How do you find the road to success in your art? By that I mean, how do you find the way of creating art that brings you the most joy?
Several years ago a subscriber emailed me saying:
"I have taken a few hands-on courses – ALL of these look good at the start, but when you get there they have a pile of stuff on a table – DRAW ALL THIS – Great where do I start?"
You may have run into something similar in a class you've taken.
Or you may have asked yourself that same question – Where do I start? – as you began a new drawing or painting.
Trying to learn to create art that's uniquely your own can seem like one of those crazy juggling acts. You know, where the guy is trying to keep a bunch of very different objects all airborne at the same time.
Whatever the road to success in art means to you, it usually involves learning to incorporate the vital concepts of idea, design, drawing, color, values and edges into something coherent and exciting. But...
"I have trouble finishing paintings. It is easier to start another painting than to resolve the problems that I see in the first painting or I just do not know what the first painting needs."
Then when you mix any subconscious beliefs you may have that art and/or life should be hard.
"…I do think talent only develops through hard work."
Is it any wonder many of us struggle in our beginning years and beyond?
These particular quotes emerged as I was sifting through the store of emails I've received over the years from subscribers.
I was looking for patterns.
I wanted to see if there were common themes that would give me ideas for topics to cover or training to provide that would point you down your own...
Like learning the shortcuts that took me many years to discover. (I will say more about these in another post.)
As you might expect there were a number of areas where my subscribers were struggling.
But far and away the largest group of emails centered around the topic of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by trying to draw or paint every little detail in your subject.
"I really would like to learn how to simplify my paintings and drawings; otherwise I end up trying to put everything in without discrimination or choice."
"One of my personal barriers is the need to BE PERFECT...so I focus too much on details and making what I do look "realistic" all of the time."
Simplifying "...is a very important lesson that I just don't seem to master and yet it is so fundamental to creating the type of art that I am striving to achieve."
I went through these same struggles in my beginning years and beyond.
The great lesson for me was finally absorbing the wonderful lesson that less detail can mean more exciting art.
Worrying less about all the detail in your subject can set your creativity free. And allow you to create images that are truly your own.
Founder of BeginningArtist.com
(Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. George Bernard Shaw)
P.S. The road to success is becomes much more fun when you learn to change and simplify what you see.
It throws open the doors to your imagination and the creative spark that's inside you.
"I don't seem to have any imagination, and do all my paintings from photos, and they never look quite right."
Learning to change and simplify what you see just to suit your own tastes leads to more self-confidence.
And a feeling of freedom. You realize you will never again be chained to what your photograph shows.
How much more powerful would that make you feel?