anyone who wants to take time to make and discover/recover your artist.

One of the tasks for this week is to list 5 ways I have changed since beginning my recovery:

A painting is never finished- it simply stops in interesting places.
— Paul Gardner
  1. I have practiced making work consistently. Before the program I was making, but I hadn't been making consistently since college, 8 years ago! Yikes. This is because my day job has fallen away and I have taken the time to make. I also have been diminishing my inner perfectionist, and seeing my work as a practice, without the pressure for perfection. Calling works done when they reach an interesting point.
  2. I now call myself an artist. I have never been able to call myself an artist. I was always a creative person. I was an art teacher. I was an art major. But never an ARTIST.. Now, I can say and believe that I am an artist. It's a big step. You other artists know what I'm talking about!
  3. I have sold over 15 works. I hadn't sold any work for 8 years either and this past 7 months I have sold over 15 paintings. That's something to be proud of. It's an honor to have people start and add to their art collections with my work.
  4. I have begun nurturing my artist. In this 12 week (step) recovery program Julia Cameron encourages us to do morning pages, 3 pages of writing, and taking our artist on weekly "artist dates." Artist Dates are special times where you do something with and for your artist. Taking quality time for your artist and pampering her. Before the program and often still, I am quite cruel to my artist. Saying negative things and doubting myself. But nurturing this artist and speaking kindly to her, has really helped me to begin to flouish. (haha. so cheesy but seriously!)
  5. I have been feeling less guilt about living the life I want to live. I have major guilt about being an artist. My whole life I have had immense pressure, mostly from myself to be altruistic. I always believed that being selfless is the best and most rewarding way to live. It turns out, for me, that nurturing myself and living the life I want to live as an artist is nothing to feel guilty about, because in turn I am filled up enough to give back.

I am by no means finished with my recovery. I have however made amazing progress. I doubted I would even finish this self-help book/program. Writing my morning pages is something that I love to do and has become quite meditative. It has unblocked me in many ways. Seeing the change in me throughout The Artist's Way has kept me coming back. I have one more week to complete the course and I am proud I have made it this far, but most proud of how much I have changed.

Five ways I want to change further:

  1. prioritize making art above house chores.
  2. be open to new medium for making my work and avenues of selling and getting my stuff out there
  3. continue doing morning pages, first thing in the morning
  4. actually take my artist on frequent dates
  5. Believe that being a prolific and brilliant artist is the best thing for me, my family, freinds, and the universe.

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna

P.S. Thank you Julia Cameron for your inspiring guidance!

Creative habits for the Effective Artist of the 21st Century
 Dominik and I were talking about what creative habits we want to foster in the next months and so we began to compile this list.

We plan on living by these and hope they are useful and inspiring to you!


  1. Never start before you are ready.
  2. Always aim for perfection
  3. Check facebook (real quick).
  4. If you are unsure how, don’t.
  5. Let your instincts guide you. Never plan it out.
  6. Make sure all your loved one’s needs and wants are met first.
  7. Nutrition is key. Only begin after cooking an elaborate healthy meal.
  8. Now wash the dishes.
  9. If the first attempt is a failure, it’s probably not worth your time and trouble.
  10. Share your process with others. Post a selfie on instagram before you start.
  11. Check the music/art store for new materials you might want to use for your next project.
  12. Be an expert. Watch as many tutorials on the subject as you can find.
  13. Spend adequate time comparing yourself to better artists. Be very conscious of your weaknesses.
  14. If you haven’t been in the studio for over a month - you are likely not a real artist.
  15. Sold records/artwork are the true measure of quality work.
  16. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Surround yourself with people that don’t understand or care for art. This will help keep you grounded.
If you're an artist, what are some creative habits you can share with us? 
Artist Residency - Berlin Art Institute
In September and October, I had the pleasure of attending Berlin Art Institute for a month long artist residency and it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know other working artists and to have a great space to work in the bustling city of Berlin.

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The studios are in this industrial area of Berlin called Weissensee. 

There was a good balance of structure and no structure at this artist residency. The well lit studio spaces were open for use 24 hours a day.  3 days a week Ralf Schmidt and Stephanie Jünemann (the founders and directors of the artist residency) planned insightful museum visits, workshops, guest lectures and group critiques.

