2021 Topic 5 - Find Your Vibe
Hi everyone, Keren here with a brand new topic. One that might find you excited at the prospect of creating, or perhaps you might be feeling a little jaded creatively speaking. This is two-in-one topic is pretty different depending on the way you think about it. Like a crossroads and you get to pick the direction. One way to express the theme might be to dive into creating your own vibe- working out who you are and thinking about your own style if you feel that you have one. The other side of the coin is finding your vibe when it has disappeared. What are the steps we can take to reacquaint ourselves with a missing mojo?
What IS your style? Are you a layering lovely, supremo of the simple or a prima painter? Do you prefer vintage, cute and quirky or mixing up styles. Perhaps you don't know what your style is.. do you love soft and subtle, graphic with lots of lines and angles in your designs or a truly mixed media piece using different products and unusual substrates? So how do you find your vibe without copying? Perhaps start out with books or an internet search and use an all encompassing search term like 'mixed media'. Start off with looking at pictures and only pause when something really 'speaks' to you or you can't stop staring at it. Ask yourself what is it about this piece of art that I love? Is it the colours, is it the type of image, or perhaps you're drawn to the shapes, words or paint techniques? Do you wonder 'how did they create that, I want to design like that too'?
Cathy Nicols has a great article here about finding your creative voice and it is a good place to start if you're looking to find your style.
We all learn by copying and imitating. 'Painting by numbers' gave so many of us the possibility of being a better artist and improving our skills. But copying doesn't always sit right with us- we want to try and create something more original. Can any art ever be truly original? This quote is a good one to start thinking about.
Sometimes creating art takes courage. Nikki Acton's mini journal contains a wise quote.
So to start with, maybe just go back to basics. Who are you? What do you love? Grab a journal or a blank page. Start to sketch ideas or an image. Be uniquely yourself.
This is an inspiring piece from Sara Naumann.
It might be that you're looking for some inspiration to get going again. We can have patches where creativity just seems hard to find. Call it missing mojo, a dry patch or vanished ideas, how do you find that spark again? Here's a few ideas:
1. Start with an idea.
What would you like to try? Is there a substrate you've always wanted to create with or a new product you've never dabbled with? Try a blank sheet and write whatever comes into your head. Sketch an image you've always searched for but could never find. How about simply grabbing some paint and doing something a little abstract. Pavla Hozikova created these great backgrounds and then produced some art with them.
2. Find a source that inspires you (or none at all).
Where do you normally get inspired? Nature, magazines, Pinterest, blogs? Visit your favourites or google and find somewhere new. But sometimes we're tempted to spend so long online that we end up clouded by everyone else's ideas. Having some time away from your usual inspiration can perhaps free our minds up to create new thoughts.
3. Experiment. Try something brand new.
A new technique, a new way of using a product. Combining craft supplies to make a new thing. Etsuko Noguchi has made something wonderful by experimenting. If you're looking for some new ideas or a refresh of old techniques, check out this previous post about the Creative Laboratory.
4. Find A New Vision.
Do you have a goal? Something you've never done or a place you've always wanted to go. Could it begin with an art journal page, or a piece of expressive writing. Would you love to teach, learn new skills, do a Facebook Live, present your art somewhere new. Try stamp carving or design a set of stamps you've love to see in print. Could you sell your art, get it printed on fabric or on a coffee mug? Get someone to hold you accountable for your new goals. Set your horizons elsewhere. Echo Seth Apter in this piece; be the change.
5. Edit yourself.
Sometimes we need to do things differently and if you're goal oriented, maybe start with a new goal. Set yourself a challenge to complete a unfinished piece, or dabble in some textile art, or do that pottery course you've always wanted to do. Set a goal, and do it! Sometimes going tentatively forward just feels much better than stagnating where you are. Grab your older sets that haven't seen much inky love recently and make something just for fun. Perhaps you can swap stamp sets with a friend. Perhaps editing yourself is agreeing with yourself that you won't self sabotage when it comes to creativity.
Mark your struggles with an x, plan to make changes! Hope this above piece by Donna Gray inspires you to begin.
6. Collect a box of art bits, inspiration box.
Grab a load of whatever is on your desk or squirreled away in your drawers. Those snippets of partially finished pieces, Half coloured stamped images, spare die cuts, fun ephemera and pieces of 'junk. Gather it together with some ribbon or lace if that's your thing. Dig out left over gel prints or discarded pieces of patterned paper and put in a box ready to fire your imagination when it has dulled. Gather some for a friend and send them to inspire others. Jo Firth-Young created this gorgeous junk journal that might give you ideas.
7. Begin again.
Start with the new. One of the best pieces of advice I heard recently was from a fabric designer who said whenever she gets a new design notebook she scribbles in the first page which gives her permission to make her mistakes and she's not so anxious about wrecking the new pages! This piece by Kate Yetter is a wonderful piece with lots of details for your eye to explore and I thought this would be a good place to end our thoughts.
We hope that you'll be inspired to create something new, whether you're full of ideas or feel you're lacking some. Finding your vibe might take a little work, but it will be well worth the effort!
If you want to create along with us while we explore this topic, please share your makes on our social feeds so we can follow along. Instagram @paperartsy or why not join us and post in the PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world!