Have you ever considered becoming a full-time, professional artist? Many with significant artistic talent have. After all, wouldn’t spending your time creating art be ideal?
When someone says, “I want to become a professional artist,” what it often means is, “I want to become a real artist.” This is a dangerous statement. It suggests that one must devote his or her life to the creation of art in order to be deemed a proper artist. Perhaps this is not the case.
Can someone be a “real” artist who does not create art daily or weekly, live off of art sales, and spend the majority of his or her day musing over art? We think so.
Would you agree that one can be considered a legitimate artist in spite of the fact that he or she only creates art sporadically? Maybe the breaks in between the creation of art pieces is where true creativity is birthed.
Breaks Beget Creativity
There is something to be said for taking breaks from creating art. After all, breaks force us to rest. Unfortunately, there is a grave lack of rest in the world today. Everyone (athletes, performers, professionals in the corporate world) needs a break now and then. Artists, too. Especially artists.
The article Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime, written by Ferris Jabr for Scientific American, claims, “Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity.” Mentioned in the article are Tim Kreider’s thoughts on the need for idleness. Kreider, writer for the New York Times, says, “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration—it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” This is as true for artists as it is anyone else.
Have you as an artist allowed society to convince you that if you are not producing art at lightening speed, you are not a real artist? Have you bought into the lie that taking breaks, even sabbaticals, is a bad practice for good artists? If so, we ask you to take a look at our exclusive interview with Danish artist Inge-Lise Vejlgaard. This mastermind is a professional artist to her core, and she believes in taking breaks. In fact, she says that breaks are a part of the artistic process. Read on to learn more about Inge-Lise’s views on being an artist…a real artist.
Segmation’s Exclusive Interview with Danish Artist Inge-Lise Vejlgaard
Q: Does artistic ability run in your family? If so, who in your family creates art?
A: No one comes to mind except for my nephew who is beginning to learn how to paint.
Q: Historically, have your artistic aspirations been supported? Do you currently have a strong support system?
A: Many people have been supportive about my art! This is especially true of my immediate family.
Q: If you could wake up tomorrow with one art skill you don’t currently possess, what would it be?
A: Honestly, I cannot think of anything in particular. Anytime there is something I’d like to learn/do, I usually start practicing until I’ve got it down, even if it takes me years.
Q: When was the last time you were deeply touched by a piece of art? What was it about the piece that moved you?
A: It was when I was at the Skagen Museum here in Denmark. I was making a trip to see the Skagen painters. I was touched by the beauty and brightness of the artwork, and I loved to look at every little detail. P. S., my favorite is Krøyer.
Q: 100 years from now, what do you want people to be saying about you?
A: That I was versatile and always developing as an artist and a person.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: My favorite color is purple; I do not know why exactly. In terms of my painting, I don’t have any restrictions – I use the whole palette of colors.
Q: Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner when it comes to growing in your art skills? How are you currently progressing in your abilities?
A: Yes, I think so, even if I have periods of taking breaks from painting. When I am taking a break from creating art, the artistic process continues in my head. I learn a lot through bookings/commission work. I think this is because I am forced to work on something brand new in terms of both color and motif. I always learn something new when I work on a novel painting. In recent years I also have been mixing different painting styles such as pop, naturalistic and abstract. I have learned so much from taking these artistic risks.
There is an art to being an artist. Woven into the fabric of that art is the need for breaks. A mother has a need to occasionally escape from her home and allow someone else to watch her children as she takes some much-needed downtime. Similarly, an artist has a need to escape the demands of his or her imagination and just be, for lack of a better term, an average person who is still a real artist.
Read more of Segmation’s exclusive interviews with amazing artists:
Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® Mobile for Android and iOS (see more details here)