Learning to Love Your Art
This Valentine's Day join us in a little self-love by learning to love your art and finding joy in the creative experience.
Does your canvas struggle to keep up with all of the ideas in your head?
Making art can be a wonderfully fulfilling and creative experience. But it is easy for your focus to drift into frustration when you aren't seeing the results you want. Try some of the easy steps listed below to help remind yourself that art is as much about the process as it is the finished product.
GROWTH IS A PROCESS
There was once a time, not so long ago, when you couldn't read, write or do math. Yet, here you are. We all learn at our own rate. Why should art be any different?
It's time to give yourself permission to be wherever you are in your development process. You don't need to be good at everything right now.
Take a look at a piece of your art from a year ago, and compare it to a piece you're working on now. How have your skills developed? What techniques have you mastered? What can you continue to build upon? Take a minute to acknowledge all the ways you are growing and exploring your own unique artistic voice.
Making art is a continuous process with each new piece presenting a different set of challenges. So be kind to yourself, and don't be afraid to make mistakes!
Feeling frustrated? Stuck in a creative rut? Try something different and step out of your comfort zone.
That painting you keep staring at but can't seem to get quite right? Set it aside. Grab yourself a cheap canvas board, set a timer, and give yourself an hour to try and re-create the same imagery. Try it again, but give yourself only 20 minutes. Get back to the basics. Colour. Perspective. What elements are you repeatedly drawn to? How might those change the focus of your piece?
Or be even bolder. Is acrylic painting your preferred medium? Then buy yourself some plasticine and see what you can create with a more tactile medium. How is it different to create shape? Or depth? How might these new insights translate into your daily work?
Don't be afraid to break and make your own rules.
Our Drawing & Painting with Charcoal class explores
charcoal as a versatile medium - including pigments.
WAVE GOODBYE TO YOUR INNER PERFECTIONIST
Say so long to "practice makes perfect," and embrace the knowledge of one of our grade one students who declared that "practice makes you better."
Perfection is a near impossible goal, particularly when it comes to art. No one art piece is universally loved (or even loathed). So stop pushing yourself towards an impossible goal.
Set up smaller, more realistic, goals for each piece you create. For your landscape of a prairie summer sunset, maybe you want to focus on your colour mixing to evoke emotion. Next time, you'll work on realism in your field of canola. Put the pieces together slowly until you feel happy with the finished product.
Or, are you dealing with the second curse of the perfectionist? Not knowing when to quit. Do you find yourself adding detail after detail until your work is overwhelmed with 'finishing touches?' Not sure if you are fully satisfied with your art? Take a step back. Ask someone else for advice. Better yet, set the project aside altogether and start working on something else for a little bit. Return to your work after a week has passed. You'll see your work with fresh eyes, and develop clearer direction.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
The oldest trick in the book, but still somehow the hardest, try not to constantly compare your art to someone else's. Everyone has their own creative journey and their own set of strength and weaknesses. Admire their work, but you don't have to hold your own piece up as a foil.
Instead, seize a new learning opportunity. What originally drew you to the other artist's work? What elements of their piece might you be able to incorporate into your own practices?
We tend to only see success instead of the hours of work and preparation leading up to it. Comparison isn't always a bad thing, but don't lose yourself in surface 'likes.' Use them as a spring board and inspiration to redirect that energy into your own projects.