Jared 2.0, Back To The Blog: Part I

Nearly two years ago, I hit a creative wall. I felt my artwork wasn’t progressing the way I wanted it to and blogging about it only served to confirm those feelings so I stopped writing. I needed time to rethink my approach to painting.

I remembered my college professor, Earl Linderman, telling the class the only way to get better at painting was to continue to paint. After graduation, I put those words into practice and noticed gradual improvement in my work, particularly in the five years I was fortunate enough to do it full-time, but in 2010 I plateaued. The uncertainty of how to proceed sent me into depression. I was determined to find a solution. I needed to refine my skills to match the vision that was beginning to form in my mind of what my art should look like.

In an effort to cheer myself up, I began watching a lot of stand-up comedy. As I continued to observe and listen to various comedians and their material, I became interested in the development of their career path (a subject I hope to expand on at a later time). I eventually came back to George Carlin whose work I hadn’t seen since the late ‘80s. After combing through all of his stand-up material, I looked up additional t.v. spots and interviews and found one particular interview where he discussed a turning point in his career which he claim happened at about the age of 40. Incidentally, this was the same age I found myself at the time I watched the interview. Carlin went on to explain the change came about from a book he read titled "Psycho-Cybernetics."

A short time later, I picked up a copy of the book, by Maxwell Maltz, out of curiosity and actually found it to be an interesting read. In fact, I recommend it to anyone who is looking to make some positive changes in their life. The gist is that humans are goal-seeking individuals. Once we determine a goal we work to achieve it through a self-correcting system, directed by our own experiences utilizing positive and negative conditioning, and ultimately moving toward the positive for a successful outcome.

I thought about my own situation and realized regardless of the frequency of which I painted, if I was in fact continuing to employ bad habits or other unnecessary or negative strategies, it would therefore follow that I would continue to produce undesirable results. I needed to look at my work with complete honesty to determine what I liked and what I didn’t like about it. Once I was able to quantify the compositional elements into these categories, I could then make the necessary changes. This wasn’t going to be pretty.

To be continued…