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Joseph Todorovitch

The Art of Being Present, with Joseph Todorovitch

Joseph Todorovitch
Joseph Todorovitch

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What does “Being present” mean to you? Do you find that it is easy or difficult to be present in your studio time? With the cacophony of noise and distractions in our world, to be is present and in the moment could be considered an act of defiance. Artist Joseph Todorovitch is dedicated to honing in on what it means to be present with his artwork and to center on that place of stillness and focus. In our conversation, Joseph was open and transparent about his journey and how he finally found himself at a place where he is comfortable but still challenged.

What does it take to be a good draftsman?

The work of a draftsman is full of focus and clarity. It’s not an easy process that should be taken casually. I was curious what Joseph Todorvitch’s take would be when I asked him about the qualities and skill sets necessary to succeed as a draftsman. Joseph shared that it takes a particular type of motivation that comes from a desire to represent something faithfully. He also shared the importance of engaging in exploration and dedicated practice in the process as well. The two aspects of that Joseph ultimately highlights in our conversation is how critical it is to continue with a robust and thriving curiosity as well as a drive to be present and in the moment.

Slowing Down and Being Present

It takes a lot of dedication and practice to succeed in any given field of study. Malcolm Gladwell is famous for having written that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become masterful at a particular discipline. In our conversation, Artist Joseph Todorovitch shares what he would like to impart to his students as he tries to convey what it means to be a dedicated artist. Ultimately it comes down to the ability of the student to be patient with the process and put in the time to get their work finished. In our society, we want to move things along at a breakneck pace but Joseph teaches the necessity of slowing down and being present.

Healthy body, Healthy mind

The connection between our physical healthiness and the state of our creative mind can sometimes get downplayed. But the truth is, there is a huge link between how healthy and active an artist is and how they feel creatively. Artist Joseph Todorovitch is convinced that his ability to push himself creatively in the studio is due to the fact that he starts his day working out and pushing himself physically. This practice is part of his effort to clear out all the noise, once he has had his workout Joseph is much more focused on being present in the studio. Because of the power he’s found in this practice, Joseph encourages his peers and those coming up in the art community to make sure they take the time to care for their physical health which can only help the creative process.

Advice for New Artists

A huge advantage for many artists starting out in today’s art scene is the ability to tap into the insight and advice from artists who have been on the scene longer. With many artist writing books, giving lectures, and interviews the opportunities are endless. Into this plethora of voices offering their advice is Joseph Todorovitch. Joseph wants to help new artists get a good head start in their career. He suggests that these artists starting off consider their work ethic, work habits, and the materials they work with day in and day out. You can tell that Joseph has given these subjects great thought from his vantage point in his career as an artist thus far.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:10] My introduction to today’s guest, Joseph Todorovitch.
  • [2:00] How Joseph started down the path to becoming an artist.
  • [5:00] Early influences from other artists.
  • [9:00] Joseph’s post-college path.
  • [16:30] What it takes to be a good draftsman.
  • [21:30] Concepts that Joseph would like to impart to his students.
  • [30:30] Facing challenges along the way.
  • [36:00] Paintings that Joseph is particularly proud of.
  • [40:00] How exercise has helped Joseph stay motivated.
  • [42:30] Advice Joseph would give to a younger artist.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

“From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.” ― Hokusai Katsushika

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