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Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (8)

8 Excursus: Submit photos for application If you want or need to submit digital photos of your artwork with your application, you should familiarize yourself with a few technical details. In some cases it is specified exactly how the file of your photo should look like. Here you have no choice but to get this done somehow. If you can’t do it yourself, you need to find someone to help you. Otherwise your application may be sorted out directly – or in some cases of online applications, the system won’t even allow you to send the application at all. In other cases no precise or only partial specifications are given. Even so, there are a few things you should know. Type of file Unless otherwise specified (!), You should send an image file in the attachment as a single file in JPG format. This means that under no circumstances should you insert an image file into a Word document or PDF or any other program that is not primarily intended for the transmission of image files. Naming the file Unless otherwise specified (!), It is a good idea to use your last name and the title of the image to name the file. If you send multiple photos, you can also number them. Make sure, however, that the file name is not too long, you may shorten the title of the image. It’s best to add underscores between the individual parts. An example: 1_Sommer_Meeresblick.jpg Size of the file Check the file size of your image file. Unless otherwise specified (!), A size of less than 1 MB is sufficient. Photos with more than 5 MB or even more than 10 MB can lead to long download processes, which are very annoying for curators who want to get a * quick * overview. Resolution of the file Unless otherwise specified (!), A resolution of 72 dpi is sufficient initially. Otherwise the download process will be delayed here as well. Resolutions of up to 300 dpi are only required for good print catalogs, but this is usually expressly stated in the tender. Amount of image files This, too, is usually precisely specified in the tender. If you are applying on your own initiative, it is best to limit yourself to three – at most (!) But five – image files. As a curator, it is not uncommon for me to suddenly receive over 20 pictures and I have neither the time nor the inclination to look at them all. All I want is a first impression. Large amount of image files If – for whatever reason – it is necessary and agreed that you send a larger number of pictures, you should not put more than five in a single email in order to avoid technical problems. It is possible that your program will automatically convert all files to a zip folder. Or some mail programs automatically upload the files to their own cloud and the recipient is then sent a download link. However, it is advisable to find out beforehand what the recipient prefers. If you don’t know how your own mail program reacts and what the other side wants: I can highly recommend the WeTransfer service, which allows you to send up to 2 GB for free in a really simple way. Quality of photography It goes without saying that your photography should show your work of art in the best possible light. This is to be understood both literally and figuratively. A picture for the wall shouldn’t show wallpaper around it, it shouldn’t hang crooked, it shouldn’t be distorted and the sunlight or lamplight shouldn’t reflect in it. Also, no “creative” extras such as additional lettering should be incorporated. Even professional frames don’t really improve the quality of photography. Just show your picture as it is! With a sculpture, you have to make sure that no disturbing elements appear in the background and that the color contrast of the work of art and the background clearly shows the work of art and does not make it disappear.

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (7)

