Every artist goes through a phase where they hate their artwork. But, if you’re finding that this is not just a temporary feeling and that you dislike anything and everything you create after spending hours working on it, it might be time to take a new approach.
Here are my top three tips for making art that you love:
1. Reflect on what you love about life
Nothing will motivate you more than making art about things that you love. So, take some time to reflect on what fascinates you about the world. Then, make those things your subjects. But don’t stop there, try to deepen your thinking. For example, if you like painting pictures of people, what is it about specific types of people that interests you? Often, the things that appeal to us are reflections of our own stories. Once you start noticing the small details, it’s easy to incorporate them into your artwork and create something unique that resonates with you.
2. Study artists and paintings that move you
Have you ever stopped to think about what it is that you love about your favourite artist’s work? Study one of their pictures. What is it that you actually enjoy about the piece? Is it the composition, the colour or the style of mark-making? Once you’ve identified the elements that interest you, incorporate them into your work. Just remember to include elements from many of your favourite artists, not just one. Creativity is about remixing things, mashing them up and transforming them into something fresh and new.
3. Choose a medium that works for you
Did you know that choosing the right medium isn’t just about finding a style that looks good to you? It’s about finding a style that suits how you like to work. For example, if you like to work on a piece over a long time, try using oil paints, as they dry slowly. Or, if you prefer to work fast and you like spontaneity, try using watercolours. Of course, you can always expand your opportunities and use multiple mediums in one piece of work (mixed media). As an artist, it’s all about bringing your vision to life in a way that works for you. The most important thing is to make a habit of practising with your chosen tools.
Loving your art is so important because it will motivate you to persevere with your creativity and work hard to develop your skills. Next time you feel down on your art, take some time to reflect on what you love about life, study artists and paintings that move you and choose a medium that works for you.
Here’s to loving the art that we make.
Victoria Hall is an English-born writer and illustrator with a passion for anything gothic, eccentric or quirky. She is the creator of three picture books for children, Penny Prickles at Coogee Beach, Eggy Peggy Has Lost Her Leggy and The Fairy Beasts. For more information, check out Victoria’s bio here.