This has been a great year for my art so here are a few things that helped me find my way back to my art process and what keeps me going in the studio:
- Self-challenges such as themes, sizes, colors, and deadlines. Just giving yourself a limited palette, 20-minute doodle or one hour painting, painting small or fill up a sketchbook by drawing every day are some ideas to get you going. Just start doing it and one thing will lead to the next.
- Paint a “color wheel” to take your colors for a test ride. You can create a lot of depth with color, but not straight out of the tube. There are so many resources on this subject. Learn about color, primary, secondary and tertiary colors, and what happens when you combine them and mix them together. Try mixing complimentary colors together, and making your own black. This process in itself is fun and can get you in a playful state of mind.
- Try out lots of different materials for drawing and painting. By bouncing around back and forth from different materials, you can learn new things and file it into your tool kit. For example, from life drawing, I learned to interpret what I see very quickly. In watercolor, I am learning to work fast and plan ahead. Since I was comfortable with drawing, using the watercolor pencils was the gateway drug to help me get back to holding a paintbrush again, and feel comfortable with the commitment of painting bold strokes of color onto the page. I learned about the watercolor pencils from another artist after visiting her studio.
- Take a class or workshop. When I was in art school, it was very exciting to be around other artists and see what they are working on. A good instructor can help you get over the hurdles. There are many tutorials online as well.
- Nature is the best teacher. Play around, study and learn. Follow what excites you and the everyday things around you. There is inspiration right under your nose if you can slow down and look at things, observe & contemplate.
- Follow your strengths but get out of your comfort zone.
- A little encouragement goes a long way. Let’s encourage one another to be creative.
- Collaborate. Art can be a fun social activity that allows you to bond in a new way with your friends and family. Maybe start with a home decor or craft project.
- Surround yourself with art that inspires you. Go to art shows and museums.
- Use social media not as a distraction but a tool. There are many inspiring great artists on instagram and pinterest. Be a sponge, but then remember to squeeze it!
- Keep a sketchbook of ideas and a written journal of your daily and long-term goals, plans, and document your everyday life. Trust in the power of the subconcious.
- Read a good book! Books by artists that inspire you, or a self-help book to overcome blocks. These books helped me:
- Design the Life you Love by Ayse Birsel
- Tinker Dabble Doodle Try by Srini Pillay
I hope this helps bring more art into your life. I look at art as a way to grow as a person and express and connect with others in a deeper more meaningful way. It’s a way to be more human in our increasingly digital and consumerized society.