Self-taught painter, Ria Burgess, reveals her artwork for WomenFix book and shares advice on overcoming self-doubt and trusting the process.
Realize how small you really are. Don't believe your own stories.
The WomenFix team is excited to release the completed book cover artwork that was designed and painted by NY-based artist Ria Burgess. Her trending pieces and murals convey living, breathing scenes with technical details and a fluid motion that mimics the form she teaches in yoga.
The painting, She, communicates the traits and experiences that women use to solve real problems: Curiosity, mechanical aptitude, human touch, empathy, health and nature, circular ecosystems, renewal, amplification, design, intuition, caution, continuous improvement and growth, connection, and more. What else do you see or feel from her artwork?
During our interview, Ria shares her experience as an artist and talks about ways to overcome obstacles that artists and problem-solvers alike often share.
WomenFix: Ria, you mentioned you are a self-taught artist. Does being self-taught create any difficulties in your work?
Ria: There is a certain technicality to painting, which takes a lifetime of practice to master, but art happens at all stages of the process through surrender. Being self-taught, I constantly have doubts about the way I approach my canvas and cringe at the awkwardness that comes out in the creative process. When you're constantly facing your own inadequacies due to inexperience, it's hard to trust that you are going to make it happen. But somehow you always do.
WomenFix: That’s interesting. From our research, we understand that women start searching for recognition as early as infant years. Therefore, women feel inadequate when they don’t get the recognition they are looking for. Negative recognition or lack of recognition could come from society, their family and friends, or as you mention, from within. How do you overcome these feelings?
Ria: I don't know if I overcome feelings of inadequacy as much as I've learned to manage my attachment to feeling inadequate. A point always comes in painting where your mind gets the hang of stroking the paintbrush and you begin to form a rhythm with your canvas. But if you're an inexperienced artist like me, the mind will still trouble you with suspicion about what it’s doing. This is when you need to take the attention away from yourself and focus it out to the life and beauty that is all around you. Realize how small you really are. Don't believe your own stories.
WomenFix: That’s great advice, and we would argue that this suspicion can be found in anyone in any field whether they are self-taught or taught professionally. How do you push through the suspicion to get to the final product?
Ria: It helps me to know that painting is a ritual that has been performed by millions of people for centuries. If you've painted once, you've already completed the ritual, and there is nothing stopping you from completing it again. Accepting this as truth, you are merely the vehicle for that ritual. You do not control its outcome. If you are painting for work, the mind will complete the ritual when it feels the job is done. In this way you trust, and in this way you make art for others.
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