What's in your bag of tricks?
Each time I learn a new skill or experiment with a new method of applying paint, I do what I like to call, "add it to my bag of tricks".
Many times when people come in my studio they will ask me about the materials and how I achieved the final look. Usually visitors are surprised to hear I am using traditional materials in non-traditional ways. My favorite is usually when I tell studio visitors that some of my paintings are watercolors and then I usually get the response, "I have never seen watercolors that look like that before!" Which, I guess one could take a few different ways. I choose to take in a great way! The point is, that way of using water colors is mine.
It is my language... it is in my bag-o-tricks. The cool thing is, over the years, you can build up your very own bag of tricks till you have many cool things in that ole bag that you know how to do.
You develop your style and your distinction out of that bag; your independence and uniqueness out of that bag. You also are caught sometimes searching down at the bottom going, "Is that all that's in here?" So you learn something new, some new skill, some new experiment. Sometimes you don't censor yourself enough and you start throwing one of everything from that bag into your next creative project, making it come out a little disjointed and scattered.
That is the cool thing. You don't have to use them all at once. You can just focus on one and really fine tune it to perfection. In fact, some great ideas or creative ventures use only one simple skill. So, you can just focus on one.
Make it your own.
Your own method for using pencils, your own way of playing this traditional song, your own manner of reading and performing your poetry.
Sometimes you can pull a little jazz note trick and hit a wrong note by pulling something out of that bag-o-tricks that doesn't seem to go with this smooth sailing perfection you have going... then hit it again... this will really spice it up as well as legitimately anchor it to the work as a whole.
This occurs in nature also, even in the midst of harmonic organization, organic growth sometimes hits a jazz note.
And let's face it... that is how life is... and at this point I'm definitely ok with it all. So, I will nurture my bag-o-tricks. Learn some new things and use some old things in a new way.
What's in your bag?
What is it that you do that is uniquely you?
How do you change an old thing and make it shine like only you can?
I encourage you to make a list of amazing and unique things that you do; they can be simple, just make sure they are truly you. Reference this list when you are feeling stuck. This is your bag!
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