Keeping Your Art Creative
Keeping Your Art Creative
Finding your style as an artist can be a struggle. Art students in universities often agonize over how best to express themselves. Many try lots of different styles and techniques both to explore what’s out there, and also in search of the one that feels the most right for them. Settling on what best suits your abilities, experiences and what you want to express as an artist is an important step in taking your work seriously.
Yet it sometimes happens that after an artist has found something that they are comfortable with, the style they were so excited about, they focus on it to the exclusion of anything else, and this can eventually lead to a kind of artist’s block for them when they find that there is no more to be done with it.
Alternatively, an artist may keep producing the same sort of work over and over again, because they know from experience that they are able to do it and it feels like a safe and secure way of working.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with this; naturally, for quite some time after choosing a style it is natural to explore it as deeply as possible, to find out what it and your limits are and the potential that you both have together. This will help you familiarize yourself with that way of working and also play a role in developing your technique, firming up your skills and perhaps showing you new and unexpected ways of doing things.
But there can be a danger in doing things in the same way for the entirety of your creative career. This isn’t true for everyone, but many artists find that it can mean getting stuck in a rut, unable to really grow in new ways, making it difficult to say anything novel in their work.
When this happens, work can start to feel stale – something that often transmits itself to the viewer, too. Moreover, it will detract from the joy of creation, one of the great pleasures of working in creative fields. If you’re not satisfied with what you’re doing, you’re not going to be happy about it the way you used to be.
For this reason, it can be a good idea to keep up to date with new developments or ideas in the medium you’re most familiar with, and to keep in touch with other artists who use it. Maybe they have techniques you haven’t come across before that might add value to your work as well.
You can also occasionally try out a medium you’ve not generally done much with – even something completely new such as digital techniques, which might not even have been an option when you were studying, might be worth a try. Look online to see what’s out there, perhaps view the work in an online art gallery such as .
If you make this sort of exploration part of your regular artistic life, you’re more likely to remain satisfied and fulfilled with the work you’re doing. Often you don’t need to change dramatically, but some small thing that you gained from outside your ordinary field can revitalize what you’re doing.