What I Wish Everyone Knew About Making Art

Making art — good art — takes a lifetime. It’s a discipline and a daily practice. Those of us who have dedicated our lives to the practice of making art do it nearly every day. And I promise you, if you did something every day, you’d get better at it.
It’s the same with anything: You are not born knowing how to play the piano; instead, you take lessons, you practice. It is important for everyone to recognize this, because I think a lot of people never begin to make art because they believe they cannot. They believe they do not have talent. The concept of talent is this roadblock to making, when, in reality, the only path is to begin. All it takes is a desire. And a beginner’s mind: not expecting yourself to be good, but rather, begin with curiosity.
Children are the very best at this. It has not occurred to them to judge their art. This is why they beam with pride upon showing you their art. They made something, and it was fun, and that feels good. So it is my encouragement to you to begin with the child’s mind. If you have the desire to be a maker, then please, make something — just begin. Push paint on canvas, or paper, and watch what it does, without judgment. The idea is not that it be “good or “bad” but that the desire to create be given a chance to get out of your body and out into the world. If you feel like you want to but you just don’t know where to begin. For inspiration and ideas on how to get started, check out my Pinterest page “Creativity is for Everyone” or the videos on my Facebook page or YouTube page.
And, just as you signed up for piano lessons, take that creative class. The key is to just begin, and when you begin, take judgment off the table. You must always be very kind and gentle with yourself when beginning something new.
2017 will have me creating more videos, so stay tuned. And you can always email me to set up your own class in my Ada studio, and by summer I hope to roll out some classes in Leelanau as well. Make it a year of learning!
As always I love to hear from you. Do you have plans for making art in the new year?
Let’s keep the conversation going on Facebook and Instagram. See you online, my friends.

About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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