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What does it take to whether an art critique and come out the other side ready to continue to create? How do you receive criticism and move forward? I had the pleasure to sit down with the artist, Melinda Cootsona. In our conversation, Melinda opened up about how she transitioned from her work in interior design to painting, how she organized her very first open studio, why it’s important to put yourself out there early, her work with cold wax, and so much more! I know that artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment out of Melinda’s distinct perspective and her helpful advice to budding artists.
What it’s like to organize and hold your first open studio.
Have you ever held an open studio for your artwork? What was it like? What kind of feedback did you receive? How early in your career did you hold it? Artist Melinda Cootsona held her first open studio early on in her career. She held the open studio in her home and enjoyed the feedback via purchases and responses from her viewers. She’s had several since that first one and encourages artists getting started to go for it and hold an open studio as soon as they have a good collection of work to display. What can you learn from Melinda’s experience?
How to receive criticism and move forward.
How do you receive a critique of your artwork? Do you seek them out and look forward to learning from them or do you struggle with receiving them constructively? My guest, Melinda Cootsona was candid enough to open up and share from her perspective and how she faced critiques of her artwork. Melinda says that she experiences a sort of detachment from the criticism that she hears regarding her work. She doesn’t take the criticism personally and encourages artists to do all they can to cultivate that sort of healthy detachment that keeps them from taking the critiques personally. What has been your experience with criticism?
Why it’s important to connect with a mentor.
Do you have people in your circle that you go to and receive feedback on your artwork? Are there other artists that you are in contact with whose opinion you can trust? Artist Melinda Cootsona shared with me during our conversation that she has relied heavily on mentors as she has progressed in her career. She also encourages artists who are just getting started to take the initiative and connect with a mentor as soon as possible. Melinda says that connecting with a mentor can have a huge impact on an artist’s ability to get feedback, push toward goals, and expand their perspectives. Have you connected with a mentor? What was your experience?
Overcoming self-doubt and the downward spiral.
What do you do when you run into self-doubt and the occasional downward spiral that can plague the experience of an artist. Are there best practices that have helped you address this difficulty? My guest, Melinda Cootsona took the time in our conversation to open up about her own experience with self-doubt and the downward spiral. There is two point that Melinda touches on in addressing this difficulty among artists; first, she says it’s important to understand that every artist goes through this, you are not alone. Second, Melinda makes the point that the only way to the work is through the work, meaning, if you want to break out of the downward spiral and figure out what to do next, you’ve just got to start working. Can you relate to Melinda’s perspective? Share what’s worked for you!
Outline of This Episode
- [1:00] I introduce my guest, Melinda Cootsona.
- [2:30] Melinda talks about how she got started on her journey as an artist.
- [4:00] What was Melinda’s first open studio like?
- [6:30] Receiving an art critique.
- [9:00] Melinda talks about personal successes along the way.
- [13:00] Why it’s important to connect with a mentor.
- [18:00] Learning from setbacks and failures.
- [24:30] Melinda talks about her work with cold wax.
- [31:00] How Melinda starts a painting.
- [35:00] Melinda’s habits in the studio.
- [37:30] Using music during the creative process.
- [40:30] Don’t wait too long before you approach a gallery!
- [45:00] Dealing with self-doubt as an artist.
- [47:00] Artwork by living artists that Melinda would love to own.
Other artists mentioned on this episode
Resources Mentioned on this episode
- Melinda Cootsona (@mlcstudios) • Instagram photos and videos
- Melinda’s Book: Open Your Studio: Nine Steps to A Successful Art Event