Blog / 2020 / How to Love Your Art #17: Define the Word “Love”

May 16, 2020

You don’t get to be a professional artist without figuring out how to slay the monster of self-doubt. Leading up to today—my 17th artiversary!—I’ve shared 16 tips for loving your art:

  1. Figure out what art you find boring.
  2. Learn to appreciate other artists’ work.
  3. Talk about your art.
  4. Determine what parts of it make you happy.
  5. Figure out what worries you most.
  6. Decide on what’s right and wrong in your art.
  7. Play with your self-expression versus communication ratio.
  8. Document your work.
  9. Inventory your pieces.
  10. Give your art away.
  11. Charge a lot of money for your work.
  12. Take a break from your art now and again.
  13. Don’t claim the copyright on your work.
  14. Don’t let jerks near it.
  15. Introduce your art to all your favorite people.
  16. Celebrate your work.

Today, for the last of the 17 tips commemorating 17 years as a pro, we are going back to basics in this video.

The original okapi painting is for sale for $1500 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks. If you want prints or other pretty items with this image, check out my Redbubble shop. The completed alphabet book that it is a part of will be available later this year.

okapi mother and baby painting, wildlife art
Gwenn Seemel
O Is for Okapi
acrylic on panel
14 x 14 inches

The first names embedded in this image are Obama, Oberon, Ocean, Octavius, Odin, Odysseus, Ofir, Okay, Olga, Olivia, Olynda, Ophelia, Omar, Omon, Oneonta, Onofrio, Orion, Orlando, Oronike, Oscar, Oso, Oswald, Otto, Owen, Oxiris, and Oz.

okapi painting
detail of O Is for Okapi

Here’s what I’ve been reading since my last alphabet book update:

  • How to Start a Revolution by Lauren Duncan

    I want every twenty-something in my life to read this book, and then I want every any-something to read it too. How to Start a Revolution manages to be real about our situation while also conveying a whole lot of hope, and it does it all with a good dose of humor.

  • Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz

    Reading this memoir, I suddenly realized that, even though I’m fairly familiar with the many facets of the American experience in general, I can’t remember reading a story centered on Puerto Rico or Puerto Ricans living on the United States mainland. If you, like me need to correct that deficiency, I recommend starting with Ordinary Girls.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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