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10 Differences Between an Amateur Artist and a Professional Artist

10 Differences Between an Amateur Artist and a Professional Artist

As artists, we shouldn’t be careless with our works. Somehow we dedicate ourselves and want to show the world we are something. At the end our work is our legacy. Here are things that differentiate us from the amateurs.

1. An amateur never sticks to schedule; a professional is always on time.

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.”

—Pablo Picasso

An amateur artist only shows up when he feels like it. He doesn’t maintain a regular work ethic and is never consistent. But professionals put themselves to work on days they don’t feel like it. Whether they feel like it or not, they show up to work.

2. An amateur feels he is good enough; a professional knows he is never good enough.

“The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.”

—Ezra Pound

While an amateur stagnates and becomes overconfident of his ability, a professional knows there is still a lot to learn and improve upon. Professionals empty themselves and want to get better at their craft and are never too proficient to accept corrections.

3. An amateur is in a hurry; a professional is always patient.

“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.”

—Duane Hanson

An amateur wants to get the job done as quickly as possible. Sometimes this may mean they access seemingly shorter and unlawful routes to get them to their destination. But the professional knows that brilliance and excellence requires patience.

4. An amateur is easily distracted; a professional is focused on the goal.

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”

—Junot Diaz

The professional wants to finish something and he will commit himself to completing a task before moving on to the next one. They are not distracted by doubters, negative talk or other exciting offers. They focus. But the amateur cannot finish one assignment before jumping to another one.

5. An amateur doesn’t connect; a professional connects.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

—Thomas Merton

An amateur isolates himself from every other person within his network. He is arrogant and presumptuous and feels networking is not important. But the professional sees the need to network and connect with his peers to improve the quality of his art.

6. An amateur doesn’t take himself seriously; a professional sees his art as his reason for existence.

”When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.”

—Keith Haring

His art may be a hobby or simply a side thing. He doesn’t see it as a way to contribute to humanity and to existence. He is simply content with being known as a part-time artist. A professional breathes and lives his works. He cannot imagine doing any other thing or having another career.

7. An amateur believes in big outcomes; a professional doesn’t mind starting small.

“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.”

—Robert Henri

An amateur wants quick gains and always believes he deserves more than he is getting. But a professional keeps on going regarding the outlook or prospects of his present commitment. He wants to get better and wants to offer the world something and it really is not about what the world has to offer him/her.

8. An amateur doesn’t pay attention to the detail; a professional is concerned about every detail.

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

—Steven Pressfield

An amateur wants to get the job done and doesn’t see how one piece of the artwork could make a difference. But the professional gives everything to a particular task and keeps on going to make sure the work shows his brilliance and class.

9. An amateur is concerned about what other people think; a professional is self aware.

“Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.”

—Jean-Luc Godard

An amateur can’t really quantify his product. Rather the product quantifies him. He listens to critics and could be confused or dampened by their comments. The professional looks for self accomplishment first. He/she wants to feel validated from within rather than from the outer world.

10. An amateur waits for inspiration; a professional hunts for it.

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.”

—Pablo Picasso

An amateur is always waiting for everything to be perfect before he gets going. He complains that his “wow” moment is simply not coming often. The professional knows that inspiration exists everywhere. Because he is self aware, he knows how to tap into it.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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