Finding your path with Maria Wigge

“Your art is not saying anything about you as a person, you have to separate your art from your existence. “

This week I welcome back Maria Wigge, an artist I met through my Insta Retreat class, who started sharing her work on Instagram and found it changed her life. Our last episode really resonated with so many of you, so I’m delighted to be able to share this episode with you.

Maria lives in Sweden with her family and works full time as an artist, you can see her work over on her website and think you’ll agree it’s phenomenal. In our last episode, she had just taken the leap and left her job to pursue her art, in this one we talk about how things have changed for her and the impact Instagram has had on her business and creativity.

Things we talked about:

  • How it still doesn’t feel quite normal to call herself a full-time artist and how that’s something a lot of us struggle with
  • Growing up with a parent who’s an artist, the expectations that brings and how that comparison can make creating art feel overwhelming
  • Finding your own path, however varied and wherever it takes you
  • The feeling of not being good enough, how it can hold you back and the judgements we make of our own work
  • How posting on Instagram helped Maria to believe in her work and grow in confidence, that sometimes we need the outside world to tell us we’re doing a good job
  • That throwing yourself into your passions can lead to burnout, especially when making career changes and having other responsibilities and that recovery can be slow and frustrating
  • How burnout shows up and that working with your body can be hard especially in our brains and the guilt that comes with it
  • That naps are part of the creative process, taking time away from your creative process feeds it
  • Maria’s watercolour course, which has run twice and is open for enrolment at the moment, it covers the technical side of things as well as your mindset when producing work
  • How people have art supplies they are saving because they are afraid to use them and how people expect to be either creative or not, when actually it’s a skill that can be developed
  • That we can feel not worthy of using the fancy art supplies or that we’re waiting, but what are we waiting for?
  • The journeys we go on to become good at the things we do, the hours we spend practising and the impact
  • How Maria’s audience likes unexpected pieces of her work, that what you want to create and post and what your audience wants are two different things and how easy it would be to only create what people love but how that can be a trap
  • That maybe Maria’s art would be different if she was paid for painting and not for a piece of art, how if it didn’t have to be marketable it might be different? And how that’s hard to know
  • How people can feel like an imposter, usually if they have had a different job and found or come back to the thing they’re doing now, they want to take it seriously but they don’t think they’re allowed to and that technical skill can be the route of this
  • Some people self-sabotage by talking quietly about their work, how we shouldn’t be afraid to share about yourself because people want to know the person behind the post
  • What’s the big deal? If an Instagram post doesn’t work then no one will see it so what’s the problem with sharing it?
  • How art changes over a lifetime, how it transforms into something new and that that’s a good thing as you may do this for the rest of your life so if it stayed the same it would be terrible
  • And that life can give you the perfect training, even if at the time you don’t realise it.

Where to find Maria online:

Where to find Sara: