Artists & Art History

5 Things I’ve Learnt From Artists

It struck me that I’ve known and met lots of creative people who create art of one form or another in my life.  From studying, working and teaching people who create art as well as looking at a lot of art, I think I am able to summarise what I’ve learnt from the best of them.  So here are my findings, 5 things I’ve learnt from artists…

1. They Have Passion

The artists who I’ve learnt most from have had a love and passion for art which has lasted throughout their lives.  I have noticed that this passion for art continues with them even if they are unable to sell their work or it is not appreciated by others. They are often excited about the next project and despite difficulties or setbacks continue to explore and evolve their work for the love of it.

2. They Don’t Give Up

Those that have had most success have continued creating throughout their lives, some not having success until later in life.  Some didn’t even start until later in life but once started they haven’t tended to stop, age is not of importance to them as art doesn’t have age boundaries.  Even if they have had setbacks they continue to create work, often exploring many different avenues, but always continuing.

Paul Cezanne was rejected from École des Beaux-Arts and continued with his art despite a disapproving father to have success and influence later in life.

3. Not Lost Their Curiosity 

Some of being an artist is a wish to explore and record the world around us.  Those that never give up their curiosity to discover are some of the best artists.  It is quite a child-like quality that tends to get lost in adulthood when we lose our sense of wonder and get bogged down with life.  Extraordinary things become ordinary in adulthood for many of us. Many artists have an appetite for finding new ways of seeing things, re-inventing and for this a fresh outlook is needed which I think comes from being curious about life.  ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up,” as Pablo Picasso famously said.

4. Able to Connect

The best artists make work that connects with people in some way, experts of the “human condition” they often have something to ‘say’ about the time, people etc. in a way that all can relate to.   Sometimes the subject matter can be quite mundane but it provokes some sort of response in the viewer or makes us look at something everyday differently.

by David Hockney, oil on canvas, 2005. David Hockey is a versatile artist who has explored many mediums in his artistic career.

5. A Unique Look On the World 

It doesn’t matter if it is the view from their window or a global landmark we have seen hundreds of times in imagery the best artists will put their unique ‘stamp’ on the subject matter.

The best artists do not create work like others, they have a style that is uniquely their own which they remain true to and they don’t try to change their work to fit into markets or tastes. Although they may be influenced by styles and trends their work often retains a look that is their own.

The best artists explore themes they are interested in which might not be popular to current audiences.

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