Do the work. Is a phrase we here and see all the time in the art world on social media.
What does it mean?
What it means is that learning to make art, whatever your chosen medium, takes time and practice. Your first attempt might not turn out as you want or expect. That is ok. Art is a skill and as with any skill you get better at it with practice.
There are amazing artists out there that we admire and want to learn from. Most likely the accomplished and skilled artists you admire have some sort of daily art making practice. It might be sketching for 10 minutes every morning. Making starters in their mixed media sketchbook for 15 minutes a day. Doing warm up paintings for 20 minutes. Painting for 30-45 minutes each day. Dedicating 4-6 hours to creating each day in their studio. This is doing the work.
Every thing you create does not have to be and will not be a masterpiece. That is ok. It's this work that you learn from and that informs the next thing you create and the next thing you create. It all builds upon itself.
Doing the work is your time to learn, practice, build your skills, improve your skills, play, explore and be in the creative flow. And in the end as creatives that is what we all really crave is that time being in the creative flow. Whether your a beginner or a seasoned artist, a hobbyist or a professional doing the work is what it's all about. How else will you grow? How else will you improve and learn?
Ask other creatives what they do each day to make art. How do they make it part of their everyday lives? Experiment and find what works for you. Think about your medium, your space, and your time. Chances are you want to do the work but you have these perceived obstacles of what, when and where to create. Start small, maybe 10-15 minutes each day for a week. See how it feels, adjust as needed.
Happy creating and do the work!
Must there always be a reason to sit down and make art? Does there have to be a specific end goal; such as sharing, selling or gifting it?
There does not. The greatest joy of making art is you can make it because it helps you relax, it is your hobby, you want to learn something new, you like the way the paint feels, or you like to express yourself with color. Ok, so maybe there are reasons for making art but they are pretty good ones with no pressure attached.
Your journey into creative expression does not need to have any end goals of selling or even sharing your art to anyone! Creating just to create is valid enough reason to get out those paints and make something.
Feeling stuck or blocked is also a good time to get out the art supplies and just create to create. Letting yourself make something is better than making yourself feel bad for not creating anything! This is where making "bad" art comes into play. Who says everything we make has to be frame worthy? Artists throughout history have made a lot of "bad" art. "Bad" art is simply the in between art, the stuff you have to make to get to the other side, where that "good" art is waiting. "Bad" art is your practice, warm ups, sketches, skill building exercises and any piece you just aren't satisfied with. Make it, put it aside and move on to the next piece you are going to make.
Creating art just to create and get your creative juices flowing is a good thing because our first ideas tend to be ok, but the magic starts to happen when you explore and play with your ideas more. This more is the key to stretching your creative muscles. More ideas= better ideas=more originality=more unconventionality=You being super creative!
A great way to nurture your creativity is to do simple art making activities that are open ended and allow you to explore, play and develop ideas and thoughts. Try this Creativity Spark to get you started...
Supplies suggested: set of watercolor paints, watercolor brushes, colored pencils, permanent ink pen, white gel pen, water cup, paper towels, Canson xl watercolor paper spiral bound sketchbook.
Start by drawing big looping lines with colored pencils. Make sure the lines cross each other and make new shapes.
Next, using your watercolor paints, paint in each of the new shapes you have created with your looping lines.
After that, use a white gel pen or a black artists pen and start filling in the spaces with different patterns!
Doodle, play, if you think you want to stop, keep going! Add more patterns! Have fun and
If you would like to try more Creativity Sparks you can sign up for my free online class!
People ask, Why is art so expensive? But maybe what the real question is Why do people think art should be so cheap?
Why people think art should be cheap:
My hope by writing this is not to put you off or make you feel bad for buying cheap art at a store. Many artists have their images licensed and do make money from their prints and products with their images on them. I want more people to be aware of what it takes to create original art and simply be more appreciative of it and not balk at prices the artist has set. A lot goes into creating that artwork and it is worth every penny!
Happy Art Buying!
In person and online art classes are everywhere these days. Which should you take?
There are benefits for taking both types of classes.
In Person Art Classes
There is nothing like taking an in person class. You get the direct instruction of the teacher. You can see how she does the steps and you can ask to see it again. One of the best parts about an in person class is that one on one interaction with the instructor. You can ask questions directly. You can get help immediately. You also have the benefit of being in a group and seeing other peoples ideas and process. These are all great things. If you have the opportunity to learn an art skill through an in person class you should definitely go for it. Watching videos and looking at art books can be helpful but having a real person showing you and explaining the steps to you makes it so much easier. Another benefit of in person classes is that sometimes all the supplies are provided. This let's you try it out without going out and buying a bunch of supplies you may never use again.
Give an in person class a try. You may just find your new favorite hobby and meet some wonderful like minded souls in the process.
Online Art Classes
Online art classes can be as meaningful a learning experience as in person classes. A quality online class should provide step by step instruction through written content, photos and video tutorials. One of the great parts of taking an online class is you can work on it at your own pace. This flexibility makes online learning very appealing to people with busy work schedules. To get the most out of your online class be sure to complete the lessons and participate in any assignments and discussions. This is where you will get questions answered, a feeling of community and help if you need it. Online classes are excellent choices for people who are self motivated and like the flexibility of learning using technology. Another great reason to take an online class is if the instructor lives far away and offers in person classes you just can't get to. An online class is a wonderful platform to learn from famous and experienced artists and instructors from all over the world.
Whichever type of class you decide to take your attitude is key to your success. Have an open mind. Be positive. Let go of wanting to be perfect at it the first time. Let yourself be a beginner. Let yourself explore, play and mess up. Give yourself time to do the work. Give yourself time to practice.