Archive for work

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.

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.

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.