7 Invitation to an exhibition There are different ways to invite to your exhibition. If you have time, you should use them all. Invitation card or invitation flyer If you are familiar with the layout and design options in one or more programs on the PC or Mac, you can create your own flyer. You can also see whether you can find something suitable in the numerous design templates of the respective programs and then make the appropriate adjustments. In addition, there are online service providers who specialize in offering you an easy-to-understand layout program with many design templates. It gets a little more complicated if you intend to have your flyer printed and the print service provider sets very specific requirements for submitting your document. But most print service providers are prepared for the fact that not everyone with the appropriate knowledge can shine and offer simple layout programs for their part, where you can create your flyer online. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time. Then try another provider whose program you get along better with. In general, pay attention to clarity and readability . Creativity in the advertising industry follows different laws than creativity in art. Often less is more in terms of the choice of images and the length and formatting of the text. Colors should also be used sparingly (apart from any images) and not too bright. You can put the icing on the cake of professionalism on everything by choosing up to three colors and two fonts, which you explain to your brand colors or brand fonts and use again and again. You might even design your own logo with exactly these colors. If you have little idea about these things, then fall back on the design templates already mentioned and use the ideas of other creative minds who are more familiar with them. The more you want to develop yourself and your brand, the more clearly a financial investment can be very worthwhile. Invitation by email in times of the GDPR With the month of May 2018, a new era for invitations by email has dawned: The new EU General Data Protection Regulation stipulates that you cannot simply send invitations to all possible contacts at random unless you have received written consent from the recipient beforehand. You certainly don’t have to ask your friends and family members for permission. But if you have created a mailing list with several hundred names over the years and your art is also offered for sale at the exhibitions, then you are acting as a self-employed entrepreneur and there are rules for that. I do not offer any further advice on this topic at this point. I can only strongly recommend you to find out what exactly you need to consider in your personal case. Invitations as an email attachment But I would also like to give a few general tips on how an email invitation should be designed. Many artists create a chic invitation in flyer format (see above), then save it as a PDF document (or, if necessary, as a JPG) and send it as an email attachment. So far so good. Unfortunately, however, the associated emails are often very “ugly”, very impersonal and uninviting. In the worst case, they contain no text at all, just the appendix. At first glance, such emails look like a gray mouse in the daily flood of emails, nobody suspects which fancy flyer is attached and the chance that someone will download the attachment decreases rapidly. Because: First of all, people want to know why they should invest the time to download. And above all, they also want to know that it is not spam and that they can catch the virus that is currently circulating with one click. Therefore: Make the effort and already write the essential information about your exhibition in the email text. (It really doesn’t hurt if some data is repeated in the attached flyer.) And explicitly refer to the attachment and explain why it is worth opening it. Create an event on social media If you are on Facebook or XING, for example, you can create an event there in just a few steps and invite your contacts to join. This also has the advantage that your contacts will be automatically reminded of the event when the time comes. Press invitation When you send your information to the press, you should keep in mind that you can kill two birds with one stone if you formulate your letter cleverly: You ask the press to publish your information AND you invite the press your event!

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (6)

6 cover letters In the arts sector there can be many different types of applications. Sometimes you are simply provided with an online form that you have to fill out – and that’s it. You don’t have to think twice. In other cases, traditional application documents are expected, as is the case in other professional areas. However, once some form of cover letter is required, there are a few things to keep in mind. It does not matter whether this cover letter is sent by email or post, whether the text content is short or detailed. It also doesn’t matter whether you are already applying for a detailed advertisement or whether you are sending an unsolicited application or maybe just want to get some preliminary information. In all cases, Make it clear that a cover letter is the first thing others will notice of you. It thus serves as a door opener and gives the very first impression. When, as a curator, I send two-line emails like “I hereby apply to participate in the Brücker Art Days. I have exhibited several times. With best regards… “(not an isolated case!), I don’t feel very motivated to take a closer look at the artist. I also have to research everything myself and answer the questions I have if I should shortlist someone. The possibly good vita collapses as quickly as a house of cards. You should therefore anticipate the answers to possible questions and make your cover letter as meaningful and professional as possible. Restrict yourself to pure information and leave out “sentimentalism”. The salutation A good cover letter starts with a reasonable salutationto: Try to find out who exactly you are sending the cover letter to and name this person by name. If you already know the person personally, you can make the salutation a little looser and start with “Dear …” or “Hello …”. A “Dear….” Is not out of date even today if you are unsure whether the person would like to go directly to this level with you. You can usually tell from the answer to your letter how the person you are writing to would like to communicate, and you can then do that directly. If you’ve already got to know the person personally, but don’t know whether he or she remembers it, it is best to point out where you met in the first sentence. Clear formulations Then state your intention to apply and say who you are and what you do. Also explain the reasons for your application. It is important that you provide clear information with all of this information . State explicitly what exactly you are applying for (title of the exhibition, period of the exhibition, etc.). If there are attachments (photos, documents), point them out explicitly: Say what exactly you can find in the appendix, or list the individual components, if there are more than three. If it is not yet an application, but simply a matter of contacting you and perhaps a few questions on your part, you should be just as clear about this. Note the tender text A basic rule of every application letter is: Answer everything that is mentioned in the advertisement .If for some reason you can’t do that or you didn’t understand a part, you have to say so! The rule also implies: Do not write anything – or at least no longer explanations – about things that were not asked for in the advertisement. If you do, mention why you think this information is interesting or important. It is important to realize that the people who drafted the tender have a clear idea of ​​what they are looking for and that they have worded the tender accordingly. If there is not (yet) a detailed advertisement, ask in your first letter whether there will still be one or what other requirements there are. Otherwise your unsolicited application might end up in the trash. Professional ending Choose a professional qualification such as: “I look forward to your answer!” And don’t forget to provide all of your personal data and contact options: name, address, telephone number, email address, website, miscellaneous. In an email, you should have this information in a footer. You should also include your website as a link in the text of the email. Even if it all sounds like a lot: A cover letter should be kept as short as possible . Just limit yourself to the information necessary for THIS exhibition. Finally, it can’t hurt to choose a generally professional layout . This also applies to emails! Texts without paragraphs or with abbreviations such as “LG” or “VG” are not professional. The second contact – depending on the answer – may be very different from the first, but play it safe with the first!

