Archive for artist

Finding ways to keep working

"Walking Away" by John Andro AvendañoWhen you’re young and starting out as an artist, you don’t fully understand the choices you have. It’s as if your mind is trapped in an invisible box. The box is preventing you from gaining more understanding about yourself. Part of the box is made by society, and part of it in your own making. Sometimes you just go in circles thinking about what you can’t do, or presume you can’t do. You don’t know there’s a way out. You have to figure out ways to keep working. A large part of the work is gaining more understanding within yourself, and knowing you already possess the traits that you need to do the work. You just have to learn to apply them. Getting better as an artist is a combination of searching, asking, learning, and working. And the younger you can develop those habits, the better. When I meet with young artists, what I do is share my story. Over time, I’ve discovered all this information. I’m talking about information that’s been around for thousands of years. In the best case scenario, I help people find things they didn’t even know they were looking for. Maybe I can guide them to something that will be just the right thing for them to hear. The key to what will open their particular door. When you see a light turn on in someone’s eyes, and they have an ah-ha moment, it feels good. It’s like when you talk to people involved in the business world. They want to know what the secret of being successful in business is. Business is buying something for two dollars and selling it for three. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or have a degree in business. You have to possess the desire to be good at it. Being successful is about learning how to speak with people, share yourself with people, and motivate people to get involved with your process.

Making timeless art

"Reclining Nude" by John Andro AvendañoI think if an artist has actually done the work and knows themselves, then they can make something that is real. They are ready to begin making art that reaches for timelessness. They may not get there every time, but they can reach for it. They are involved enough in their own process to sidestep using trickery. They are ready to make art that will truly connect with people on a deeper level. It all comes back to being real with your vision and your emotions. And that’s hard. It is an important part of the difficult work of being an artist. For example, you can look at Picasso’s Blue Period, and say it now looks dated. With Cubism, he left it early, since there was nothing left for him to do in that form. It was a plastic concept. He knew when he’d reached the end of it. Once he started to really relax, and drew and painted his kids and his immediate friends, those pieces are timeless works. You want to keep developing that natural and childlike connection with what you’re trying to create. In no matter what time period you’re living in. Develop the work habits that get your own ideas and emotions into the work. Don’t paint in your head. Paint on the canvas, or whatever medium you choose. Paint every day. As you work, your soul starts whispering to you. And you need to listen to it. That’s where timeless art comes from. The connection to your own life force, and reacting to the universe we live in.

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.