Well, the first month of the new year has past and I’m sure some of you have already found yourself starting to give in to those resolutions you were so adamant on keeping just three weeks ago. As artists, we already have a lot on our plates so keeping up with resolutions in art sometimes can just feel overwhelming. So let’s revisit some art resolutions that you should keep no matter whether it’s January or July.
1 Keep a Journal-For Good Self-Esteem
- Now, I’m not talking about a sketchbook, but an actually journal. Just a sentence or two a day of things that may have inspired you that day or sparked your brain for creative projects you could tackle in the future. By doing this you not only are stock pilling great ideas to work on when you schedule opens up, but also really honing in on what inspires you as well as what your own personal style is. Are you more realistic, impressionistic, or illustrative. I found myself frustrated ALOT with art for years and now looking back at it, it was because I was trying to copy another artist’s style that wasn’t mine own. I tend to absolutely love the super realistic watercolor paintings, but no matter how much I practice I find myself completely frustrated and defeated after tackling such projects. However, when I paint a more realistic style with hints of realism I find myself loving the process and feeling good about myself in the end. This doesn’t mean that I completely ignore studying realism. I still continue to study realistic projects because it still has ALOT to teach me. But, I find that when I have a better grasp of my own personal style, I don’t beat myself up so bad when tackling harder subject areas. I guess it kind of gives me a release from my perfectionism to just say…”You know Carrie, you aren’t as good in this area as you like and that’s okay.” And I know some of you are saying to yourself right now, “Carrie, you don’t understand…I only draw stick figures good.” Well, no fear, because some of my favorite artists actually create the most simplistic line drawings that make me marvel. Drawing simplistic lines isn’t easy. That’s actually a gift as well. If you have that talent, then hone it!
2) Draw at Least 3x a Week
- Drawing is the backbone to our talent. If you aren’t drawing then your not truly honing your skill. Even though we use paintbrushes, don’t be fooled. A paintbrush is simply a pencil with hairs on the end. If you aren’t drawing and find yourself frustrated with your painting, then perhaps drawing is actually the root of your problem. And when I say drawing, I don’t mean creating beautiful sketches that you can’t wait to post on social media to the world. Sometimes a simple drawing exercise for drawing circles can be of tremendous help. At an art camp I once attend, the teacher forced the class to draw circles (no lie) for two hours straight. It was the most boring class I ever took. But it really forced my hand to understand how to draw the circle I desired in my head. Just to give you an idea of how the class went, the first minute we have to draw the most perfectly round circle we could possible draw. Then for the next 15 minutes we had to perfectly copy that circle over and over again. Next the teach drew a circle on the board. It was oddly shaped oval. We then had to copy his and were not allowed to continue on to the next circle he had assigned until he felt we had achieved the exact same circle as him. That day taught me that as long as my hand and brain were working together, even on the most “dumb” of tasks. I was still learning and developing a connection with brain and hand that would be essential for my future learning. You see, drawing actually doesn’t come that easily to me. For me it’s about practice, practice, practice. As I’m sure it is with some of you as well.
3) Find a Buddy & Make It Fun
- Working on art alone is never fun. I find myself learning and enjoying art so much more when in the presence of a friend or communicating with someone that shares my struggles and appreciations for the skill I’m working on. Recently, I’ve been getting some fun projects together that are rather simple, yet can look really great to do with friends and family who also love to create. I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently and need a boost in enthusiasm for my trade. While putting together these projects, I’ve found myself really nervous, but also super excited to start something new with friends. So that’s just something to keep in mind for all of you. I’ve also found just planning these projects out has made me once again fall in love with art and really find myself having fun with it. Which in my opinion is the best resolution you could ever make…just have fun with your art. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little chat we both had and learned something along the way.