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (5)

5 Artistic Statement First things first: While the Artistic Biography (see Part 4) is primarily about YOU, the Artistic Statement is primarily about YOUR ART.Here you have the opportunity to write about what (has) moved you to do exactly this kind of art. It is not necessary to adhere to a certain form, in theory you can just write on it. However, there are general ways to structure texts that you CAN adhere to. Especially for those of you who are not yet so confident about writing, it will help to decide on a form beforehand, then roughly write down the content for the various sections of text and at the end fill the whole thing with detailed content and beautiful words . A good text wants to be laid out, worked out and, in the end, also revised like a good picture. (Which does not apply to the Expressionists among you. 😉) Build texts professionally Examples of such structuring options would be: Type 1: Classic storytelling or storytelling (> just google it) – with a beginning, main part, end – is a way of building a text and captivating readers. There are tons of guides on the Internet for this. Type 2: Another possibility is to start from a finished work of art, first describe it, then describe the manufacturing process and finally explain your interpretation. Type 3: You can also string together mental fragments, sketches or diary entries. Content There are many more options. Here you can live out your creativity. But no matter what you choose: Stick to a self-defined structure and avoid confusion. Regardless of the form, your statement should describe your art in general and explain why you make this art and what it means to you. You can also get emotional here and you can include aspects that move you independently of the art (e.g. political or ethical nature), but which have a connection to your art. Whether you prefer to write this text in the first person or in the he / she form may vary depending on for whom or for whom you are writing this text. But it is important that you stay with yourself. Even if you are writing the text for a specific call for proposals or for a specific audience, it can be misunderstood when you tell others what to feel, think, or do. Some artists open their statement with a quote from a famous personality. The danger lies in the fact that everyone has a different understanding of the usually short quote. So if you do this, refer to it again in your statement to relate it to your art. Also check regularly whether the quote still fits. Because my experience has shown me that an Artistic Statement can change from year to year – while the Artistic Biography actually always remains the same in terms of content and only the focus is different

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (4)

4 Artistic Biography In addition to the tabular form, it may also be necessary to use your own biography as a coherent textto compose. You have to be aware from the outset that this is a type of text with a completely different orientation! In no case is it about simply making complete sentences out of the building blocks listed in your vita. The result would be a rather dry text that would not be worth the effort to formulate! In terms of content it would not differ at all from the Vita. No, completely different skills are required here! In a formulated text, you have the opportunity to give direction to what is said, a personal touch and, above all, to breathe life into it. Design the text so that it is fun to read. Let the readers find out something they may have asked themselves while reading the Vita. Give you the exciting info between the lines. Even if you now feel in the center of attention, in most cases it is advisable or even necessary that you write your Artistic Biography in the 3rd person (he / she) and not in the first person . This will save you from writing too emotionally. Because ultimately, the biography is about facts and the past. In the Artistic Statement (see part 5) you still have the opportunity to integrate the emotional aspect with regard to your art. As for the contentyou have a completely free hand. Make it clear to yourself again and again that we are not in the “normal” world of employees and that we can take away certain artistic freedoms. Above all, this means that you can say goodbye to the “complete résumé”, never to be seen again. Especially in the artistic vita you can consciously leave out, in your opinion, rather unimportant details and concentrate on your own chosen focus. Often this is even necessary for a specific tender. Either the advertisement has a specific topic that you should focus on. Or the default is a certain text length and you have to decide which points you want to include and which you can leave out. Don’t forget, all these texts that you’ve written over time to archive. So you will probably end up with a nice collection of completely different texts! But of course you can just copy one or the other for a new advertisement every now and then. Short biography A special type of biography is the short biography, which may only be 50-100 words long. This is less about the “personality” factor and more about the very specific selection of key content. You have to think carefully about what is most important to you. Or. In some cases it can be helpful to just see how others are doing or have done it, for example when you publish something in a magazine that others have already published in the past.

