Kris’ Painting Giveaway

Instagram users GIVEAWAY ALERT! I’ve been overwhelmed by your amazing support with my Aurora Illuminata series. All the paintings have found their new homes within 24 hours of posting. So I would like to say a big THANK YOU by giving away this mini Aurora Illuminata painting. Up for grabs is a 29x29cm canvas on board mixed media painting in a beautiful white frame. Click this link to my Instagram post for contest rules: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAWTtsFHfAx/

Thank you very much and good luck. 🙂

Strength for Today

We hope that this art video and Joshua 1:9 will remind us to stay strong and courageous no matter what we are going through during this time.

Joshua 1 New International Version (NIV)

Joshua Installed as Leader

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Overcoming Negativity

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

I grew up in a community where becoming an artist is almost synonymous to economic suicide. I was always bombarded with unexamined opinions regarding artists being lazy, eccentric, and having no ‘direction in life’. The lives of the artists I knew that time somehow became the evidence of such a misconception so I can’t really blame why the opinions relating to the impracticality of creative pursuit of was quite pervasive. One of the first challenges I have to overcome when I decided to be an artist was shaking off all these negative perceptions which I unknowingly accepted as ‘truth’ for many years. I needed to change my perspective and replace the unhelpful ones with positivity balanced with maturity and humility. What I mean by this is believing that my art career has great potential but also being ready to do the hard work and sacrifices whilst always striving for excellence. 

Persistence

Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw on Unsplash

My creative journey isn’t a walk in the park. And it took me years before I was even able to take part in art shows and run exhibitions. I had a lot of those moments when the only thing that made sense was the raw and pure joy every time I pick up my brush. 
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In her heartwarming TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert said “Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyedgenius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then ‘Ole!’ And if not, do your dance anyhow. And ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”
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I’m so glad I did not give up. And as long as life goes on I will keep showing up.

Beating Procrastination

Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash

I read the book “Rework” a few years ago and I still remember the words that inspired me and got me through the tough times when I tend to find excuses not to do my paintings. Whilst I believe that balancing work and rest is important, procrastination (if we learn to identify it) is not helpful and led me to many situations of unnecessary stress. So here’s my mantra when I notice that I am making a pattern of excuses and unproductive rationalisation: make time and just pick up your brush. And once I get into the flow the magic happens (most of the time).

Photo by Pedro da Silva on Unsplash

Created a terrible art? Here’s what you can do.

This post was originally published in Kris’ Instagram account. Featured Photo by russn_fckr on Unsplash

One of the struggles of being an artist is when you have this grand idea of how a new painting will look like and you thought you’ve figured out how to achieve your vision. But then the reality hits you that there can be a lot of trial and error involved in the process. 

I find it really painful when nothing seems to be working (the colours are not quite right, the textures are a bit odd, or I just can’t feel anything from the painting as if it has no soul). 

Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

These are the moments when I need to be kinder to myself. I believe being critical is important to produce quality work but I learned not to tell myself those words I would never say to someone I value and respect. Instead of saying “it’s terrible!” I choose “it’s not quite right but it’s not done yet.” 

Standing back to reflect has been very helpful in my art practice so I could maintain my sanity and not lose the joy of creating.

Kris’ thoughts on being an Artist

This is one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve watched in New Zealand. I still remember that season in my art career when I was finally able to do my very first art show. Took me three years to get there and it was a surreal experience – so excited but almost freaking out at the same time. I felt most vulnerable during those moments of waiting for that first sale and whenever somebody gives feedback about my work. 

I believe I have grown so much over the years in terms of dealing with all the emotions I have to go through with my decision to become an artist. I still get nervous during opening nights but I get to enjoy the experience a bit more. Feedback (favourable or not) will always have an effect on me but only for a moment – then I move on because I don’t do my art to get praises or recognition. I do my art to celebrate life and hopefully make a difference to someone’s creative journey. 

How about you? How do you handle criticism? When do you feel most vulnerable?

Follow my creative journey at my facebook page or instagram page @krisancog