Monday, December 13, 2010

work ethic: notes to a student

Today I tried to address work ethic with a few students. It is really hard to address work ethic with students. There are so many reasons why we can't seem to get to work or stick to the work. I am not sure where I learned the discipline that I have... watching my mother paint, even when there was no gallery hunting her down or buyers, having to do chores, regular music lessons, even though I really struggled with them and had such a hard time with anything musical... or am I just obsessed?

I swear that any success that I have had is simply my ability to stay in the studio and plan my life so that I can be alone in a space... and stay there. Not that I don't struggle with committing to some kinds of things! But creating art has not been an issue for me...

what I suggest to students: investigate why you self sabotage?
or if you never had to work hard at things, maybe you have to learn that later in life, rather than blaming yourself- just accept that no one ever taught you and get to work learning a new work ethic, try to learn something really exciting and hard, make a schedule and give it to someone who cares about you, talk about it, pay for regular studio space (put some skin in the game), create a real deadline (call that person you admire and hire them to come see 15 minutes of finished material for a date in the future and pay them up front.) Apply for a festival BEFORE the piece is done... or ask yourself how you are working that isn't fun? if it is fun
you will want to do it! SO if it isn't, maybe you are doing the wrong thing... OR maybe you need a bigger purpose - WHY are you doing it? If there is no burning reason- then you won't do it. I always work on something that scares me and many of the successful creators I know do the same... it has to mean something big and real... it is too hard to create otherwise...
make it personal and make it useful

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