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Expanding Your Creative Repertoire

Expanding Your Creative Repertoire

Eric Maisel

4. Investigate your fears

We often hide from ourselves the fact that something is making us scared or anxious. Maybe we have real fears that our drawing skills aren’t up to snuff but keep dodging that painful information and paint abstractly not because we genuinely want to paint abstractly but because we know that our realistic paintings wouldn’t measure up. It is very brave work but very valuable work to look your fears and anxieties in the eye. Only then will you understand your true situation. That understanding is bound to open the door to courageous new efforts.

5. Articulate your possibilities

What new art do you want to attempt? What new marketing efforts do you want to try? If you don’t get them named, it’s unlikely that you can pursue them. If, on the other hand, you can say clearly to yourself that you want to try your hand at some Calder-esque mobiles or that you want to learn how to affiliate market your paintings, that clarity of expression will help you begin to move in new directions.

6. Make a strong choice

Let’s say that you have several kinds of new art that you want to make: a venture into sculpture, a multi-media project, some monoprinting, a new style involving personal history, and so on. It is exciting to want to do many things but it can also prove paralyzing to have too many simultaneous choices. Choose something strongly without second-guessing whether it is the best choice and without grieving that you can’t do x or y today because you are doing z. Until we make strong choices of this sort, we tend not to get anything done.

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