I'm excited by the fact that my work reflects my growth as a person, that I'm relaxed & easy about creation, expecting & receiving it naturally. I'm excited about the many different aspects that seem to be getting together in the toybox after I've fallen asleep or been working on something else, & creating their own offspring (photography & poetry, philosophy & equations, art mixed in with everything, collage as a business plan & lecture notes).
What conditions support your best work?
Plenty of silence. Getting out into nature, preferably walking. Having my supplies at the ready. I just set up my drafting table in the corner of my bedroom & have a firm rule: It is not to be used for storage. Only art supplies & active art projects. A combination of interacting with other creative individuals & solitude. Always having paper & writing implements with me--an idea can land at any moment, ready for its close-up. Touching into my inner self at least once a day. Having a variety of projects & modes of expression (art, writing, sculpture, collage, photography) going on at once, so if I'm not inspired in one venue, there's another juicy one jumping up & down, saying, "Pick me! Pick me!"
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Start out. Start small, start big, start in the middle, but start. Be excited with where you are. (You may groan over it later, but give yourself the gift of loving your work, even if you know it can be better. It will get better if you keep going.) Don't over-emphasize the value of dollars. Ignore that factor if you can. Minimize it if you can't ignore it completely. A joyful experience can keep you going forever, &--if you're not having fun--no amount of dollars will be worth it. Work in little bits. Have a dedicated space--even if it's a card table in the corner of your bedroom--where you can leave your materials out & ready in case you create 10 minutes of creation time. Do NOT allow that lovely horizontal surface to be "a useful place to put things on." Only art supplies & active art shall be allowed. Keep it inviting. If you have to get out your stuff & spread it on the dining room table & then put it away for kids' homework or a meal, you will not "art" nearly as much. Celebrate little steps--sending a story out or finishing a chapter or putting gesso on a canvas--& not just big ones, like selling a novel, getting a solo gallery show, or winning a McKnight.