Hi! I've been watching "The Voice".. and learning a lot. Specifically from Pharrell. He's my favorite judge and when he isn't sitting back calmly listening to the contestants, the nuggets of positivity and feedback he gives people are really inspiring. Watching even one episode, it's easy to discern that the feedback he presents to singers, applies to artists as well.
Sing for yourself. Sing so that YOU are happy...don't sing for the judges.
Paint for yourself. Paint so that YOU are happy...don't paint for everyone else.
Imagine a painting that you have made following a tutorial step for step... the finished product looks just like the painting you were inspired by...
Next imagine a painting that is made with your own emotion.. A painting that is made with feeling and spontaneity. Which painting do you think will connect with the audience more?
I try my best to encourage students in our mixed media workshops to adapt all of the techniques to fit their own needs. Following a lesson step by step and ending up with the same painting as shown is acceptable...but I am so excited when I see a student turn the lesson inside out and make it their own. That is the best part about being a teacher, I think.