Daisy Giles’ 6 Tips on Artistic Growth Wednesday 21 September, 2011


The past few nights I have been reflecting on my 23 years (few to some, but wow they feel like a lot to me!) I think about where I am now as an artist, and where I want to be around this time next year. As I strive to excel, in my work and my […]


Daisy Giles' BFA Show, Gyasi Jones

The past few nights I have been reflecting on my 23 years (few to some, but wow they feel like a lot to me!) I think about where I am now as an artist, and where I want to be around this time next year. As I strive to excel, in my work and my own happiness, I find each year gets easier and easier thanks to some tips and habits I found along the way. So, today I share that with all of you!

Daisy Giles, Self-Portrait

1. Prepare for Productivity
The first thing about successfully pursuing a passion is that you have to put in the prep work to enjoy the play. I have slowly been building up an arsenal of tangible and intangible things to help me to make what I do easier. I’ve been gathering a large supply of paints in every color, brushes in every size and canvases of the same. Having supplies on hand can be costly, but can help me do what I need to do faster and gives me the motivation to just paint for fun. I couldn’t always afford to buy an excess of supplies, but I have chosen to invest slowly and I am starting to finally see that fruit.

2. Respect Inspiration’s Ebbs and Flows
I have had to learn when to give myself a break. I have an obsessive personality (my receipts, sketchbooks and worn out Harry Potter tapes won’t argue). When I get into something, I get into it – if you feel what I’m saying. I have spent days in a row, 10 hours a day, working on the same paintings and I have been happy as a clam. But other times, I won’t feel that fire for weeks. I used to try to force myself to paint, but then I realized that sometimes I just needed to get away from my work. My forced paintings were not good, they were lackluster at best, and instead they just lengthened my feeling of disinterest.

Another side project to keep me busy– decorating my headboard

3. Find and Share Diverse Creative Inspirations
Which brings me to my third realization: when I took a break, I always had to stay busy. I still needed a creative outlet to give me ideas to bring me out of my funk. During my weeks of non-paint this past year, I discovered TUMBLR. What a difference it has made in my life. I would tumble for hours and find dozens of pictures for inspiration. I gave myself an emotional break from the pressure of creating, but kept my mind on its tippy toes by staying active in a different way.

4. Breathing Room
Fourth, and this is something I shall never again underestimate – I have learned the importance of a separate space. To pursue a passion and to keep it enjoyable, it needs room to grow and spread out. If you want it to be a priority in your life, whatever “it” may be, it should have physical space in your life.

When I moved out of my college apartment and into my childhood bedroom this past summer, squeezing every last bit of nothing into that space, I knew it was going to be more than a struggle, but that it would be pure torture to do the thing that I loved, turning it from a relaxing event into a chore. Let your work breathe. If you can’t afford a separate space now – come up with a plan to save up so that you can  in the future – be it a studio to write, to paint, to sew, to dance, to make music – whatever!

I LOVE my little studio den in my new apartment. I have been here for two weeks now and I have already gotten as much done as I did in the full summer I had in my old room.

My little studio...messy, but mine

5. Setting Worthy Goals
I know I need to come up with goals. I try to set realistic but challenging goals, and write down ways to make them happen. I don’t want easy goals and I don’t want hard ones, I want ones that will take work, but that won’t discourage me. Then, when I meet those, I set new ones. I am happy when I achieve, but I do my best to never be complacent and that way I can continue to grow.

6. Honor Your Uniqueness
Last but not least, I know I have to make what I create my own. The work that I make may pull from other sources, but no one will doubt that its mine and that’s the way I like it. I want to make waves and I want to leave footprints. I have a goal to be in an art history book one day and I am going to do everything I can to make it happen. I feel like I have something to say, and despite what some unnamed teachers have told me, I believe that purpose should never be undervalued.

Do what you love, love what you do, and please ladies – let’s continue to work hard to do it well. Be memorable, be different, and be purposeful! I hope these tips are helpful and motivate you all to keep living unchained – I know I will!. Year 24 here I come!

Check out more of Daisy’s work on her website: www.daisygiles.com and Facebook and Etsy pages: https://www.facebook.com/daisygilesartist, http://www.etsy.com/shop/daisygiles


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