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (3)

ENGLISH TEXT BELOW: PRESENT YOURSELF BETTER IN TEXTS – WRITING SKILLS FOR ARTISTS (3) In addition to my own artistic activity, I also curate and organize the Brücker Art Days, a district event in the east of Cologne, once a year. Through these two perspectives, as an artist & curator, I have developed a good feeling for what makes a good artistic vita. A note in advance: The terms “Vita”, “Artistic curriculum vitae”, “Artistic biography” or “Short biography” are not clearly defined for artists in the German-speaking area. But there is basically the difference between a tabular form and a coherent text. In the English-speaking world, a distinction is often made between “Resumé” for the former and “Bio (graphy)” for the latter. Today’s part of the series is about the first – tabular – form and the question of what belongs in there and what doesn’t. Anyone who has studied art and / or is already represented by a good gallery will probably no longer need my advice here. Often the completed art degree at a prestigious university is in itself the ticket to a professional career. But how do artists proceed, whose activities have only become professional over time and who have now decided to exhibit and sell regularly? The first answer is already in the question: The decision should be made specifically. Nothing hinders a good start more than the uncertainty about what exactly you want. What exactly belongs in the vita? Personal information Your name, address, website, email address, telephone number, other contact options and a photo are an essential part of every tabular résumé. The photo should be of good quality and you should make a friendly impression on it. Whether it is colorful or black and white, whether it shows you in a business outfit or with a brush on the canvas, you can decide according to your personal taste. Fortunately, we artists have a lot of freedom to present ourselves as we are. Completed exhibitions There are many ways to exhibit your art. I gave a detailed overview of this in my >> series “Exhibition Possibilities” last year here in the SommerKunstBlog. When choosing a suitable exhibition location, the question “What will this exhibition bring me?” Plays an important role when it comes to assessing whether the exhibition is doing well in the vita. You should also be able to clearly formulate your own requirements from the outset: It is a fallacy to believe that EVERY exhibition opportunity counts and that it is more about quantity than quality. Five individual exhibitions at the “hairdresser around the corner” – without a vernissage, without sales, without any attention – look less good than participating in an organized district event, at exactly this barber shop. In other words: the exhibition venues should not be chosen at random, but you should be able to write a kind of “good name” in your vita with each of your own exhibitions or participation in an exhibition. Or maybe you just leave out a not so profitable exhibition in the official vita: less is often more! And unlike in the working world of employees, as a freelance artist you are not obliged to submit a complete résumé. It should just be one Or maybe you just leave out a not so profitable exhibition in the official vita: less is often more! And unlike in the working world of employees, as a freelance artist you are not obliged to submit a complete résumé. It should just be one Or maybe you just leave out a not so profitable exhibition in the official vita: less is often more! And unlike in the working world of employees, as a freelance artist you are not obliged to submit a complete résumé. It should just be one certain regularity can be seen in exhibitions. In principle, participation in exhibitions is particularly recommended for the beginning. If these are professionally organized and if there are also professional artists participating, they automatically rub off on your own vita in a positive manner. In the further course of the career, however, solo exhibitions are also desirable. If possible, individual and group exhibitions should be distinguished from each other in the Vita. Press Whenever you exhibit, you should make sure that it is reported in some form, primarily by the press. Anyone who manages to get their own name in the newspaper has already done a lot for their good vita. Selected articles can be named or, if necessary, enclosed. Art awards Art prizes are another way of adding value to your vita. This should also be researched well beforehand to decide whether it is worth participating. Announcements can be found in art magazines, online or sometimes in the local press. Certainly you will get some rejections here, as there are of course always only a few award winners. But maybe it will work out one day. Many only allow a very limited group of applicants: maybe only from their own city, maybe only on a specific topic, maybe only on a very specific artistic technique. This naturally limits the number of possible applications, but once you find a suitable job advertisement, there is little competition. artistic education Many mention participation in painting courses in their CV. Here you should carefully consider whether you want to fill in the empty space with such a list. Certainly no VHS courses should be mentioned. On the other hand, anyone who has attended really good courses with professional and possibly well-known artists or at a good private art institution should not go unmentioned. Are you self-taught? Opinions differ here. While some think that this is not well received and simply leave this information and thus the word itself unmentioned, others say that it means a lot, especially for artists with a high quality level, if you work it all out yourself Has. I can’t give you any good advice here, you have to decide for yourself based on your feelings – maybe on a case-by-case basis. The fact is, however, that many galleries do not accept self-taught people. But it is also interesting that some other countries (e.g. the USA) give autodidacts a much higher priority. General form It goes without saying that a good and clear layout as well as perfect spelling and grammar can make a difference. If you have no idea what this means, look up examples of visually appealing résumés online (regardless of their content). The general rule: Years sorted from present (above) to past (below) less (text) is more! legible font (e.g. Arial, Times) uniform display of headings, lists, fonts two colors at most Font size between 11-13 Max. 1 A4 page Vita on your own website A website is fundamentally different from the structure of a folder or a letter. Because, for example, you have the option of listing press articles on your own subpage. Your contact information is of course on the website in the imprint and not in the vita. The maxim should always apply that a single subpage should not contain too much information.

