Monday, November 14, 2016

It's Your Thing....Do What You Want To Do!

I'm always trying to figure out am I doing the right things to be a successful artist? What is my end result goal anyhow? Countless hours are spent journaling, planning, goal setting, searching for answers online.  I'm always afraid that maybe.... just maybe I'm not doing this thing the way I should be and often times I am doing things that go against marketing and career planning advice that I've read and even received from admired colleagues.  Sometimes the self-doubt and questions pile up so high and spin me around in circles resulting in being thrown off the merry-go-round and getting some good grass stains, scrapes and bruises.  I'm constantly wrestling with my own self awareness, what individual hang ups and personality traits might be holding me back: like my need for variety and sometimes lack of focus, my not sticking to one genre, or wondering if my work will ever be good enough to be at the top (yikes).  

What I do know for sure is that when I follow my instincts and don't worry about the rules of success or how I'm viewed by others, I always oddly find success.  Perhaps not success in terms of my name is in every magazine or winning some huge award, but success in the joy of creating what I wanted and sharing that with others. 

This month I decided to indulge my need to get away from the hard core discipline and focus, the seriousness of it all, and just have fun! I've always had fun painting minis because they are quick and spontaneous. I like the speed and rush of doing a whole bunch of little studies in one day. I just set up one after the other, don't think about how good they are or not and just paint on automatic. It's funny how taking the pressure of greatness or perfection off frees you up to just experiment, explore and in the end you usually find something really good that you can carry into larger works.  Sometimes, too I think you discover what people really like. For example, it was clear that in these 50 "Paintini's" the paintings with sunflowers or blue & white pottery were the crowd pleasers. Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to abandon my higher ideals of artistic merit and start churning out sunflowers and blue and white paintings, but when one has to pay the bills that knowledge doesn't hurt!  

In the end, following my instincts brought me great joy, not to mention a boost for the bank account! Personally connecting with other artists and art collectors who snatched up these little "Paintini's" was so much fun and they expressed their gratitude again and again for me offering something affordable to give themselves and friends. In my mind, other artists and art collectors are like an extended family. We share that one thing, the love of art, in common. We can bind together, no matter how many differences we may have,  on that one common ground!

For November & December I will be giving away to
a Blog Member
(there is a join button on the right hand side)
1 Kelli Folsom Art Calendar for 2017 and 1 Paintini!
The drawing will take place Dec 1st and Jan 1st and announced here on the blog.

For now I am done with the Paintini's, but you can get a Kelli Folsom Art Calendar for $20 (includes shipping in U.S.) Just click the Donate button on top right and enter $20. Please make sure to give me your shipping address in the information.  


  1. Your Pantini's are perfect. I've enjoyed seeing them and feel inspired. I love reading about how you spend hours planning, journaling and goal setting. you motivate me.

  2. Kelli, you have such a wonderful way of wording your thoughts and situations in these blogs. The mini's were fabulous - what a freeing exploration for you and what a great windfall to gain insight into your audience.

  3. You are definitely not alone in your feelings! I suffer from self doubt and the need to explore every subject as well. Keep calm and paint on!

  4. Love your work and especially the paintings! So fun!
    Joanne Willoughby

  5. U m I meant paintinis haha auto correct!!

  6. I am all of them
    But none of them
    Is I.

    I finally finished that still life that you helped me with years ago in Oklahoma...I never could get it where I i let it go...turned out to my satisfaction "Faces and Snakes"


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