• leocharre .

Omar Ortiz advice for artists.

Came across an interesting podcast. Titled 'Top Artist', the podcast is made of 30 minute interviews with creatives, by art historian Jessica Stewart.

I found the episode with artist Omar Ortiz especially insightful. Here's a couple takeaways.


Don't try to be original.

Somebody's likely already done the thing you think is new. I think what he's trying to point out here- is not that being original is not of value. It's that you can lose your mind trying to be special, in a field already full of very special people. There are other things to concentrate on. You may yet stumble on something 'new'- but it should not be a main focus point.


Define your work day hours.

Omar starts work at 9am, and at 6pm he ends. He has a child, and family, and other interests. He said at six pm, he takes of his artist's shirt and puts on his regular person costume, he's done with work for that day.

Let me spin here a bit. As an artist, especially as a painter- I have a feeling that if I am onto something- a painting- a style.. something 'new' (see above)- then my plan is to find food, coffee, alcohol, and lock myself up for many days and nights until I am 'done'. This is 'fun'- and I do believe in doing that sometimes. But.. it's not a long term functional work habit. You do burn the fuck out. If you just make art, read about art, sell art, look at art.. then your whole life is consumed by art but what do you make? You have little touch with the rest of existence. It is best to diversify your time.

Somebody asked a Buddhist how much should a person work everyday. The suggestion was as little as possible. So as to spend time and life with your family and loved ones, and helping others.

As an artist- I sometimes love my work so much I want to do nothing else- not even eat or shower- and work late into the night. But having discipline, and stopping- is a good practice. You can think of other things- and your non art life will inspire and aid your work later on.

Hemingway had some genius suggestions on writing. On when you should stop; you should stop writing when you know what you need to write next.

"The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it." Hemingway

You can see how this applies to us here.


Omar Ortiz is a hyperrealist- he's from Mexico. He made a transition from acrylic painting and airbrushing to oil painting. He mentions having mentors for business and training. It really highlights for me- how important we are to each other. As creatives- we should take some time to offer help of various kinds- with training, advice, motivation, support. As creatives- we should also ask for help and advice.


I must admit I was not familiar with Ortiz's work, but I found his interview fascinating.

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