Justine’s Advice

I always say Justine is my favorite teacher. Here’s a post that shows why, from today in her Depth and Details group.

STUDENT:

It’s hard to be:
1. Honest about where you are
2. Hopeful about where you want to go
3. Kind enough to yourself to gently nudge yourself closer to number 2, while challenging yourself enough to grow. Oh, and keeping a solid practice.

This was a good class, though. Thanks, Justine Andersen

JUSTINE:

Believe it or not I feel the same way about my work, I don’t think this is uncommon. I get so exhausted, still struggling with the same issues I’ve struggled with since I was 22! Just this past Saturday I was bemoaning how I still struggled to draw a figure without reference after all these years.

“Shouldn’t I fucking know this by now!!!”

Being an artist and being intellectual enough to analyze your own work, and having enough discriminatory intellect to compare your work to the people you admire is quite a burden, but (and this is a BIG BUT) if it doesn’t crush you, it’s what makes you work harder to become good.

About the only comfort is looking at the work and tracking your progress rather than lamenting your flaws. Secondarily, I have a philosophy that if you always do your best and give it your all you can look back at the work with a feeling of forgiveness and accomplishment and say, “This represents the best I could do at that time,” but if you don’t give it all you can… that comfort and forgiveness will not come to you.

Never strive for perfection, just strive for better, strive for growth, strive to understand new things and to incorporate new ideas and to figure out things that had eluded you before.

Beyond all I have said… it’s best not to look back over your shoulder too much, not to think about it, just keep the pencil moving and the mind still.