Improving fine art skills takes passion, motivation, commitment and discipline. Whether you are naturally creative or have developed your talents through training, it is important and nurture creativity and take it to the next level. Outlined below are some techniques I employ to amp up my creativity.
1. Keep a journal/sketchbook handy.
Inspiration comes unannounced – without warning. Quick sketching subjects that catch your attention, is a great way to improve your sketching skills. Smartphone cameras and IPad pros loaded with sketching software are great, but if you are serious about nurturing your artistic skills, then nothing replaces the sketchbook.
2. Scrapbooks or bulletin boards.
I regularly save quotes, images or graphic/descriptive writings in a scrapbook. So much art can be created from these priceless pieces of paper.
My scrapbook entries date back to my teenage years and my scrapbook is my treasure trove of inspiration.
3. Take that break.
The more art you create, the better you get at it. Having said that, it is important to take a complete break from your studio and art tools, to let new ideas incubate and germinate. Use this time to reflect, visit art galleries and theatres. You can’t force creativity, so enjoy the lull.
The creative urge takes artists at different times of the day. Sense your rhythms and respect them. Don’t let boredom set in – stop before you start to feel overwhelmed and move on to something else, where your energy is fresh.
4. Break up a large project.
To maintain your enthusiasm, break up a large, ambitious project into smaller bits and focus on the work at hand, instead of looking at the entire project and feeling overwhelmed.
Temper your goals and expectations for each art session – don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment by trying to bite off more than you can chew.
5. Develop the ability to change or modify the project from the original plan
Don’t get stuck on any one idea. Cultivate the ability to improvise and innovate as you go along. If the colours you are working with, don’t work well for your project, go ahead and change them. Most mediums like acrylic and oil paints are very forgiving and you can simply paint over them – erasers work well on dry mediums like pastels.
Occasionally, you may want to make changes to the subject matter – the composition itself. Go for it!
6. Don’t feel stuck. If you are bored of a project, feel free to quit.
Look for that element of excitement that motivated you to begin the project in the first place, and re-work it into something new. Take the breaks you need to keep your interest alive. Work in progress.
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