I would reckon that most people who are reading this are artists to some degree or another, or you are someone who wants to get into making art. Something important to keep in mind when you are making art is that what your mind says is probably wrong.
Let’s take a step back for a second. What on Earth do I mean? How can what I think to be wrong if it is an art piece that I am making? Don’t I know exactly what I want?! Isn’t it me who is making the art piece and knows best what should go where and how?
Art is an expression of ourselves, after all! So if I want to do this or that in my art piece, shouldn’t I choose? That’s like saying that someone playing on Thunderbolt casino is wrong. They’re playing, not you! And they made a good choice at that!
Very valid questions, which hopefully I will answer by the end of the article. But the first thing to tackle is what exactly I mean by “…when you are making art is that what your mind says is probably wrong.”
Perfection is in the Mind
If you are someone who makes any form of art, you probably know how it feels to be working for hours on a piece making adjustments and redoing things because you can’t seem to get it right and laugh!!! It doesn’t look very good!
This is what I mean by what your mind says is probably wrong. You cannot look at the painting objectively, and instead, see how it is before you compare it to the perfect image you have concocted in your head of how it should be.
You are essentially saying my art is terrible because it doesn’t meet the standards of exactly what my mind wanted to be printed on the paper. However, that is not how life works.
You are essentially never going to be able to perfectly translate precisely how your mind imagined your art to look in your head onto the paper. That is simply the limits of reality, and that is okay!
The medium you are using can have beautiful surprises, and the differences can be full of their beauty that you never realized was possible! For example, maybe you stroked the brush or scratched the pencil in a certain way, and something new and beautiful was born.
Surprises and “happy accidents,” as my persona art role model Bob Ross would say, are part of the art experience. They can make a painting that you thought would look one way look completely different. Art is in many ways about being able to flow with the art piece itself.
And this isn’t just in terms of art forms like drawing, painting, or other forms of picture art. You could also apply it to music, poetry, dance, or whatever other forms of art you can think of! Of course, things are bound to be a bit different when brought to the real world, and that’s okay.
For example, maybe the poem you are writing doesn’t have the punch you thought it would or isn’t touching precisely the note you wanted it to. That’s okay. All you have to do is keep trying and see the beauty in what you have already. Only then can you begin to move on.
The same applies to the previous forms of art I mentioned; if your painting, composition, drawing, poem, dance choreography, or anything else is not how you wanted it to be, then take a step back. Then, come back to it later with a new set of eyes.
I find this works a bit like clearing the cache on a computer. Once you don’t remember exactly how you wanted the art piece to be, you can see the piece for how it is and continue without seeing what it lacked compared to how you imagined it before.
Another thing I will mention is that when you make an art piece, it’s supposed to be fun for you! As an artist, we need to fall in love with the path and not just the destination we want to get to eventually.
This also applies to everything in life. We must realize that life is ultimately just one big journey leading to the same place everyone ends up. All of life is a long journey, and it’s up to us to realize this and fall in love with the path and not just the destination.
And, this is expressed front and center when it comes to making an art piece. People tend to give up on art because they can’t get the art piece to come out exactly how they want it to. But if you can fall in love with making the art and not just the art piece, you will never make a lousy art piece.
While making an art piece, one final thing to keep in mind is how does this express something about you, or what exactly are you trying to express with this art piece?
Art is a medium to do something that no other creature in the world can do. Bring a bit of our mind and soul into the world in a way that other humans only understand.
Think about modern art. People can splotch paint in patterns on a canvas, and it will have meaning to people. Perhaps in the way they sprinkled the color or the patterns and images that emerge from what initially seemed to be just a mess.
So, think about what your art means to you. What kind of feeling or mood do you want your art piece to have. For instance, if you paint a tree, does the tree seem alone? Sad and dull in a field?
Or, maybe it’s a happy image—a lovely shady oak on a warm summer’s day. A gentle breeze blew in the grass, and the birds happily tweeted away on some lazy Sunday. Kids are on break, and there is simply peace.
The images could have seemingly identical aspects to them, but how they are portrayed can change their meaning of them dramatically. For example, a gentle breeze can become a violent storm, and a warm summer’s day can become a deadly beating sun in the desert.
You should think about these things, as they could be the aspect of your art piece that you didn’t realize was off. It will also help you express yourself more healthy and meaningful way.