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (2)

ENGLISH TEXT BELOW: PRESENT YOURSELF BETTER IN TEXTS – WRITING SKILLS FOR ARTISTS (2) You will probably be able to quickly draw up your own list if you are wondering why you sat around your PC and typed something for your last exhibition or participation in an exhibition. In my series, I want to tell you a little more about the differences between different types of text . This way you run less risk of wondering what exactly is being asked of you this time. You avoid unnecessary nesting or repetition and you can set up your text in a much more targeted manner. But first of all: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT PROCEDURE! There are no set rules. In this series, I am therefore only making suggestions and offering orientation options. Nevertheless, in the end you will have a good overview of what you can still tackle for yourself. I’ll give you some general tips on how to organize yourself well from the start: What is a type of text? We generally speak of different “types of text” when it comes to classification or learning to write. For example, a resume in tabular form is a completely different type of text than a cover letter. For each type of text there are more or less general characteristics. But there are still different sub-types: If you apply for a job as a waiter in the pub next door, you will certainly do it very differently than with a highly paid position on the board of a company – or when applying as an artist * in around an exhibition space. And finally – as almost everywhere where there are drawers – there are also mixed forms. While you can, for example, neatly separate everything when displaying on your own website (if you wish), How can text modules help? For the sake of simplicity, I will concentrate on the clearest possible “drawers” ​​in the series. What you make of it in the end is entirely up to you. A good recommendation, however, is to create your own archive that you can use again and again. By that I mean that you create TEXT BLOCKS. For example, you can create a certain part in your biography or your statement (e.g. essential influences on your art or a particularly important exhibition or your main motif or your preferred technique or …. Or …) as a separate text module that you can add to others if necessary Can incorporate texts. Or you can create a fixed layout for your CV as a building block, which you can change and expand again and again. You can create the text modules themselves in various forms. Many tenders specify, for example, a fixed minimum or maximum number of words. So you should be able to write your building block in both a few and more words. Very experienced writers can also consider writing the same text module once in a very formal manner and once more colloquially. And the very creative among you may invent your own linguistic or even visual representation. Notice the W questions Another general tip comes from the journalistic field, but is also ideally suited for our purposes – and I will point this out again and again in the further course of the series: Answer the six W-questions in your texts: WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? HOW? WHY? Or. Always think about which W question (s) is or are the focus of a certain type of text or a single text module. The answers to these questions are the be-all and end-all of any informative text. And your texts are always informative about you and your art: They inform journalists, potential buyers, gallery owners, but also friends & family about what you do and why you are worthwhile to familiarize yourself with your art to employ and even buy them. Don’t make it difficult for yourself! Finally, I’ll give you the useful tip that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel again and again. Sure, artists in particular want to be special. But there are also good reasons to swim in the current. This is especially true for those who still find it difficult to write their own texts: why not see how others are doing it. Of course you can’t violate any copyright! But you can get inspiration from the endless sea of ​​already written texts. Also, it can’t hurt to take a look at the artists’ texts from last year when applying for a group exhibition, so that you can fit in and not disqualify yourself from too much experimentation from the outset.

