Everyone secretly wants to be an artist. It looks like magic from the outside, watching an artist confidently move a pencil over the paper, rapidly and consistently rendering the image until there is a sudden stop; the artist steps back and observes the image in deep contemplation before getting back to work with a smile on the face, as if a quiet whisper had delivered a secret to the ear of the sensitive artist.
Makes you wonder how nice it would be if you could be artistic and tuned into the universe, operating as a channel for limitless creativity, absolute freedom and power?
Congratulations! You inner artist is about to be released
We are born creative and it takes very little to reassess that natural state. To make art, all you need to do is to grab a brush and go—really.
The quiet whisper that the artist or poet hears, comes from the inside—it is a feeling, an idea and a complex calculation. But it doesn’t need to be a calculation to be valid, it is okay to have no idea of what is going on, it is okay to be clueless and lost, it is okay to dip a brush in purple or red and just splash the brush on a canvas, just for fun. Is that art? It is the beginning of art and it can go beyond your imagination, but you need to start somewhere, without worrying about the outcome. Loosen up and have fun; let your inner artist take over. Just remember to leave self-importance behind.
Artistic freedom is as important as the freedom of speech. It is the freedom to just be, to revel in the endless possibilities of the moment. Spirituality and creativity is the same thing. The creative flow is your spirit and when you create, your spirit works through you. The creative process enhances, strengthens and celebrates your true essence.
This does not mean that everyone should have a creative profession. It means that you need to make time and space for periodic creative endeavours to bring our your inner artist. Doing so will not only make you feel really good about yourself but also help you remember who you are.
How to bring out your inner artist
Let us understand what you need to do to release your inner artist:
1. Take action
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
— Andy Warhol
Fear of failure stops many people from expressing themselves creatively. The good news is that nobody can fail. It is not a competition. That being said, it is okay to be afraid, uncertain and nervous, but rest assured that there is no goal to reach—all that matters is the action. As we all know, courage is to not the absence of fear, but to prioritise something higher than fear. The action is what is going to nurture your spirit and strengthen your connection to the magnificent you. The feedback from the outer world; praise, sales and a tap on the shoulder, feeds the ego—that is different. Your spirit does not need to prove its talents to the world; it is needless and rejoices in spontaneous expression.
2. Don’t worry about any rules
“Paint the flying spirit of the bird rather than its feathers.”
— Robert Henri
Many artists create extraordinary and unique works, because they are comfortable with their creativity and they trust their hunches. It is difficult to be confident as a beginner, which is why I recommend you to start with loose, abstract, improvised painting. Let yourself go. Be needless of positive feedback from others and allow your spirit to be the source of your strength. Enjoy the feeling of playing with colour, shape and line and be brave enough to enjoy the result as well, as it is one step towards your freedom as an independent and powerful creator.
Preparing to paint
The number one step is to get the supplies and to find a place in your home for your painting activities. You will find the supplies at an art shop. As regards a place for painting, no matter how small a place you live in, you can always make make space. Move around the furniture if you have to.
It is easy to get overwhelmed, insecure and stressed when you walk down the aisles of the art shop as a beginner, but know that the staff is used to helping beginners. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be a proud beginner and feel the excitement instead.
Start off with a medium size of the cheapest kind of canvas, there is nothing wrong with them, they are just basic. Do not buy a canvas smaller than 30” x 24” [75 cm x 60 cm]. Please buy two or three canvases, as the need to do another trip to the art shop might delay your second or third painting session.
Get a standard wooden palette big enough to hold a small chunk of each colour with space in the middle for blending.
Start off with student quality acrylics. There are sets of student acrylics that are convenient to start off with. Make sure that you have at least 14 different colours. If you find a set of six or eight basic colours [red, yellow, green, blue] pick additional colours from the shelf. Remember to pick your favourite colour! Maybe you would like to use gold and silver to spice it up.
In addition to the 14 tubes of acrylic paint, you should get three bottles of drawing ink in the colour of your choice. This will be for pouring and splashing onto the canvas.
Get two sets of the art shop’s brand of brushes for acrylics; one set of the biggest brushes and one medium set. You want to have a minimum of 10 brushes, and make sure that at least half of them are big, because the idea is to paint boldly and avoid getting stuck with details.
Clothes, apron and towel
Wear something old and comfortable, and an apron on top. The apron is great because it allows you to feel free to make a bit of a mess. Find an old kitchen towel that you can wipe your brushes and hands on. Now you are all set.
Many visitors to Picasso’s home in the south of France were astonished to find that its walls boasted none of his own works. “Why is that, Pablo?” someone once asked. “Don’t you like them?” “On the contrary — I like them very much,” the painter replied. “It’s just that I can’t afford them.”
As you embark on this great adventure, make sure that you have at least two uninterrupted hours to yourself. Play your favourite album, dance a little, and remember three things:
- It cannot go wrong
- Don’t stop, just paint
- Your spirit is behind the wheel.
Take feedback with a handful of salt
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”
— Charlotte Brontë
Some of us are blessed with open-minded and supportive friends and family, but others are unfortunately surrounded by people who are discouraging. Guard your integrity and refuse to listen to naysayers and skeptics. Only accept positive responses and remember that people’s feedback say more about themselves than anything else.
Welcome to the world of creativity.
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