Recently I was looking in my food cupboard thinking I needed more of a varied diet and made a list of some different foods I might like to try. My meals recently have become very samey and I feel I need to vary my diet more. This got me thinking about the parallel with art, am I getting a varied art diet?
So, what do I mean by an art diet? To create artwork, we need to be inspired and for that we need to feed our artist appetite. This could look like; looking at art, going to galleries, going to places we find interesting, taking photographs, collecting imagery, taking classes, and generally feeling inspired to create.
This in turn leads to wanting to create artwork which generally leads us to want to feed ourselves with more inspiration. But sometimes this cycle can become stuck because we are not being ‘fed’ often when life gets busy other things get put first and mundane duties can suck up all our drive to create.
One thing I’ve learnt is that is it important to both be taking in art in terms of looking at artwork, going to places that I find interesting, galleries and museums for example and to create the art in equal measure.
Sometimes I can spend lots of time looking at art, spending hours on Instagram or Pinterest, I might also go to inspiring places and take photographs but I’m not creating anything. My diet is unbalanced.
The same works the other way if I am creating a lot of artworks but I’m not looking at art, going out to experience places or gathering any inspiration. My diet is unbalanced. Therefore, what we need is a mix of the two.
We need to be taking in inspiration on a regular basis and we need to be creating ideally in equal measure. Often, I’ve found it is the gathering inspiration (input) side of things that is lacking in most of us, so here are some simple ideas to get inspired:
Walking Alone – whenever I walk alone, I notice so much more than when I am in company, it never fails to surprise me how much I take in, all the small details of the vegetation, the colours.
Taking Photographs – when I see something interesting wherever I am I like to take a photograph and I think of this as a ‘visual library’ of ideas and inspiration that I can use later for my artwork.
Taking Courses – courses and workshops are a great way to kick start my creativity, there is something about creating with a group of people that is so inspiring. Even if it is a one-day workshops you might be surprised how the experience could start the creative ball rolling for you.
How do you get a varied art diet? Share your own ideas below…