Series: How to Present Yourself Better in Texts – Writing Strategies for Artists (1)

ENGLISH TEXT BELOW: PRESENT YOURSELF BETTER IN TEXTS – WRITING SKILLS FOR ARTISTS (1) Why do I still have to be able to write now? When you write about yourself and your art, you create the basis for good self-marketing. You learn to structure your thoughts. You will learn to differentiate between the various external demands placed on artists. You learn to give answers to questions. And you learn about professional public image. And you are sure to learn how to keep improving your marketing. >> Congratulations! I am happy for you! Then you don’t need to read any further. However, my experience tells me that most artists are not like you and that they would like to sell more. >> It’s like that for very, very many artists. You might be surprised to read when I tell you that I myself had this problem for many years and couldn’t say a single word about my art that I thought was worthy. But I can also tell you: You can learn that! For example, by following this series attentively and thus basically getting on the road. As an introduction, in which I tell about my journey and how I learned to talk about art: >> Sure, you do what you think is right. And of course you can just ask someone else, maybe even hire a professional for a fee to do these things for you if you have the change. In any case, you should be sure that you can trust this other person to present yourself the way you want. And even if you don’t write your texts yourself, you should be able to judge whether they are good and consistent for you. So you don’t have to worry about at least a few thoughts. >> I don’t want to rule out that this can happen. And if you work with a gallery, then you will orientate yourself to their rules and procedures and adapt. Galleries have a completely different perspective and open up the market in a completely different way. Some of them work with their own name and the name of the artist only comes second. But as long as you make sure that you present and sell your art, you can’t avoid talking about yourself and your art. +++++ If you think now that it can’t hurt to learn a little more about writing texts for artist presentations, then I look forward to seeing you as a reader of my series, which will be published in loose order over the next few weeks and months here in summer K unstBlog will appear. And I look forward to your comments and additional recommendations!

Are you stuck in a jam of ideas?

Do you know the feeling when you have a lot of good ideas at the same time and you don’t know where to start? Or do you know the feeling when you have a lot of ideas but don’t know whether they are really good? Or do you know the feeling when you know that you are actually good, but you can’t come up with new ideas? In the end you sit there, dissatisfied & disagreed with yourself. Nothing happens and you suddenly realize that you are probably experiencing an artistic block . Blockage sounds very harsh. Some prefer to talk about a creative break , because this euphemism doesn’t sound that bad. However, the result is the same. I call this situation an idea jam . By doing this, I acknowledge that the current situation does not feel like I would like it to be, AND I remind myself that I may very well always have a lot of ideas. For me, “ideas jam” also means that I don’t just have to wait idly until it’s over, but can do something. To be artistically active often means that you are “in the flow”, that you do your own work with a high degree of passion and identify with it far more than many other people in other professions. Artists often merge with what they’re doing. In the best case, it feels wonderful. But it can also happen that this river suddenly stops flowing and that you feel somehow blocked. Such a jam of ideas quickly affects (often highly sensitive) artists’ own well-being and causes emotional stress. Lots of good ideas – but where to start? Your thoughts go in circles. Instead of doing something, you sit there and nothing happens. In the end, you are totally dissatisfied because you just wasted your valuable time. All that thinking, weighing, maybe even creating priority lists has led to nothing. You feel empty and unable to do anything. You stand in your own way. Very important in this situation: No matter how you feel now, you can just let the feeling be AND still do something!You don’t feel like you just have it. Feelings are inherent in that they come & swell and then go & wane again. Give it a try in a harmless situation: Perhaps you are currently annoyed about the content of an email that you have received. You can now decide to read the email over and over and get further and further into the anger. Or: Feel the anger, let it be and then you take care of tidying up your studio – or the kitchen. When you are done with it, look carefully to see if the feeling is still there in the same strength. Probably not, and you’ve already done the cleanup before. Lots of good ideas – but are they really good enough? The doubt, yes, the self-doubt has struck again and is gnawing at you. Yesterday evening after finishing your work you found your new work of art really great, today it looks completely different in daylight. Yesterday you applied for an exhibition space. Today you think that you should have put it off for another year because you think you are not good enough after all. Very important in this situation: Don’t believe everything you think!Thoughts are first and foremost thoughts – they are not reality. Thoughts are always in flux, they come and go. Observe yourself once for a day or even an hour. What thoughts come to you automatically without you having made up your mind to think them? Our brains are constantly sending us new thoughts, and since these are not reality, they can be like this today and like this tomorrow. An important finding! Instead of believing everything in your thoughts, you should always ask yourself if a particular thought is useful for you and your advancement. If not, leave it where it is and just wait for it to go away. If so, then thank your brain for sending this helpful thought over and follow it! Your career has finally picked up speed – of all times, the new ideas are missing In this case too, I doubt your thoughts are telling you the truth. Most artists are constantly having new ideas that just hide well at times. Very important in this situation: Take the mental focus away from what is not there right now. You have already noticed above that thoughts & feelings come and go and so probably also this feeling of emptiness. Trust that your ideas will come back. Hey, you are an artist! You keep coming up with new ideas and often spontaneously and unexpectedly. Here, too, just switch to another activity first. Let your thoughts run free and watch them. If there is a good idea, hold on to it! Write them down! Implement them! That’s what it’s about The emotional merging with one’s own art is a wonderful gift that was given to us artists. Merging with unpleasant thoughts or feelings, on the other hand, can sometimes be quite annoying. You can learn to consciously differentiate between the two. And you can learn to distance yourself from uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. Accept that they are there, but don’t identify with them. And then just paint something anyway! Or first tidy up your studio – or the kitchen. The unpleasant thoughts and feelings will go away all by themselves!

