Ep 60 Featured Image Podcast

Create Your Breakthrough – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 60

December 14, 2022


Every artist wants a breakthrough. But some will do the same thing for years before their art begins shifting in the right direction. On this episode, I want to demystify breakthroughs and show you how to go further at a faster rate. We’ll look at listening to our inner voice, the importance of vision, the need for risk, and tips to help you maintain a fresh perspective in your studio. Join me as I share insights designed to help your art practice get to the next level in the new year.  

Listen if you are interested in…

  • What is a breakthrough? [2:06]
  • Listening to your inner voice and discovering what’s next [4:48]
  • The importance of pairing vision with progress [14:15] 
  • Why you need risk in your art practice [19:48]
  • Tips for maintaining a fresh perspective in your studio [23:19]
  • The power of optimizing your energy [28:13]

The anatomy of a breakthrough

The traditional definition of a breakthrough is a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development. Unfortunately, the dictionary doesn’t tell us how to get these for ourselves. But when I think about how breakthroughs have shown up in my life and art, I don’t really see them as spontaneous moments of progress. I believe everything we need to get to the next level is already inside us. Our intuition knows far more than we give it credit for, and we should trust it to determine our next steps. Busyness is the enemy of breakthrough. The more we can slow down and intentionally listen to the wiser parts of ourselves, the clearer we’ll hear our next steps. Breakthroughs are not this strike of lightning that comes out of nowhere. They come pre-loaded. We just have to listen.

Follow the clues

A big part of learning how to listen to ourselves and create breakthroughs is awareness. Some people view these moments as a synchronicitous mystery, but if we really pay attention, we can spot the clues. Gaining awareness is about relentlessly asking the same question: What’s next? Of course, breakthroughs require motion. You can’t ask that question without having already created something. The answer is based on your past works and experiences. Beyond our studios, we should carry this question with us everywhere we go because an artist’s life and art are not separate. Even though you’re committed to constantly seeking your next step, free yourself from the burden of needing to know the answer. As the journey changes, so does the path. Trust yourself and keep moving forward.

Paint on the edge of your seat

Risk-taking is the most underutilized strategy I see among artists today. We are so hardwired for certainty that we forget how hard it is to gain new insight from doing the same thing over and over again. In order to cultivate breakthroughs, we have to step outside the box and do things we haven’t done before. It’s going to feel uncertain. Maybe even like you’re painting on the edge of your seat. But it’s just garden variety risk! It’s not going to kill you. You’re just going out on the skinny branches of yourself with a willingness to feel vulnerable. To try something that might not work out. However, it’s not the end of the world. You can just repaint it. Risk is not only how breakthroughs occur, but it’s the secret to making consistently exciting work.

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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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