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My Top Six Ideas to Help You with Your Art (Part One)

Part One - Mindset



There are many ways you can improve your artwork. I think all of these can

be divided into two primary categories - the "physical" and the "mental". The

"physical" would be the obvious things like learning to paint people better, or

improving perspective in your cityscapes. The "mental" aspects of

improvement are often harder to pinpoint, and thus more challenging to

work on. One of these I'd like to bring to your attention is . . . "Mindset".


Here is one definition of mindset - "a mental attitude or disposition that

predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations".

That's quite a mouthful. It could also be defined as "an inclination, or a

habit". Or in one word - your beliefs. Let's unpack this a bit.


In a nutshell, the first definition says that the mindset you have when you

are painting (or thinking about beginning one) determines how or where that

art will go. The way you are thinking about yourself and your art actually

helps or hinders your progress. I really believe that!


For one thing, your Confidence in yourself and your abilities will determine

how well you accomplish what you set out to do with that piece of art (click

on "confidence" to open an article I wrote about that).


Another valuable part of your mindset is your willingness to Grow in your

art. This means being available to take chances and experiment with new

things. Sometimes things won't work out like you wanted or planned when

you try something new, but this flexible segment of your mindset will allow

you to grow. This always brings improvement, but you have to stick with it

until it does.


Here's something else you may have not thought about - you have to be

Tough in your mindset. What does that mean? You have to be willing to do

your own art and not care what other people think or say - paint for yourself

and your artistic vision! How many times have you let someone's comments

(or their not even noticing your work) sway your confidence in your vision

for your work? You will never please everyone, and until you get tough you

won't even please yourself.


At the same time, your mindset should be one of Sharing. Serve others

with your art . . . this is done by being open with it, sharing your ideas with

others and working with other artists. Have you ever noticed that the best

artists are the ones who are very open and sharing with their ideas and

knowledge? That's because it comes back to you . . . we all gain as artists as

we open up and share with each other.


Be aware also that there are two different basic mindsets. Some people have

a "fixed" mindset - they think that all their traits are fixed, beyond their

control to change or improve. Others work with a "growth" mindset. They

see their personal qualities, like intelligence, talents, and personalities as

things that can be improved and developed.

Obviously as artists we belong in the second group - the one with a "growth"

mindset. There is no mountain too tall to conquer if you have the right

mindset - use this first mental skill to improve your attitude and your art!


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