Magical art with text and images

Strange language Since my earliest childhood, I found everything to do with written or spoken language somehow “strange”. It seemed to me that reading a text was taking too long. Over the years I found that the linearity of the linguistic signs was difficult for me. I was kind of disappointed that you couldn’t see a text at a glance. As a teenager and young adult, I used “words” very creatively to express myself.  50 X 50 cm, mixed media Text becomes exotic text Since 2008 I have been dealing with the relationship between text and image in my artistic work. I use various mixed techniques. The medium of text gives verbal / written language an upgrade in that it can also be perceived as a snapshot and thus exceeds the limits of linearity. I don’t mean to say that the text that becomes an image on the canvas can be grasped “immediately” – rather the text becomes an exotic text and one can also “feel” it, regardless of its previous / original linearity. Conversely, when the text generates a visual composition, it is emphasized again by the image. In this way the text becomes exotic. The relationship between text and image is doubled or even multiplied by it. I intertwine the abstract image as a symbolic emotion with the exotic text and thus want to shape reality and change the material world. The magic seal in my pictures even expands the exotic text and includes words with meaning even beyond any kind of linearity and even beyond our limits of time. The magic seal thus refers to words that are transferred in pictures (like a monogram – see chaos magic).  9 x 20 X 50 cm, mixed media on canvas, Where do I get my inspiration from? I have always believed in the power and strength of the subconscious and have found this partially confirmed or rediscovered. The belief that I am working with the universe sometimes needs to be backed up by real evidence in my life. In addition, I have always been committed to needy animals since early childhood and wanted them around me because their love is so valuable to my heart and I simply admire their beauty. I actually wanted to become a veterinarian, but then things turned out differently. In the meantime I have been working on canvases and have discovered a new synchronicity in myself by referring to animals that have come into my life, or even working with them. My bitch Câine  50 x 50 cm, mixed media on canvas How did it all start? How did my latest and most profound works come about? I had an experience in autumn 2016 that changed my life. One of our bitches, Câine, was suddenly paralyzed and on the verge of dying. There was no longer any hope. I didn’t know that much about non-verbal animal communication back then. But I just wanted to try it out because it was our last hope. It turned out to be absolutely the right decision. Câine recovered (even though she now needs a dog wheelchair), became my animal teacher and is now the proud owner of some “abstract portraits”. I then continued to teach myself non-verbal animal communication in an autodidactic manner and thus discovered a new way Câine is the Romanian word for dog. She already had this name (perhaps originally meant as a joke) when she came to me and shared herself with me in a shamanic way. She was meant to be my animal sister and teacher. You can read more about Câine’s story >> >> here on the website of Tanja Budnick – an expert in non-verbal animal communication: Magic in my art 80 X 80 cm, THE MONOLOGUE OF A NAKED ANIMAL, mixed media on canvas I like to refer to the occult in my art and create reality with magic on canvas. I deal with animal communication or telepathic communication with animals and describe otherworldly spheres. The joy of nature is always deep inside me. I am concerned with the beauty of this different worldview that is generally not recognized in our society. The whole time I have this strong and incredibly beautiful desire to cross the boundaries of our linear language and existence. To get a glimpse of the other side, The canvas as a hologram | Magic | Eclectic | Intuition | The unspeakable | There must be more   Disturbing Language Since early childhood I have always felt that there is something “disturbing” related to the written / spoken language. The feeling was that it was taking too long to perceive a text. As the years went by, I realized that what was bothering me was the linearity of the linguistic sign. The lack of an instantaneous perception of a text grew into a sort of disappointment. However, as a teenager and young adult I was expressing myself creatively via “words”.  