12 Things Being an Artist Taught Me in 2015

2015 was such a dynamic and beautiful year – but it sure taught me a lot about myself and my artwork!  I’m excited to see what 2016 brings.  Here’s to a big and beautiful year!  #doitfortheprocess 


Each year I like to glance back on the things I learned (big and small).  Here are some of the things 2015 taught me:


1. Sign up for a lot – maybe more than you think you can handle/create.  It’s amazing to see yourself rise to the occasion and create work you are proud of.

2. Also, put into the world ONLY work you are proud of.  If you don’t like it, treat it like a practice piece and don’t let it define you.  Practicing can look messy and imperfect and that’s healthy and good!
3. Rest.  I think I learned this the hard way (again?) this year.  Creativity can only work on a refreshed mind.  You can work long hours, pull all-nighters, but creativity in the long haul needs time of intentional rest.
4. Do you.  Tends are awesome and exciting, but if you follow them you will be fake and it’s really hard to live with fake-you.
5. Speak up when you need to (through your art, writing, and your words).  This can be hard for mostly visual people, but your voice extends beyond the canvas.
6. Be committed to the process, not the end product.  Creativity is a long and often difficult “job”.  Aiming towards the completion of a piece is beautiful, but fall in love with the physical process of creating.  It will sustain you over the years.
7. Fall in love with color. It is unbelievably complex and reacts with life so uniquely.
8. Don’t let your work or creations define you.  You are so much more than the thing you create and your worth is absolutely NOT defined by its value or merit.
9. Buy bigger canvases.
10. Most people at amazing and so encouraging, but also listen to people who offer negative or contradictory feedback. — But be consistent in your viewpoint.  If you allow others to become the voice in your head then you have lost your perspective.
12. Stop to take photos every day that you create.  They are such beautiful reminders of both large accomplishments and small wonderful moments.  It’s amazing how fast we forget otherwise!
What have you learned this past year?  Do you have a “theme” for 2016?  I would love to hear!

Emily Jeffords

Most days you can find me, in the studio with my little girls, speckled in oil paint (drinking too much coffee), creating artwork for collectors around the world and collaborating with select brands. Check out my artwork on EmilyJeffords.com


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