7 Ways To Develop As An Artist
We all start somewhere! My creativity has been developing for many years and taken lots of twists and turns.
For me, I started more seriously in 2014 with art journaling. I found this an excellent way to practise without needing to show anyone. It’s a vulnerable thing, putting marks on paper. I found that my kids and my husband often felt the need to comment on what I was doing. It’s not always helpful, to be honest!
This is why art journaling is good. You can close the book and put it away with very little interference as you experiment and grow. So, here are some ways that helped me to develop as an artist.
7 Ways To Develop As An Artist:
1. Give yourself permission to just play!
This is super important as art is something that develops well with play. We often will think too seriously or judge what we are doing – self-criticism is a big thing. Self-criticism is the fastest way to failure. We can convince ourselves of anything. So, permission to play is just that. View it as that so that any judgment can just zip it!
2. Be Observant
Get used to looking around you when you walk, looking up at buildings/trees. Look down and see what is happening on the ground too. Take photos on your nature walk. Take close up photos of texture and shapes. Seek out photos on places like unsplash . All these photos and pictures collected serve to inspire.
3. Inspiration is all around you
As in the previous step, collect inspiration. Collect old music sheets, old books, magazine pictures, photos on the computer, make up a pinterest board (you could keep it private if you like) of inspirations for art. I have one of those! You could check that out here.
What inspires you may be different to others, that’s ok, roll with it. All this is a way of creating your spark.
4. Me time!
This is so important for your development. Now, when I first started on my creative journey, way before 2014, I had a young baby and had to find ways to work around that. I am fortunate that I have a very supportive husband and so he recognised that I needed that me time, otherwise I would not function well at all.
By taking time out for yourself and your development, you are self- nurturing. This is so important for the health and well- being of, not only yourself, but those around you too. This definitely impacts your development as an artist as you devote time to play. Others may not understand it, but that is their journey, not yours.
Rome wasn’t built in a day! We can’t suddenly be great artists, so taking time to experiment with different art supplies, different substrates, different mediums is all part of the process. We get to be a great artist by experimenting with what lights us up.
Often the hardest thing is focusing on just one thing to experiment on! Earlier on, I found this so difficult. There were so many things I loved and wanted to try them all. As a result, I know a lot about various art supplies and do have quite a love affair with them! So, a win win in the end. Not sure my husband sees it that way – lol.
So this step is an obvious one, but is necessary to pay attention to. So, practice is something not everyone has the patience for. When I was younger, I wanted to get the art work done as fast as possible. Once I was creating, I had that impatience of just wanting it done so I could see it.
As I progressed (notice I didn’t say aged!), I found the act of creating is what is important. It became clear that creating the art, was the actual point. The outcome was obviously wonderful, but the whole idea of being an artist is all about the journey of the painting.
Let me explain: as we paint, we go through various emotions, stages, thoughts, ideas and concepts. As the artist, we can move through these and celebrate them by continuing past the difficult times, until the painting comes to its own.
7. Step back and look
When you think you have finished, just put the painting somewhere you can look at it often, and step back. As you go about your day, stop and look at your painting. What do you love about it? Are there things you want to change? Do you need to lighten/darken an area? Do you feel it’s complete?
This really helps me to get to the point of finality in a painting. I find this particularly good for an abstract painting.
Well, I hope these tips help you to proceed and develop as the artist that you are.
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May you have a wonderful month embracing all that is you.
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Develop as an artist