Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Essential Tips & Advice for Artist's

On my website i give a number of tips that i used when i started my goal of 144 works in 12 collections back in 2004. Before i started this journey, i decided to keep all the works the same dimensions using the same medium (pencil), and to do them in a series of twelve works. Being the obsessive compulsive person i am (i'm less like that now), i even had to have one of the works be horizontal, although you may want to do 6 horizontal and 6 vertical pieces if you choose to follow my advice. I chose twelve because of the potential to have a promotional calendar and because the number 144 (12 works in 12 collections) is a spiritual number of great importance and power in the bible. I also have had a fascination with that number since childhood so it was important for me personally to use it here for my Genesis Collection. Below is the basic principles i set for myself as i worked on my goal beginning with my chess series of drawings.

Approach Your Work In A Series

Start to spend time doing your works in a series. Begin your work with a vision in mind. To make this easier, sit down and think of a favorite topic then begin a series of work based around your unique approach. This series can be 6 works or 12 works or more, but make it at least 3-5. This way you can develop deeper into your intended and chosen subject matter. From experience, I found that the more I progressed into the art series, the better the works got and more ideas seemed to come from no where. Working in a series also is a good way to stay focused and motivated and you enjoy the work because you are tackling a subject that interests you. Creating great art should also be tackled with a plan in mind. This doesn't mean you have to plan every little detail because when I work ideas flow from me and I have no creative constraints throughout the process. Working in a series also helps you market the entire collection as a package in the form of prints, calendars, and if you think about it there are 12 months a year which is ideal for a full promotional calendar. Try this approach and see what happens.

Look at the Subject with a Child's Perspective

This may seem odd when you first hear it, but start looking at the world from a child's perspective. As we grow older, even adults find it difficult to look at life and reality in a playful way, thus they remain stuck or become a bit "narrow minded" or "set" in their ways and perceptions. Perhaps that is why it makes it more difficult for us to understand our own children at times (:. In order to unleash your full creative power you must let yourself go or free yourself of the constraints of reality and adult issues to tap into the well of resources of creativity. The key to this is to approach your work more loosely and let yourself float into the work rather than forcing the work to come the way you want it. Also, when you have fun and let all the critical voices inside you take over (as adults we sometimes can't help this), you will find that the heights of your creative powers will flow through you and guide you throughout the creation. This will give you the best chance at producing your best work at that particular moment.

Look at Reality Differently

Start with a simple subject matter like a face of a person, then begin to look at that object much differently. For instance, when you look at a face you notice the eyes, nose and mouth, take these objects that make up the whole object (face) and begin to find a way to relate these objects to one another through a visual perspective. Maybe approach the whole of the face as a dark galaxy while the mouth, nose and eyes become planets forming the face. Begin to look at reality as a playground awaiting your minds activity in and around it. Start looking at forms in reality as a playground for your experimental mind and you will begin to become inspired by how much versatility there is in our world. The world is only as concrete as you perceive it and it can be as elastic as you want. I find that everything is connected in some way and this can be a great starting point for your work. If you are a portrait artist or like reality, try different techniques and interesting ideas that deviate from your usual point of view. Try something new and fresh and see what happens. Does it make you feel more free? Does it inspire you try and explore new territory? Was it difficult or easy for you to change your plan of attack? These questions will be answered and you may end up revitalizing your creative powers that were dormant for a while.

I hope these small yet essential tips from my studio to yours will help you in some small or large way. Maybe something you read here will spark a light bulb of interest within you and make you try something new that you were afraid to attempt. I hope you all benefit and nothing is more rewarding than seeing other artist reach the full potential of creativity and most importantly, have fun doing it.
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