“Just look at it and draw it, Aunt Jenny,” said my niece who is 6 years old. This was her simple and insightful advice, given as we were enjoying part of her holiday break from kindergarten at the local art museum. Her drawings of what we saw in the museum that day, in this adoring and hopefully unbiased aunt’s opinion, were remarkably accurate; she has a gift. The child is on to something—just do it, Aunt Jenny!
MY WHY-NOT APPROACH TO ART
My art form of choice for years has been photography, and if we’re being liberal with our definition of art form, then I’ll add garden design, too. As the managing editor of Acrylic Artist magazine, with my niece’s simple advice ringing in my ears, lately as I interview artists and edit stories to appear in print, my artistic curiosity has been stoked. Ah, out of the mouth of babes…
My newfound curiously has inspired me to start sketching, carving and trying my hand at linocut. I’ve taken my niece’s simple instructions of just look at it and do it, and I’ve put it into practice. I mean, why not try? The experience itself would be reward enough, and what if I find another new creative outlet that satisfies me and in turn informs my other efforts (photography and garden design)? That sounds like a win/win to me!
Perhaps you’re asking if my sketching, carving and linocuts are any good? Not particularly, not yet. Trying my hand at these new art forms has allowed me to tap into the fun of learning something new—why not? Let’s not forget about the ways that having a beginner’s mind helps us hone solid skills that inform all our efforts. It’s been rewarding and refreshing to dive into these new creative outlets. I’ve been talking with others who do the same work and meeting new people. I’ve been diving into books on the subjects; what’s not to love about books and learning. I’ve been sharing my results—the good, the bad and the ugly—with others on social media using these hashtags: #newventures and #whynot.
YOUR CREATIVE CHALLENGE
Tell us about what new creative form(s) you’ve tried lately. Share your experience and your art. Come over to the ArtistsNetwork FB page (https://www.facebook.com/artistsnetwork/) and post your work with the same hashtags I’m using: #newventures and #whynot. We’ve got a ton of resources to inspire your new ventures and these are free: http://bit.ly/2iTn0y
When you find something you want to delve deeper into, we can help you with streaming video, downloads, books and more at NorthLightShop.com. Just look at it and draw it, I say with exuberance of a 6 year old!