Inspiration from Artist Stephanie Cobb
Stephanie Cobb is a devoted young artist who has already achieved world-wide attention and success. Her paintings have appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Ireland, France, Monroe College Station, Savannah, Louisville, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Baton Rouge. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at LSU College of Art & Design and previously completed her B.F.A. in painting at Savanah College of Art & Design.
Clearly an exceptional individual, Ms. Cobb possesses remarkable maturity and wisdom. As I spoke with her by Zoom in her LSU studio, she shared insight about success that will appeal to us all. I’m most grateful to her for inspiring me to explore the unknown with a spirit of adventure.
When I try to create something new, I sometimes stare at the blank canvas or page paralyzed by fear. Avoiding mistakes happens to be a common phenomenon for many of us and Ms. Cobb recognizes that approach in her students. As an instructor of record at LSU, Ms. Cobb teaches new art students and recognizes this common reaction immediately.
She explains that approaching a project as a beginner often raises our anxiety because we want to create something perfect. Something special. Stephanie Cobb says, “Thinking about art in terms of good and bad takes away the freedom of creating.”
That fear is detrimental to the creative process and tends to weaken our efforts. It can be so discouraging; some simply give up.
Instead, Ms. Cobb says we should experiment and allow ourselves to experience failure; even face it, laugh at it. The more successful we become, the more failure we have behind us. Some of the most influential of creations develop from exploration and you can’t expand your horizons if you don’t dive in tossing caution to the wind.
As Ms. Cobb has noticed her own practice maturing, she now looks forward to each beginning. She has learned to look at her work as changeable. Each stroke of the pencil or swipe of her brush is not the end all or be all of her talent. It is an opportunity to build and layer the hundreds of other pieces she has created into a new twist.
Painting and sketching have something in common with all the other creative pursuits that people everywhere dabble in or spend their life developing. Music, writing, performing, cooking, design – you name it. Every avenue you can explore requires a beginning.
Stephanie Cobb’s message to all of us is to chase your passion and if you can’t identify one, I believe she would tell you to boldly look for it.
Find Stephanie Cobb at: http://www.stephaniecobbart.com
My husband always says that Art is about abandonment it doesn’t become art until we release it. I realized how true that is. Really great article I love it.
I am one that doesn’t start because it isn’t going to be perfect. Interesting that, of course, art requires “failures” just to try for something new.