Today's guest author is artist, Linda Mikulich. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission.
Seeing the world in an artistic way has been with me throughout my life; For me, painting seems as natural as breathing. My artistic senses go back to my earliest childhood memories. I really can't remember how young I was, but let's say it was early enough that I couldn't see the top of the kitchen counter -- the bottom of the car window was only at eye level.
In my adult life, I've come to relish the time I spend alone.... the essential joyous moments where I take time to see, smell and feel ... using all my senses to take in the world around me.These are the times that make my creative juices flow. Standing in front of a fresh canvas while music enhances my mood, is one of the greatest pleasures I have.
While it may appear that I'm a complete loner, I also take time to enjoy my many friendships and socialize. I've worked out a fine balance between work and fun while remaining spontaneous. Because if I were to work continuously without engaging in activities I enjoy, my creative time would not be as productive. In fact, my best work usually comes after a day of diving or swimming.
I live on an island, so there are many opportunities to enjoy my favorite outdoor activities – one of them being plein air painting. I can't think of anything more refreshing and fun than painting on the beach. Not only do I get to meet folks who stop and take an interest in my painting, but sometimes I have the pleasure of selling it before it's done.
On the other side of the coin, those who are close to me sometimes become “time bandits”, trying to pull me away from my painting time – asking me to watch TV or a movie when I'm wanting to paint. When this happens, I feel like they're putting me on a guilt trip, which robs me of my artistic energy. Non-artists have difficultly understanding how we artists feel – not realizing that even when we are alone, we are not lonely. We delight in solitude.
My advice to artists concerning "time bandits" is to forget about computer emails, the latest movie or about giving into guilt put on you by that person who thinks you're spending too much time painting. No, is a two-letter word – Learn to use it. Sometimes you need to do say, “No Thank You”, then just go paint. Not only will you gain self-respect for putting painting time first, but I've found that friends and family admire me for standing up for myself. Everybody wins! We artists deserve to be who we are, and we need to focus honestly on what we want to say with our art. Time is precious, choose how you use it wisely. Be a little selfish. Paint!
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