Thanks to my Instagram account, Daniel Christopher, a blogger, contacted me a while ago and asked me a few questions about creativity. Here you can read my answers:
What types of practices/exercises changed you or led to the most rapid improvement?
The biggest shift happened when I challenged myself. I was just starting out as a painter and wanted to find the most effective ways which I could take. I had committed myself to creating every day, always using a different technique. The results amazed me.
What is a particular skill or technique you’ve found indispensable?
For me it is drawing. It is the very base for everything. It allows you to capture quickly any idea or a vision. Even my paintings are based on drawings. When it comes to creativity itself, it works for me to think less and create more. Take the first tool that is at hand and get started. The start is crucial. Then it goes well. I get into a creative flow and just go with it.
If you could only do art for 30 minutes a day, what’s the most important thing you’d work on?
I would focus on quantity. If I was starting out and had only 30 minutes, I would try to start and finish one small thing every day. One drawing, one poem, one comic drawing, anything. Thanks to that I would have a good feeling about that fact that I can finish things, which would inspire me to do another work. I could see the progress and also get faster feedback from the audience than if I worked on one large piece.
Who is someone you’ve seen improve surprisingly quickly?
There is no such a person. Behind every progress and success there is a lot of time, learning and hard work. We all primarily learn from our mistakes. And to make mistakes and fix them takes time.
What is something that has stretched you creatively?
Time to play. Once in a while it is necessary to make time for experiments. And create without fear or expectations. Just let your hands create and be only an observer. Not afraid to easily spoil all papers or canvases. It is when you are relaxed when miracles start to happen.
Do you have any morning routines that facilitate your creative practice?
I avoid reading the news and monitoring social networks and e-mails. Instead, I remind myself of my plans, goals and visions every morning. It is very important to actively shield oneself from the barrage of information and stimuli that are attacking us in the today’s world.
What’s the most overrated exercise most artists swear by?
When I think about it, it is rather an approach than an exercise. A lot of artists focus only on production and do not give their energy to self-promotion. Most of them are convinced that it is not right, and gallery should handle the promotion and sale itself. They believe that the artist should only devote to the work itself. In past, it used to be right. But today, we live in the global and internet age. You almost do not exist if you are not online.
Do you feel like you’ve “made it” as an artist?
Success is different for everybody. I feel successful just by creating things which fulfill me and bring me balance.
Who’s someone that comes to mind as a successful artist? Why?
For example, an Australian artist, CJ Hendry is very inspiring for me. Completely unknown 3 years ago, she published her first drawing on Intragram and now has 270K followers on her account and exhibits in New York. I admire her for her dedication and desire for success. Thousands of artists create the same hyper-realistic way as she does. But she can give her work an additional value, make it attractive and back it up with a concept. On top of that, she is consistent and knows how to present her work at a highly professional level. It’s an apposite example of the fact that talent alone is not enough.