When I was 22 and living in New York, I created a work of art and it turned out ugly. I mean, I really didn’t like it and thought it was really horrible. The colors were wrong, the size was wrong, basically everything about it felt wrong. But as I was looking at this terrible work of art something strange happened... I felt ok with it. I didn’t feel sad or bad or disappointed in any way. I simply came to the realization that sometimes you just make ugly artwork and sometimes you just have to accept that the good comes with the bad. You can’t go 100%, 100% of the time. That is how I came to fully believe in what I call the ugly art theory, which basically states, in order to make good or even great art, you must be willing to accept and create ugly or even horrible art. Ever since I adopted this theory into my art-making process, I have never been blocked or upset at what I created, and I appreciate the whole process much more than I did before. I am grateful for the ugly art because what usually follows is that I create a work of art that I love soon after. I just accept the art the way it is and move on from there. It’s that simple. Don’t be afraid or upset about making ugly art, but rather, use that artwork to move you forward in your creative process.
A few months after I had completed my challenge of making two works of art a day for two years, I set up another challenge for myself. I received 52 frames of various sizes from a friend of my parents to paint on. I took them home and realized that I had almost no space to store them. I looked around and said to myself, I really need to paint. Though I had been making two artworks every day, I had not been making paintings every day. I use mostly digital for the two artworks a day challenge. I love digital for various reasons: no dry time for paint, every color instantly, the ability to move/copy objects, and so much more; however I still love painting, drawing, and sculpting. So I thought, will I have a hard time waking up every morning and putting in ten minutes to paint? I had already started waking up early to meditate and journal, so why not try to take an extra ten minutes every morning to see what could happen. What I found out is that I was even more excited than I thought to get that ten minutes to paint, and often I woke up even earlier to put in twenty to thirty minutes. I know it’s not hours a day creating a painting every couple of days, but it is a massive issue that most artists face... life gets in the way, and we allow our priorities to shift into taking care of others and making sure we can survive. We often forget what makes us want to live is making sure we thrive. At the moment, I have put in a minimum of ten minutes a day for almost two years now. I have made forty-five paintings; some big, some small, but all mine. I highly suggest you take just a few minutes in the morning and get your creative needs met. I am willing to bet that you will be surprised with your results.
At the beginning September of 2017, I listened to Gary Vaynerchuck way too much and all he had to offer with his motivation, so I was feeling fired up. HIs podcast had Nicholas Megalis as a guest and they talked about how he used the social media platform Vine to create a following for his music. Nicholas was telling his story of recording his own albums and music videos, which is great because it shows the power of what you can accomplish if you are willing to do the work. At the end of the podcast, Gary challenged Nicholas to make a music video everyday for a year and post it to social media; there was a little bit of apprehension, but Nicholas said he would do it. There I was sitting in front of my computer editing wedding photos at 11 o'clock at night and thought, I bet I could make a new artwork a day for a year... that doesn’t even seem that difficult to do. Then I thought, a challenge should be challenging, I'll double down on it and do two artworks a day for two years. That is when I got a feeling of excitement in my stomach. I decided to wake up early the next day and make two works of art in the morning before I went to work. The entire day I felt great. I knew that the next two years would be amazing for me creatively, and I was right. I created a minimum of two works of art a day, and often I made 4 or 5 thanks to the realization of creating with digital tools. I found new practices and styles that I had never even considered before and I have not stopped since. As a creative person, it is the highlight of my day to make two artworks. I always feel good about that I have created something, no matter how uninspired or frustrated I feel while I am creating. I found that creating every day removed the idea that there are blocks and that in reality, it is just a rhythm... you will have good days and bad days, but I feel I could not have gotten to my best days without allowing for the bad days. So I concluded that even the bad days are good; because they will lead you to better things. So whatever you do, if you are an artist or creative of any kind, just create. Create, Create, Create! It will change your life.
The first two works of art that I created when I challenged myself.