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I slept in our van during the month long artist residency, because I couldn't afford renting a room and the residency fees.  I parked the van pretty much right across from the institute. It was great to live so close to my studio, because it meant I made the most of the space and was in there working most of every day I was in berlin.

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Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,

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We visited a moving show by Gülsün Karamustafa called Chronographia, at the Hamburgerbahnhof which was a highlight. And I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with other working artists such as Raphael JaenCarolina Amaya, Brandy Eve Allen, Wyatt Mills and Matt Ross.

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Being at the Berlin Art Institute Artist Residency really wet my lips to do more artist residencies. It's such a wonderful opportunity to get to know a city, make work in a new space, and connect with other working artists. My husband Dominik and I are hoping to spend some time at other artist residencies around the world in our lifetime. Dominik a prolific musician and I am an artist so residencies could be great fits for us, if we can make enough money to fund our practices. I've applied to one in Barcelona, we'll see if they want me and we can make it work.

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Thanks for reading lovelies!

Anna




Creativity: Morning Pages
I've started off every day the past two weeks with Morning Pages. It's a practice in which the first thing you do when you wake up is write a few pages down. There's no pressure and there should be no editing as you write. Julia Cameron started them I believe, they are meant to be stream of consciousness and longhand. I type them on my computer because I find that it's easier to write faster and more stream of consciousness if I am typing. The goal is 3 pages, I have been achieving two or three.

I've been hearing about #MorningPages in several different locations. I first heard about them on I think a RadioLab podcast, and then I recently read about them in Art Inc. a book by Lisa Congdon, another podcast called Art For Your Ear, by Danielle Krysa, mentioned them too. I was wondering why all these creative people were doing these Morning Pages and wanted to see for myself whether they were worthwhile.

Recluse #4, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 
I am finding Morning Pages to be a great way to begin the day and let my thoughts be put down on paper. It's not great material that I am producing but it's making me realize a bit more what my thoughts are about things. At times they are complaints (I'm not a morning person!!!) or frustrations, sometimes they are lists of things I want to remember or forgot. At times, I get ideas for artworks and blog posts when writing, which is a fun by-product.

This pregnancy has brought out the desire to intentionally reflect again. It also has produced quite a few worries and anxieties in addition to all the joys and excitements, when one is with-child. I used to keep journals growing up, but I haven't kept a written one in sometime. It's a relief to write and write, knowing that I don't need to push publish or share my words with anyone unless I choose to expand on something.

Have you ever tried anything like morning pages?  Interested in trying it for the next two weeks with me?

Thanks for reading lovelies.


Anna

P.S. Don't forget the Calm app giveaway ends tomorrow Tuesday the 13th of September. 
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Self Doubt As An Artist

Can I really call myself an artist? It's a scary thing to say. I haven’t made art seriously ever in my life. Since studying art, I have had times of abundance in the art-making realm, but it hasn't been consistent. I struggle to even call myself an artist. I am and have been an art teacher now for 4 years, but am I really an artist? 

Growing up I created paintings, collages, art journals, but I never thought I was any good. Talent wasn’t really evident in my hands. I couldn’t draw realistically. I wasn’t one of those girls that could draw horses impeccably. It wasn't until my second year of uni that I learned to draw.

There is just so much self doubt as an artist. Is my work good enough? Will anyone want to buy it? What do I want to create? I will never be as good as the masters. It’s crippling at times to even think about it. When I was teaching I used a lot of my creativity for lessons and helping students develop ideas. I excused my lack of art making on that. At times teaching insipired me to create, but most of the time it left me a bit dry. I have such artist guilt about creating so seldom, and somehow that is the reason I believe I’m not really an artist. An art professor from my undergrad said that only a few of us would continue to make art in our lives and those that did, were the true artists. I hoped I would keep creating, but convinced myself that I wasn’t a real artist. I mean I had only been making art consistently for 2 years by then.

When I did learn to draw and realised I could be an artist, it was such an exciting time! It felt so right. I could learn to make anything with practice and patience. I was so happy to have the skills and to know I could grow in the skills to be an artist. It really made sense. I had created visual things my whole life. I did love to create. I was moved to create, it made so much sense that I was, deep down an artist. 

I suppose the self-doubt will not ever completely go away, but I hope that it will visit less frequently. 

I AM AN ARTIST! 



Thanks for reading.

Anna