Office Hours with Antrese: Adapting To new Challenges, How to Get out of your own way, & more!

The last time we had an Office Hours episode I got a ton of positive feedback so I decided it would be good to feature another session. These topics and questions come from our Savvy Painter Growth Studio. Artists just like you who are looking for ways to hone their craft and move their creative process forward have all found a supportive environment with the Growth Studio. 

For just a peek into what the Growth Studio has to offer, I wanted to share some of these helpful topics and insights with the larger Savvy Painter audience. From adapting to the challenges that life throws our way to unpacking what it means to “Get out of your own way,” I know you’ll find something that will resonate with you and hope you share it! 

Learning to adapt 

Don’t you hate it when life doesn’t go according to the script you’ve written out in your head? I can’t be the only one, can I? I can’t be the only one who has made a major career change or moved to a different country, right? 

While your challenges might not look like my challenges, the truth is - we all have our own challenges to face and overcome. Part of learning to adapt to whatever life throws your way is figuring out how to assess the situation. Do you need to make temporary changes or do you need to adapt your schedule and expectations? Will this decision impact your family or your income? How will adjust to suit your goals? It’s going to look different for each person but you have to be willing to be in a mindset to adapt and that starts by assessing the situation. 

Doing the work 

Do you have a vision of where you want to be this time next year? What type of projects do you want to be working on? What are your creative goals? What are your professional goals? If you don’t have a vision of where you want to be, chances are, you’ll never get there. Setting a goal is the easy part, doing the work is where it really gets challenging. 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that doing the work can take a lot out of you - but you have to keep pushing. One way to stay focused on the work is to narrow your focus to one area you want to improve in - you don’t have to transform overnight. By setting achievable goals on a specific area you’ll find that the process becomes more and more familiar. 

Getting out of your own way

Have you ever been told that you just need to “Get out of your own way?” What does that even mean? How do you know that you are “In your own way?” I’ve been told that I needed to “Get out of my own way” and the truth is, I didn’t know what to do with that for a long time. 

Over the years I’ve come to understand this saying as an artist who blocks themselves or sabotages their own path when things start to progress. I see this happen to artists all the time and I want to make sure you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to keep selling yourself short - all you need to do is to shift your perspective.

Outline of this episode

  • [4:00] My introduction to this special Office Hours episode. 
  • [6:20] Learning to adapt to new circumstances. 
  • [11:00] Narrowing it down and “Doing the work.” 
  • [14:30] Push through or change course? 
  • [19:20] How do you “Get out of your own way?” 
  • [26:30] Practical ways to get out of your own way.
  • [29:30] Balancing the demand for commissions and creating your projects. 
  • [35:45] Closing thoughts. 

  • Get better results in your studio Today.

    When you feel confident about your work and you are solid in your self concept as an artist, you stop worrying about how long the painting takes, or when you will “make it.” Instead, you focus on what you know is working. You allow time for your process to unwind. You let go of all the chatter. This is what you will create for yourself in Growth Studio - the unwavering belief in yourself as an artist so that you make art that matters to you. Click here to join.

  • I loved your podcast. I am a beginner artist and exploring my next steps into making it a living. Great helpful information. Thank You

  • Hello Antrese! It’s been awhile since I’ve tuned in – I’m not in the car much these days and that’s when I would dial up your podcast. In the studio now with art assignments due for the Master Artist Program I’m in, I keep running into something that keeps me from getting to the easel. I read Art & Fear over a year ago and I had forgotten about resistance. This podcast is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Also hearing that you are pretty rigid with your painting schedule. I will do likewise! Thanks again. I’ll be tuning in more frequently now.

  • There’s this French phrase used in professional kitchens: mise en place. I dunno what it literally means, but my translation is “Get your shit together.” No, that doesn’t mean you should just grind. I find that if I put all my tools and things exactly where I like them (within thoughtless reach), I can just start painting. If there’s only a drop of ultramarine blue on my palette, or if I don’t have a cold drink, or if my headphones are wrapped around the cat … those things will interrupt my focus sooner or later. If you’ve ver walked away from the easel with a loaded brush in your hand, you’ve probably come back to the easel without it. Remember that day I was going to paint but instead got a crash course in carpet shampoo? Yeah.

    So, I start with mise en place, putting all my shit where it belongs. There are a lot less opportunities to get up and get distracted. I mean, we’re artists, we don’t need much excuse to stand in the backyard for an hour communing spiritually with a tree on a windy day.

    Anyhow, mise en place works for me. Gather everything around the canvas and I’ll paint. Although maybe I’ll try bringing my canvas out to the tree sometime, don’t knock it till you try it…

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