Artists have many different approaches to making their artwork. I wanted share some insight with aspiring artists as well as talk about my own artistic approach.
In order to give my work a sense of consistency, I’ll restrict myself in the materials, subject matter, and design of my work. I don’t have to think about reinventing the wheel every time, which frees up my mind for thinking of ideas. For artists that are just starting out, I do recommend trying different things. However, once you find what you like, sticking to it for awhile will help develop your own artistic style. This artistic style can evolve over time as you do.
For my main body of work, I always start with a figure drawing done from life. In some cases, I may have an idea and pose in mind, which I convey to my model. In other instances, I look through my sketchbook and find a figure drawing I’ve done and think of a setting for it. I will typically use a small sketchbook to plan out my ideas.
Some of my artworks are more about the composition and design whereas others have more of a story. I’ve been moving in the direction of telling more stories with my art lately. I look to literature, Greek mythology, and the Bible for sources of inspiration.
Charcoal, chalk and gray Rives BFK paper are my staples, even if I do add other media on occasion. I incorporate a good amount of negative space because I like the contrast between highly rendered areas and more empty, calm areas.
My art-making is very methodical, but some artists may have a more expressive approach. My advice is to find what works the best for you. An artist is his/her own worst critic!
If you want to hear more of my musings on art from my own voice, tune into the Emerging Artist Conversation happening on Facebook Live this coming Thursday, the 16th from 7PM to 9PM!