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  • Writer's pictureSteph Holmes

Rewriting Old Thought Patterns in the Studio

"Ocean Rising" acrylic paint on paper 11" x 16.5"

To be transparent, I'm finding it hard to rewrite my thought patterns surrounding my studio practice.

Multiple times a day I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy this time. In those moments, my shoulders are tensed up and I find myself working against some non-existent, self imposed deadline. I have to stop myself from falling into that well-worn path in my brain, because I've made the decision that that's not what me being an artist is going to look like.

I've been preached to that I need to sacrifice everything else to spend long, grueling hours in the studio to be a real artist, that I need to pick one style/medium/subject matter and stick to it to be a real artist, that I need to be producing and posting art on social media constantly to be a real artist, that I need to be depressed/emotional/crazy in order to make real art.

Artist friends, do any of these sound familiar to you?

Imagine me now throwing that run-on sentence into the trash.

The way that I am a real artist is by moving through my creative process with joy and ease, by limiting my studio hours so I can enjoy the other parts of my life, by following my curiosity and making art that looks nothing like anything I've made before, by only sharing when I feel called to, and by taking care of my mental and physical health first-and-foremost.

Now, everyone is going to have their own definition and follow their own set of rules, but I guess this is just my reminder to me and to you that we have a lot of control over those rules. They can be revised and they can also be thrown the hell out.

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