Ep 96 Featured Image Podcast

Questions and Answers – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 96

August 23, 2023


It’s time for another Q&A session with the Art2Life community! Today, we’re diving into a plethora of artist questions that I think will help all of us reach our creative potential. Join me as we discuss starting, freedom, creating a new body of work, tips for art materials, gaining brand clarity, and the art of doing hard things.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Using enough paint [1:33]
  • Doubling down on freedom [5:36]
  • What’s your batting average? [8:28]
  • Advice for creating a body of work [13:39]
  • Using water with acrylic paint [17:41]
  • What finishing materials do you use on your paintings? [20:52]
  • Gaining clarity on your brand as an artist [24:03]
  • Putting yourself into the work [31:14]
  • Using oil paint on unfinished linen [40:00]
  • The art of doing hard things [41:30]

Powered by freedom

It’s amazing how much our mindset impacts the art we create. Stress and other factors can affect our “come from” and cause us to paint inauthentically. We can make solid work for years, but the second we’re making something for a gallery, it can feel like we just picked up a paintbrush. In Carol’s case, she felt herself reverting back to a stiffer, more representational form of work that no longer suited her. When we stop making art from and for ourselves, we sacrifice the freedom that powers our work in the first place. The more freedom you can feel, the better and more personal the work will turn out. You’ve got to double down on not caring what anyone thinks because ultimately, the best work happens when you’re free.

Follow the breadcrumbs

Nothing can be more thrilling and terrifying than starting a new body of work. Especially if there is a deadline involved. My advice would be to start as early as possible. Give yourself plenty of time so you’re not starting stressed. Next, your goal should be to make more work than necessary. If you need 10 paintings, do 15! Making more work is liberating because it allows you the freedom to create without needing every painting to be gallery ready. In terms of compositions and color, find what you love about your most recent work and follow the breadcrumbs from there. Sick of all your old work? Good! You still know where to start and that your next piece needs to be different. All information is good information. Just don’t stop following the trail!

Find yourself again

It’s hard feeling like the artist you’ve been isn’t the artist you’re becoming when you have no idea who the latter is. It can feel like you’re lost and you’ll never find your way again. The good news is you are never that far away from yourself. All it takes is a little remembering. We have to think about what lights us up inside. Of the last 20 paintings you’ve done, which is your favorite? What do you love about it? The answers give you an amazing place to start. From there, you just have to paint! Take those things and play around until you can see yourself on the canvas again. The reality is none of us get to know where we’re going on this journey or the roads we’ll take to get there. But if we stay open and curious and just keep going…we’ll end up exactly where we’re supposed to be. 

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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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