50 X 50 cm, mixed media on canvas Text Becomes Exotext Starting with 2008 I approached the relationship between text and image via mixed media. Sometimes I work with text. Through the medium of this approach, I am upgrading the verbal / written language providing it with a snapshot perceiving, beyond the borders of linearity. By this I don’t mean the fact that working as an imagine on the canvas the text is “immediate” – but the text itself becomes afterwards an exotext, with the attribute that it can be “felt” regardless of it’s previous / original linearity . If the text is generating the visual composition, at the same time, the image would reinforce it. Thus, the text becomes an exotic text. Subsequently, the relationships go plural and beyond. I interwave the abstract image meant as a symbol-emotion with the exotext in a natural growth embracing the intention to shape reality, to bring change in the material world. More powerful, the Sigil works as an “upgraded” exotic text, meaning words beyond any linearity, beyond the borders of time. The Sigil means words translated into images (a kind of monogram – chaos magic).  20 X 50 cm X 9 pieces, mixed media on canvas What inspires me? I have always believed in the strength and power of the subconscious and (re) discovered it at times. The belief that I work with the Universe in order to shape often acquires evidence in my life. Also from early childhood I have always wanted to be helpful for the animals in need, to be around them because their love is so precious to my heart and I dearly admire their beauty. Actually, my desire was to become a veterinarian, but things turned out a bit different. Today, me and my husband run a small family shelter for abused and abandoned animals. And also today, a new synchronicity has found its place in my existence, since I am now able to work on canvas about and with the animals who arrive in my life. My Dog Câine  50 x 50 CM, mixed media on canvas How did it start? How did start the newest and more profound stage of my works? In the fall of 2016, I had a life altering experience. One of our dogs, Câine, paralyzed and was about to pass away. There was zero hope for returning. At that time I knew little about animal talk, but wanted to give it a try, since it was our last hope. It has been shown that it has been the best decision possible. Câine has recovered (is walking now with a rolli), became my animal teacher and is today the proud owner of a couple of “abstract portraits”. I started self learning animal talk myself. Thus, I discovered a new way to transcend the borders of the linear communication, inasmuch as the animal talk is immediate. Câine is the Romanian for dog. She came in my life with this name given by others (maybe as a joke) and revealed it to me in a core shamanic way: it was meant to be that she reveals herself as my animal sister and teacher. More about Câine’s story you can find >> here Tanja Budnick’s website – an expert on non-verbal animal communication. Magic In My Art  THE MONOLOGUE OF A NAKED ANIMAL, 80 X 80 cm, mixed media on canvas I enjoy working with references from the occult and shaping reality through magic on canvas; I explore the animal talk / telepathic communication with animals and describe journeys to otherworldly realms; the joy of nature is always in my inner self; I reach out to the beauty of this different way to perceive life, which has been silenced by society most often. All the time there is a powerful and amazingly beautiful desire to transcend the limitations of our linear language and existence. To get a glimpse of the other / another side.

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