Archive for art

Sticking with it

AVENDANO-LLC-studio-3To create the type of art you want to create, it takes time and focus. You have to stick with it over time. Sticking with is all about faith. You have faith in yourself that you made the right decision. You have to take a really hard look at yourself. See if you’re doing everything you possibly can. Not just in creating art, but in getting your art out there. Doing what you have to do to share it with people. That’s what gets you going as far as continuing. Having faith in those principles. You have to develop principles that you apply to what you’re creating, and how you’re going about selling your art. It has to be true. It’s not about settling on tricks to get someone to buy a painting. It’s about staying true to all you’ve accomplished, and all you’re going to accomplish. With each stroke in every painting you have to be true to yourself. Once you do the work, once you do that type of analyzing, that where the faith in yourself takes over and your confidence evolves. You truly reach a place where you get to the place where all your hard work shows. Your creations show it. You become what you set out to be, and you can’t lose that. But it all starts with doing the work. There aren’t any shortcuts. Doing the work is what sustains you, and what takes you to the next level that you want to reach.

Creating work that has a sense of timelessness

"Evening Out" by John Andro AvendañoTo keep myself engaged in the process every day – I switch mediums – from painting to drawing, to sculpting in wood or metal, to woodcuts – using anything I can to make something that I like. The whole idea of creating is to make something I like to look at. And I feel that once someone buys a piece, it keeps giving back. Every time you look at it, it gives the viewer something different, something new It’s like rereading a great book you fell in love with. Once you get past the first read, you can unpeel layers and layers. Every time you read it again, see it again, you discover new pieces in a novel or a painting. That what artists and writers are doing – creating works that are timeless. I’m not interested in creating a shocking piece of art, you know, a tinfoil formaldehyde shark, or large duplicates of medical pills, or images of dead heads wrapped in plastic with eyes bugging out. That’s not for me, not what I’m after. There may be a market for that, but I leave that for other artists to do. Through my searches – I’m striving to create beauty, and make something that’s everlasting, I want to create something you’d put up in your house, and every time you look at it you discover something new. That’s what I like to think about, like to do, like to share. Living in the world now, people don’t want to look at art that feels like it’s stuck in the 1970s. They want a feeling of timelessness and expansiveness. People want a piece that remains fresh – time after time.

Curiosity plays a vital role in making art

Alagria-5Curiosity is vitally important. You can’t make art without being curious. Become interested. Get motivated. Ask questions. Go online. Read about artists you’ve heard about. It’s impossible to be creative without it. You have to want to turn the page to see what’s next. Do the research you have to do to discover the type of art you want to make. Curiosity and the creative life go hand in hand. If you get stuck somehow, and you feel a lack of curiosity about the world, you have to stop and ask yourself why. Find your own reasons why. My reasons won’t be yours. The great thing about curiosity is that it’s a renewable resource. You can always learn, implement, and build on your curiosity. One topic, one artist, one obsession leads to another. If you explore, read, discover, and are still stuck, then talk to someone. Ideas come from trying new things. Get a cheap camera and mess around with it. It’ll show you the world from a different perspective. Learn about the artists who came before, and stay current with artists living in the world now. Read the stories of different artists and see who resonates with you. Decide who you want to be influenced by, or who just doesn’t do it for you. There’s a whole history of people who made art to be explored. You have to be curious. About art, life, people. There’s just no way around it.

Don’t make excuses. Make art. Every day.

a-work-in-progressMaking art comes down to routine and habit. And that gets formed over many years. You have to get in the habit of getting up in the morning and starting. After you take care of  your emails or phone calls that you have to do, you have a cup of coffee, and then stand in front of your easel or sit at your table and start creating something. It doesn’t really matter what. Once you begin the process it takes off on its own. I get up around 7:00 a.m., have coffee, respond to emails, and start work about 9:00 a.m. I’ll stop at 1:00 p.m. and have lunch, then take care of more business. I’m back working in my studio by 4:00 p.m. And I’ll work until 3:00 a.m. There’s a dinner in there somewhere, but it’s not necessarily at the same time. There’s no mystery to it. If you want to create art, you have to work; you develop the habit. It’s about creating every day. Persistence matters. Not giving up matters. If you’re sick, you grab a piece of paper and do some drawing in bed. If you’re sick and throwing up, you grab some paper and draw in between times of being sick. If your leg is going to be amputated, get it amputated and then go back and make good art. There is no excuse, if you’re healthy and want to make art. There have been artists who were going blind and kept making art. Artists with no hands who painted with their feet. If they could do it, you can do it. Stop making excuses and make art.

Communicating with sincerity builds strong relationships

"Forcefield" by John Andro AvendañoFiguring out how to talk with people, and making friends begins in childhood. When you’re a little kid you’re looking for friends. It might feel like you don’t have enough friends, or maybe you don’t have any friends. And you start to wonder about it. Why do some people have a lot of friends, and some don’t have any? Without knowing it, the people who have a lot of friends have stumbled upon the fact that if you start being interested in other people and start sharing with them, you’ll make people feel better. I’m talking about being sincere, looking them in the eyes, and listening to their stories. Someone is listening to them, showing an interest, commenting on the positive things they have going for them. Everyone wants to hear, “Hey, that’s a pretty good thing you can do.” Especially when you’re young and it’s true. All of this has to come from a sincere place; it can’t be faked. When you get to a place where you’re sincere with people, you become naturally motivational. You become a magnet for like-minded kind people. It’s all about giving back and helping people in a way where you don’t expect anything in return. One of the best things to do is help someone who isn’t in a position of helping you. And all this applies to making and selling art. When you approach a gallery, talk about what you can do for them, not the other way around. You want to offer something, and it will lead to them having the right, proper motivation to help. When you want to help a gallery owner or collector, with sincerity, you’ll get tenfold back. I see this as a universal law that can’t go wrong.

Art is a search for your inner truth and a fight against inner lies

"Imagining" by John Andro AvendañoI find in my searches it comes down to believing or not believing what other people are telling you. Too many people believe lies, or are living lives based on lies, and it might not have even started maliciously. For instance, our parents believed certain things. Due to either how they were raised, or circumstance they grew up with. My dad and I used to go scuba diving in Palos Verdes, and as we drove home past all the large mansions, he’d ask me, “Isn’t that a beautiful home?” I’d say, “It sure is.” Then he would tell me, “There’s a criminal living in that big house. He’s stealing all the money that the rest of us have to work hard to get.” Over time, I figured out that was a lie. And I had to find a way to overcome that lie. Lies like that are passed along, in families, and in society, every day. Someone’s out to get you. You’re not good enough, you don’t look this way, you don’t sound this way, you’re too large, too thin, too old, too young. All of these daily judgments are lies. What do you do when someone you know is a liar and they tell you something? It doesn’t bother you, since you don’t believe anything they say. But, growing up, you believe people who love you and so you’ll just believe certain things. And they believed lies they were told, and they think they are helping you. So, in order to accomplish your dreams, you have to stop believing lies telling you that you aren’t good enough, and you can’t do it. Start listening to yourself instead. Which sounds easy, until you realize it also involves un-conditioning your mind and to stop believing all the lies you grew up with and accepted. You have to discover within, which are your own lies and truths. Everyone has to figure out what is real and what is false. I’m not saying this is anything new. I’m just saying, as an artist, it’s something I had to discover on my own through search. And that’s why searching and looking and being curious leads you to places where you’ll find answers that you can apply to your life, and to make art that comes from deep inside yourself. This is what worked for me.