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Atlanta Speed Painting by Atlanta Artist Corey Barksdale

Speed painting is an artistic technique where the artist has a limited time to finish the work. The time and art mediums can vary.

10 Tip of Speed Painting

Atlanta Performance Art, Decatur Art Festival Atlanta Outdoor Art Festival Art Gallery

1) Loosen up. Relax. If you focus on what you think other people may be thinking your work will reflect that stress and you won’t have any fun.

1. Relax your body. To overcome stage fright, there are a few things you can do to relax your body before going on the stage. Easing the tension from your body can help steady your voice and relax your mind. Rehearse your lines. If you mess up on stage, don't panic! Make it seem like the act.Here are a few things you can do to relax your body before your performance. Gently hum to steady your voice.

Eat a banana before you perform. It will lower that empty or nauseous feeling in your stomach but won't make you feel too full either. Chew gum. Chewing gum a little bit to ease the tension in your jaw. Just don't chew gum too long or on an empty stomach or you may upset your digestive system a bit. Stretch. Stretching your arms, legs, back, and shoulders is another great way to reduce the tension in your body.

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2. Relax your mind and sketch out your idea a few times before arriving at the venue. Study the potential painting over and over until it's stuck to your brain.

3. I – Invite friends and family. Sometimes it is easier to paint in front of strangers than friends because we care more about what our friends think and don’t want to embarrass ourselves. But true friends are great supporters who want to celebrate life with you, and are a fabulous help with set up or pack down and if the gig is at a cafe or pub, who do you want to have a drink with afterwards? Right, your mates!

Speaking of drinks if you’re super duper nervous and not against drinking a shot or two does wonders. Too much alcohol however, will slow your movements for LIVE work and cause you to think every stroke is genius and from a professional level, reflects poorly on yourself and the venue host.

3) V – Videos! YouTube is full of LIVE artists from around the world!! Take advantage of this wealth of inspiration to learn and glean ideas from paint application to materials used, etc. Here’s one of mine! And my favourite speed painters of all time check out David Garibaldi who has taken speed painter to heights never before imagined, and my friend Scott Erickson, who is an incredible advocate for justice through his work. Erik Black is a bit too neat and the elevator music is ugh, but wow painting with glue & glitter!!

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4. Get the crowd on your side. Before the event warm them up

4a. Invest in a sturdy easel

5. Make sure you place down tarp

6. Enjoy the moment. Listen to the band and dig the vibe

6a. Focus

7. Keep a steady rapid pace to finish in a timely manner.

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4) E – Experience. The only way to know if you enjoy LIVE art and have potential with another stream of income is to have a go!! Stop thinking about it and enjoy the experience! PS – Keep a journal after each event of things that went well, and things that didn’t. The more you do in a month or two the better, as there are heaps of kinks to work out in the process. 5) A – Arrive early. Artists are notorious for being late. '

LIVE art is not something you want to set up for super fast, especially in a location you’re familiar with bathrooms and sink access are sometimes far from the stage. Take note that your water bucket is in a secure location. If it were to tip over are there any amps or electrical devises that would be destroyed (i.e. your mobile phone, laptop, wires, etc). PS – if you place any tubes of paint near your feet be prepared for the disastrous tube step that fires for several metres. Been there done that.

Don’t want the t-shirt. 6) R – Respect the venue!! Some artists like to fling paint and be messy. If your venue is not conducive to this DON’T DO IT and think you’ll be invited back or not have a bill for clean up. Have a large drop cloth (plastic ones are loud and easy to trip on canvas ones work better).

Don’t leave the sink messy or drip paint around. Check the bottom of your shoes or feet before stepping off the drop cloth at the end of the event!! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget this step and spend more time cleaning up carpets than painting. Have gaff tape (duck tape) to secure the drop cloth at the corners.

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7) T – Time. Time flies on stage. 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, etc. depending on the event or venue. Try painting at home with a CD set to the time limit you may have so you’re not shocked on stage and only halfway through the painting. Having a small tall table to place supplies is super helpful! In this video you can see where I placed mine usually I put them on my right, but due to venue posters I had to go left. BE FLEXIBLE! 8)

I - Investment. A good sturdy easel doesn’t wobble with the energetic movements required when painting fast. Higher series acrylic paints are VITAL when time is short particularly white and yellow. Nothing more frustrating than needing to highlight a moment in white and having a cheap product that requires layer after layer to really stand out. I have a large tube of Matisse Titanium White at every gig. It is only a series 1, but for some wonderful reason is thicker than most whites.

Atlanta Performance Art,  Decatur Art Festival Atlanta Outdoor Art Festival Art Gallery

9) S – Sell! Last year, I sold every painting I did in a LIVE setting and maybe I gave away a few. But don’t be an art horder that can’t let go of your work. Most LIVE artists who work professionally sell their pieces for quadruple of what I charge, so I am not the greatest one to ask regarding how to price ones work.

But each year I am steadily growing in confidence and pricing my work higher, to which I always hear, “Well, you’re worth it and it’s about time!” which always surprises me. LOL I sell more through my Facebook fan page than my website.

10) T – Thank you. Forgetting this step will lead to a short life on stage. Look people in the eye, thank everyone that helped make the event possible. Write SNAIL MAIL notes of appreciation to venue hosts, clients, supportive friends, event coordinators, etc.

To continue in any field of work, showing genuine appreciation for peoples’ time and effort is a non-negotiable. I honestly think it should be unnecessary to even have this step written down, but in this day and age manners seem few and far between. If anyone reading this has not been properly thanked or appreciated for your time and investment into my work, my deepest apologies and greatest thanks. You are the reason I am able to pursue my passion. God bless you!

Speed Painting with Ketchup and French Fries